Welcome to Serenity Centre Website. As you realize; Serenity Centre is just a drop in the ocean
in response to the ever increasing demands of rehabilitation services in our country and some surrounding countries where individuals and families, young and old have become chronic drinkers, involved themselves in sexual activities and drug use.
Going by Global records, alcohol consumption has increased; the most increase noted in Developing countries (WHO, 2002).In the same report, alcohol was responsible for 2.3 Million deaths (3.7%), cancers, accidents, homicides, 4.4% of GBD and was graded the 5th reason for premature Death.
In 2004 Uganda had the gold medal for consumption of alcohol taking (WHO) report. In the report, use of Alcohol in Uganda was estimated at 5-10% dependent, where by 17.2% suffer alcohol related problems (SHSSPP-2005).That is to say, 1 per 4 women and1 per 2 Men use alcohol (UDHS) 19.46 ltrpc (WHO-2004).
As I conclude my message, allow me call upon each one accessing our site to take alcoholism and Substance abuse as tragedies that are on the increase and are affecting us all. Their effects are destructive, leaving their trail in schools, streets and communities. Alcohol and drug abuse have caused a setback to economic development in our nation through road carnage, crime, HIV/AIDS, violence and reduced productivity.
Serenity Centre`s dream is to respond more professionally and effectively to the needs of Uganda and some surrounding countries to the damaging effects created by the disease of Alcoholism and increase of drugs substance abuse. We call upon each one to spear head the struggle of mobilization against the monster “ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ABUSE”.
MESSAGE FROM FR. BRENDAN JORDAN
His Speech On The Official Opening Of Phase Two On 19th March, 2012
I would like to acknowledge all appropriate protocol and begin by introducing to you the present Board of Directors:
1: Vice Chairperson of the Board Sr.Mary Louis who also is representative of the friends of Serenity.
2: Emmauel Ngabirano of TPO who is the Board treasurer and representative of the founders.
3: Board Resource mobilizer and representing special skills Sr. Marlis Gaul MSOLA . I have to mention her tireless efforts in assisting getting the New Serenity off the ground, her networking, hours searching for local and international support, assisting Emmanuel in getting financial direction, skills as a nurse etc. She spent endless energy helping me and without her efforts we would not be here today.
4: Fr. Fulgens Katende a representative of Holy Cross and former director of Serenity and special Board concern for counseling and therapy at the Centre .
5: Fr. Joseph Nkeera a representative of Kampala Archdiocese and communications officer for the Board.
6: Fr. Isaac Kiyaka representative of the Society of Jesus a man of knowledge and wisdom.
7: Fr. Rudi Lehnertz representative of the Missionaries of Africa always. He is ever ready to help, available and also now chairperson of the Board of Trustees. I thank the whole Board for its cooperation and support during the last few years but in particulars the last few months as we went through some difficult times. A special word of thanks has to go to Mr. David Kalema the former managing Director of Serenity.
He helped in many ways in the inception and accomplishment of the New Serenity dream. I am sorry he is not with us today but let us give a warm and grateful clap for David. A special word of thanks must go to the founders of serenity and those of them who offered us support and encouragement. Their leader is Tony Wach S.J and though their BOD representative Emmanuel we pass on our gratitude. We give a special word of thanks to Professor Dr. David Basangwa who is a founder member and our keynote speaker today.
Without the staff past and present and their cooperation we would have had a more difficult time getting the dream established. It was especially difficult for us all during the Restructuring and Recruitment periods but we survived the Birth Pangs of the new Serenity with some pain and scars here and there but above all the emergence of new life and hope. I would like to welcome the new Serenity administration who, with the whole serenity team, continues the birthing process;
1. Mr. Mubangizi Emmanuel – Executive Director
2. Ms. Carol.I.N. Musinguzi – Human Resource Manager
3. Mr. Bob Wandera– Finance Officer
4. Fr. Julius Kabatereine – Clinical Coordinator in charge of the coordination both counseling and medical areas.
I emphasize again my thanks to all the rest of the present Serenity team and also the past team members.
A special word of thanks to our outside consultants;
1. Sr. Josephine Nafula – Clinical Supervisor
2. Dr. Sylvia Nshemerirwe – Medical Supervisor.
Our thanks also go to those who lead the Restructuring and Recruitment
1. Consultant – Mr. James Kalebbo
2. Reliable Corporate Solutions – Mr. Isaac Malagala
I welcome the Clients – all of this is for you. You are welcome to Serenity and we hope you will enjoy the journey of freedom from the imprisonment and addiction to substance and alcohol to new and productive life.
WHY WE ARE HERE TODAY?
To accomplish part of serenity dream to respond more professionally and effectively to the needs of Uganda and some surrounding countries to the damaging effects of the racial problems created by the disease of Alcoholism and increase of drugs substance abuse.
In 2004 Uganda had the gold medal for consumption of alcohol taking – according to WHO report – 19.5 liters of alcohol per capita per year and this despite the fact that 48% of the population did not drink. Needless to say some Government and Health officials did not accept the figures but did not disprove them either.
In the latest report of 2011/2012 we are down the list but due in large measure to the fact that 60% of our population is below the age of 20 and are too young to have started drinking, yet unfortunately it seems that the age of drinking, sexual activity and drug use is also earlier for many and down to the age of 11/12 or even younger.
Serenity is a drop in the ocean in trying to respond to these needs. But from a drop comes a ripple. We seek to respond by offering residential treatment of one to three months or longer if required. Also family awareness programmes, outreach programmes and awareness building and alcoholic camps, post treatment follow up and rehabilitation training and more. In the future as the dream takes root we would hope to expand in the following steps:
A. 1 We move to facility 40 clients. Then examine and evaluate our system structures and staffing. Then we move to facility 60 clients then again examine and evaluate our system structures and staffing. Then finally we move to a capacity of 80 residential clients.
