- road to recovery

A NEW PATH IN DEVELOPMENT WORK: TO BREAK THROUGH A TABOO AND TO GIVE YOUNG WOMEN AT THE COAST KENYA IN ALCOHOL AND POLYDRUG DEPENDENCE A VOICE



amescosa - road to recovery NGO is a private initiative and was founded in 2016 in Kilifi - North Coast of Kenya - and is officially registered by the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government of the Republic of Kenya under section 10 of the Non-Governmental Organisations Co-ordination Act.


Guided by the conviction and the personal experience that effective healing and sustained recovery of substance dependence only can happen through the healthy pith, which every human being possesses, and thus through the activation of the natural, inherent self-healing ability which comprises the unity of body, psyche and spirit on the level of the therapeutic work as well as on the medical-treatment level, we pursue since 2017 a new, holistic, comprehensive treatment path combining Homeopathy, special tailored diet, different kinds of art therapy and case specific social work including all spheres of life. We focus especially upon marginalized, young women and mothers in alcohol and polydrug dependence and closely associated with psychological, sexual, emotional, physical and mental abuse and trauma lacking access to treatment.


Since the launching of amescosa Treatment Centre all our clients have successfully recovered and lead a healthy, self-responsible, self-independent, self-determined, self-reliant and financially secured life based on a strong and stable inner foundation. They have reformed their lives from within and incorporated new coping strategies and encounter their lives in a constructive, pro-active manner. The recovery clients have created a new, healthy social environment and feel being a respected part of their families and the community again.


The rate of youth in alcohol, drug and other substances dependence in Kilifi County and at the Coast in general is very high and still increasing. Existing intervention and treatment programs in the Coast Region consider much too less the specific female aspects of both the dependence itself and the living circumstances.

Young women in substance dependence, most of them are mothers and many are single mothers, are forced to engage themselves in unprotected, random sex work and become due to their specific vulnerability easy victims of all kinds of abuse with sever and non-reversible consequences. In Kilifi County alcohol prevention is missing at all and at the Coast alcohol dependence is in treatment and rehabilitation broadly classified as being of secondary importance and neglected even though the recent published survey from NACADA (National Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse) from 2017 proves that alcohol abuse and dependence ranks first. Therapy, aftercare, the inclusion of all spheres of life, reintegration in family and community and socio-economic empowerment are not enough sighted as imperative integral part of a master plan in dependence work. Hence many youth are relapsing shortly after discharge from detoxification. It is also striking  that the participation of young women in existing programs is significant less than the participation of young men.

Kilifi County has, as the only County at the Coast, not undertaken yet any local efforts in prevention and inpatient or outpatient treatment and rehabilitation. Therefor, surpassing the main treatment and rehabilitation work and to break new ground, the engagement of amescosa - road to recovery shall favor the formation of a functional lobby for dependence work as a carrier for consistent, effective and sustained interventions and measures to eradicate alcohol and drug dependence and abuse within Kilifi County in shared responsibility. Along these lines we set the pillar for a new movement in conducting the first Forum about "Alternative holistic approach for a successful and sustained recovery from alcohol and drug dependence" on 11th of May 2018 to reunite government, national and international organizations, institutions and civil society to lay important tracks for the future.


Apart from individual reasons which drive young women into substance dependence, there are a range of aspects in common why they develop substance dependence already as adolescents or even children: abuse, rape, early pregnancy, early forced marriage with a much older man, gender based violence and discrimination, family history of substance dependence, rigid cultural aspects, gender inequality, poverty and childhood trauma.


Young women and mothers in alcohol and polydrug dependence face many barriers not only in accessing and entering treatment programs but also in the course of the treatment process itself. As they are mostly not supported by their partners, husbands and families and face the overall socio-cultural stigma of being substance dependent as a young woman, shame, guilt and fear are strong, omnipresent feelings. This means a great challenge and asks a lot of courage to persist in the personal decision for change, especially if the young women is suddenly confronted with interpersonal dynamics trying to diminish her in the assertiveness of having the right for a healthy, independent life and do her fundamental transformation.