On April 24th, 2010, AGIR ENSEMBLE has organized a Raising Awareness Session (RAS) on tobacco control for youth in the church community (CBCA KESHERO) in the city of Goma. We had planned to join together 50 young people of the community church and inform them that tobacco is dangerous for their health and explain them the strategies used by the industry to grow its clients.
This session took place normally as expected and got the audience of 59 young people joining the meeting.
The duration of the event was 2 hours from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
2. Objective of the session
AGIR ENSEMBLE, in its commitment of spreading information which can save lives and maintain the health of population in the community, settled following objectives for this session:
- Bring together a group of 50 young people from KESHERO CBCA community church, who can receive the message that tobacco is a global priority of public health,
- To teach to the group how to protect himself and to protect others against tobacco smoking, the reason of not begin smoking and at the end of the session at least 95 % of participants will know correctly the importance of not to begin smoking.
3. Context of organization
Considering the financial difficulty, the event was held in the worship hall of KESHERO CBCA CHURCH from 2:00 pm till 4:00 pm. The event has been attended by 59 persons among whom 38 females and 21 males. We didn’t find possibility to make T-SHIRTS for participants.
4. Progress of the event
The event took place around the subject:
"Tobacco and youth", the role of youth in tackling tobacco usage.
The moderator of the session was Mr. Alphonse KAVWIRWA, president of the Board of AGIR ENSEMBLE and the speaker was Dr Mateus KAMBALE SAHANI, the director of the Health Department of AGIR ENSEMBLE.
The session began with the allocution of the president of AGIR ENSEMBLE, Mr. Alphonse KAVWIRWA who welcomed all participants to the session of the day and presented the missions of AGIR ENSEMBLE.
Then Dr Mateus SAHANI began explaining the background of the event and presented the relevance of acting against tobacco. “Most importantly, our collective voice must show our commitment to fight tobacco in our community and worldwide and it must be a global priority for the public health” he said.
After this, the speaker began the session “Tobacco and Youth, the role of young people in the fight against tobacco” in which he gave the place held by tobacco as a big public health threat. “Tobacco is the first Risk factor of cancer and kills each year 5.4 million people worldwide and cancer is becoming the leading cause of death worldwide. We know that cancer kills 8 million people each year and if nothing is done by now cancer will kill 12 million of people. Every one may act by now if you want to save the 28 million of people living with cancer in the world and if you want to address the cancer burden worldwide. The voice of each one is needed for the fight”, he said.
Then some questions were asked and answered by the speaker. All participants were interested by the session of the day and 15 questions have been received. Almost all questions were well answered. After this a cocktail was offered to participants.
In total 59 people attended the meeting among whom 38 females and 21 males and were interested by the theme of the day.
6. Evaluation of the session.
We expected 50 people for the meeting and brought together 59. This objective was reached in 118%. The second objective was reached in 90%. In all our performance was 104%. The main barriers for us to reach our maximum of goals were the background of the organization of the event, and missing financial support and we didn’t be able to organize transport for participants.
7. Questions and recommendations
Some pertinent Questions
- What is the importance of tobacco for community and for smokers?
- If tobacco kills 5.4 million of people each year, why is it allowed to be selled?
- Are governments aware that tobacco kills people and cause diseases? What are they doing to protect people?
- What can be our attitude as young people towards our parents who smoke?
- What is the good strategy we can use to sensitizer our parents who smoke?
- What can be the attitude of a wife towards her husband who is smoking?
- Why industry targets young for its activities?
At the end of the event, participants have recommended:
- To organize multiple sessions like this one to allow spreading the message that can save lives of population.
- To choose a place and a moment which allow more people to attend the event for the next time.
- Such events need financial support for a real success: media campaigns, advocacy with politicians, etc. Can LAF help us?
Generally the activities of the planned were well realized and it was a real success even if there were some difficulties. All was done as planed and our objectives were reached. Participants were satisfied by the event and the message was new for almost 97% of them. They recommend us to them more information and strategies to allow them to sensitizer their parents who are smoking and they ask us to give them some posters to be used in their living rooms.
Goma, April 24th, 2010.
Dr Mateus KAMBALE SAHANI