The Tanzanian Project, June 2014
As a result of positive actions of HOPE MINISTRY in the country and the prisons of Belize and Allendale, I was invited to participate in a program of Alcohol, Drug, and Aids recovery in Tanzania, Africa. On a previous trip in 2006 to Tanzania, I met Dr. Henry Ziegler and his wife Priscilla who were attempting to build and improve on the Medical Clinic supported by the Anglican Diocese of Dar as Salaam under the leadership of Anglican Bishop Mokiwa Valentine. The purpose of my visit was to introduce addiction awareness training to the Clergy of the Bishop's Diocese. The Ziegler's had a long successful career in Public Clinical Heath and were devoted to bringing medical treatment and recovery to the suffering. Since 2006, the Ziegler's have been successful in bringing about an outstanding Medical Clinic in Dar es Salaam and also expanding medical teams and partnerships with government and medical agencies resulting in treatment, especially HIVAIDS throughout the country of Tanzania. Because of his success's, Dr. Zeigler has been identified and accepted as an innovative and dedicated individual in the treatment and suffering of the poor. His reputation was instrumental in the acceptance and the immediate initiation of the Twelve Step recovery Project in Dar es Salaam.
The initial trip in 2006 did not bring about significant positive results and the programs lay dormant for 7 years. But just as in Belize where the introduction and implementation of 12 Step Programs were originally resisted and faced huge obstacles until the need became vital for the survival of the country, this same occurrence took place in Tanzania. The increase in the use of alcohol, drugs, emotional trauma, and stress resulted in a major increase in crime (murder, and physical and sexual abuse) which resulted in broken relationships, dysfunction in families, and criminal behavior among other ills. This was recognized by the government, civil and church leaders and the desire and seeking of help to combat addictions of drugs and alcohol and the increase in the spread of AIDS led to the willingness to turn to Dr. Zeigler seeking help and answers. in January 2014 Dr.Zeigler, who had been receiving my newsletters on the Belize and Allendale programs, contacted me and asked if I would be interested in joining with him in introducing Alcohol, Drug, and Aids recovery program in Dar es Salaam with the long term goal of expanding it throughout Tanzania. Upon agreeing, we conferred on a basic plan of introducing Addiction Awareness Training and the Twelve Step Recovery Programs of AA into Dar es Saalam. Dr. Ziegler presented this plan to his major contacts in Dar as Salaam in February 2014 which was quickly accepted. We targeted June 2014 to begin the initial introduction process.
The plan was to use the medical teams and groups established by Dr. Zeigler to become the basis and the umbrella force in launching and mobilizing the 12 Step Programs in Dar. The key to our success was to gain the vital support of top leaders of all facets of Tanzanian Society (Government, Medical, Education, and Church). The presentation purpose to these leaders was to offer addiction awareness concepts which corrected some of the ideas and myths usually thought of when thinking of "addiction".
The normal approach is to use treatment centers, methadone shots, and now even pills to attack the problem. The "success" is usually short term. The long-term approach is to find the reasons for the addiction and get the addicted to admit and confront them, thus removing the driving force for the addiction. Addiction is hiding pain which is usually caused by fears. The need to hide the pain and "feel good" guides us toward substances, (alcohol, drugs)things, activities (exercise, crime, work) which provide this "feel good " feeling The Twelve Step Program offers a process of admitting and confronting the "issues". Recovery is long term and lifetime. This concept is generally difficult for society to accept and even more so in the medical communities. Thus, I had some anxiety and apprehension when presenting these concepts. To successfully get the 12 Step Program going, it was vital the top levels of leadership bought into this concept and actively supported the idea to lower echelons. If not the project would fail. This lack of top-level support is what was experienced in Belize and why it took years of contacts to gain a foothold with 12 Step Programs. With the contacts and relationships of Dr. Ziegler, we felt we could substantially reduce the time for implementation and in reality could move almost immediately. This was exactly what happened.
In June 2014 Dr, Zeigler and I traveled to Dar es Salaam beginning the process of top-level leadership support for our proposals. The objective was to invite as many of the leaders as possible to attend a detailed two-day conference on addiction. We won some and lost some but were able to attract individuals who would form the core team of carrying the program throughout Dar. From this meeting an initial team was established consisting of Professor Marsalakulangwa Mabala, an American and Harvard trained Behavior Scientist, as the lead, assisted by Mr. Gao John Gao, Director of the MEA (Development, Education, and Health) Foundation in Dar es Salaam, and Agnes Mirada Senior Counselor at the Burugundi Medical Clinic. Also in attendance at the conference were Bishop Mokiwa Valentino, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Dar and several other individuals who volunteered to become part of the training of groups. Bishop Mokiwa immediately agreed to set a date to conduct a one-day training conference with the Clergy of his Diocese in October. He also arranged for an appointment with the Commissioner General of Prisons of Tanzania who granted approval to move to next step of introducing the programs and setting up a pilot program in the prison system. This is a major major step for both Tanzania, the prison inmates and the Twelve Step Programs. I am awaiting my security clearance for the October training session.
The expectations and results of this trip exceeded beyond my wildest dreams. What had taken 5 years to accomplish in Belize was already in progress after one visit. Approval to proceed with the programs was received and a team trained in the addiction recovery process began moving down the levels of organizations directly to the street and user level with the introduction of 12 Step Meetings. "The Team" established an ambitious one year 9 point plan including the translation and publishing of 12 Step Material into Kiswahili, training of local leaders in twelve steps, and initiating 50 Twelve Step Meetings at street level. Both Dr. Zeigler and I plan to return in October where multiple one-day training sessions will be conducted zeroing in on those groups the team has contacted and received approval. The Anglican Diocese Clergy Conference and the Prison will be two of the main objectives
How you can help:
If you are so moved to assist in this vital project to save suffering souls in Tanzania from the ravages of addiction (Drug, Alcohol, and Emotional) and its result in death, destruction of souls,(broken relationships, family abuse, spousal abuse, sexual abuse , crime) you can help by:
1. Prayer for all involved with this project and for those suffering to open there minds to a new way of life.
2. Offering computer skills helping in preparing materials, presentations, power point, publishing materials, and web site construction. A need also exits for a grant writer and the exploration of Grants.
3. Becoming a volunteer on a short-term mission trip working with addiction.
4. Supplying me with the names of contacts, organizations, grants who might be interested in supporting this project and ministry.
5. Funding. This project will be included in the HOPE ADDICTION MINISTRY mission and funding. HOWEVER IF you desire to earmark contributions designated SOLELY to the TANZANIA PROJECT, please NOTE so on the check payment.
Make checks payable to ST. LUKE'S FOUNDATION OF HILTON HEAD, noting in the memo "HOPE ADDICTION MINISTRY PROJECT".
c/o Michael Znachko,
29 SeabrooK Landing Dr.,
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926.
Thank you and God's continued blessings!
In His Service,
Hope Addiction Ministry