It all started as a volunteer worker at Reachout Centre Trust an anti- drug Organisation at the Coast, but 10 years now Faiza Hamid accounts her positive progress in saving lives of many women who were trapped in drug menace at the Coast.
She can vividly recall how she use to fear drug users since most of them were muscular male who could rough her up anytime they wanted, but that would never deter her from disentangling them and reintegrate them back to their families.
Faiza a dedicated Programs manager at RCT started as a volunteer, visiting one drug den to the other in Mombasa, counseling both male and female drug users.
At first, she though the problem was only affecting men but her assertions were confirmed when she visited Shimanzi drug den within Mombasa’s industrial area and Magodoroni in Kisauni Constituency. Indeed according to the female anti-drug Icon, drug abuse is both a security and social problem at the Coast.
“At times tears painfully flowed freely down my cheeks, I could not control myself seeing women completely trapped in drug addiction and became useless,” she says with a deep sigh of relief.
She has now stretched her arms to Kombani, Ukunda and Diani areas in Kwale County where people are also caught up in the menace.
“I do not know where I gathered the courage to face drug users, but with my persistence, many recovered and reunited with their families, some were employed, others launched their own income generating activities and that culminates to my happiness,” she noted.
She was an Outreach worker, became a Peer educator, a Field officer and she now manages all the Reachout Centre Trust programs and activities.
Faiza has traveled all over the world, Malaysia, the US, Europe in pursuit of progressive drug policies and support so as to enhance harm reduction measures and curb the effects of harmful drug use and HIV and AIDS among drug users.
[Reachout Centre Trust Programs Manager Faiza Hamid at her office at Old town in Mombasa. Photo/Tom Fondo]
She appealed to families of drug users to contribute towards helping out affected members as throwing them on the streets solves totally nothing.
“I am married and always balance between my family affairs and the huge drug users’ family that I also take care of, however I am not defeated or discouraged, I have soldiered on,” she reveals with a broad smile as she ties properly her Islamic head gear Hijab on her head.
It’s through her efforts that the female anti-drug program ‘Sister to sisters’ was launched where female drug users undergo cervical cancer screening, and are given monthly hygiene pack that contains two underwear, tooth brush, tooth paste, bathing and washing soaps, a comb and body lotion. She has also championed for the launch of a separate project to assist fighting HIV prevalence in Taita Taveta County in a program targeting female sex workers.
She expressed her gratitude to Reachout Centre Trust for giving the now professional counselor the opportunity to dedicate herself to untangle both female and male drugs users from the menace.