B. We look into having Serenity satellite centers in the North, South, East and West of Uganda. C. Turning Serenity into a research unity and training programme for interns from various universities and eventually expanding to a properly recognized and affiliated institution for training and research in alcoholism and addictive therapy and skills.
D. We will need to continue to work with and lobby the Government and Parliament through the Health and education ministries in particular to get Alcoholism recognized as a disease that needs special treatment and support. Also we need to increase our cooperation and dialogue with police and ministry of Internal Affairs to see that alcoholism is not just a crime – drunk and disorderly – but a disease that needs treatment and not just imprisonment; strict laws are still needed for prevention and to deal with the criminal fallout. It is a disease and addiction that leads to crime and therefore we need to work for prevention and be more proactive.
We need Laws about:
a. proper distilling and supervision of local brews and spirits.
b. Legislate times for public sale of alcohol in shops and super markets etc.
c. Legislate times for public consumption of alcohol in registered places and for limited hours.
d. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE enforced more strictly. But also look at DON’T DRINK AND WALK because many intoxicated pedestrians cause accidents. These pedestrians always need a sober companion.
E. We need to talk with the brewers and distillers through ‘Uganda Alcohol Industry Association’ to go beyond ‘DRINK RESPONSIBILIY’ which is very vague as guidance to our vulnerable classes to putting on the bottles, tins and sachets warnings about the possible dangers of over drinking. This would mean printing the internationally acceptable number of units of alcohol per man 3- 4 units per day and woman 2-3 units per day and each bottle, sachet or tin of alcohol should clearly state the units contained within.
Also inviting the brewers and distillers to spend more of their profits in preventing abuse and being proactive in this prevention and subsidizing the victims of their products by working together with Serenity and other rehab centres in treating the sicknesses and addictions and also with the police and the Centres in education to prevent the crimes associated with alcoholism, – sexual abuse, spread of HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, exploitation of the young and vulnerable youth and the poor who seek solace in drinking. We know inappropriate sexual and violent behaviors abound as a result of excessive drinking and substance abuse and we must work together in preventative care and creating awareness.
We have five areas of land for cultivation for food production and eco therapy of clients.
GRATITUDE TO THE BENEFACTORS AND DONORS:
This is a Ugandan problem but over 90% of the funding for this project came from international donors both outside and within Uganda.
A. Misean Cara – phase one and the first floor of Phase Two
B. Combined Services Third World Fund
C. Irish society in Uganda
D. Bank of Ireland
E. Private and concerned individuals in Ireland.
We express our gratitude to the Irish donors through the Irish embassy’s representative here today.
Misereor of Aachen for funding the ground floor
Jesuits in Germany – funding for Phase one
Diocese of Limburg – Furniture for the project
MISSIO Brixen in German speaking Tyrol of Italy – for part funding of Phase One and foundation of Phase Two .
A. Mill Hill Missionaries in London for 75% of the foundation and tiles in Phase Two
B. Mill Hill locally through EAR Region and individuals Mill Hillers for various parts of the project in both Phases One and Two.
C. SPICMA UK for both Phases One and Two. We express our gratitude to Mill Hill through Bro. Jos from London and Mr. Ko Klaver from EAR, Nairobi.
A. CORDAID – Phase Two.
B. Foundation Luanda Jinja – purchase of land, water harvesting and Phase Two
Other religious groups:
A. Missionaries Of Africa – Phase one and solar energy in Phase Two.
B. Holy Cross Congregation – Phase One
C. Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa – Phase Two.
We extend our gratitude to their representatives present today.
Locally within Uganda:
A. Sadly directly from Uganda Government we received nothing except a contribution from the First
Lady of 5 million that is not yet completely paid.
B. Uganda Alcohol and Industry Association
C. Quality Chemicals
D. Simba Telecom
E. Palle Moeller Foundation
F. Euroflex – Eighty mattresses.
G. DAMCO – One 40’ container
H. Individuals and small groups.
I. A special thanks to KAMPALA ARCHDIOCESE and his Grace for a subsidized land lease price.
Your Excellency I believe it is a tragedy that a local problem of major social consequences to Uganda has to look outside for funding. I hope today is a wakeup call to Government, local industry and the local Asian business community and other stake holders to take responsibility to solve a local problem with local solutions and funding.
Finally, I give a special word of thanks to Robert, our contractor and builder, for his great work and thanks for finishing ahead of schedule and staying in as far as possible within budget. ROBERT a special word of thanks – please clap for him and his vocational teacher Bro. Jos.
Thanks again your Excellency the Vice President of Uganda, His Grace Archbishop Lwanga and all other guests who have graced us by coming to this ceremony this afternoon.
Alcohol/Drug abuse continue to pose great challenges to the health of the world’s population. It is currently estimated that problems related to alcohol and drug
consumption rank among the world’s major public health problems and constitute serious harm to human health, welfare and security. Uganda is no exception to this trend. The country was once rated to have the highest per capital consumption of alcohol in the world. (WHO – 2004). Use of narcotic drugs is also on the rise. Previously only traditional drugs like cannabis were consumed. We were only a transit country for substances like heroin and cocaine, consumed by the local population especially the youth.
As Government struggles to develop and implement policies on demand and supply reduction, there will for sure be victims of the vice that seriously
require addiction care services. Serenity Centre has for over 11 years now been at the forefront from the NGO Sector in increasing access to addiction care services. services are expanded, Serenity Centre is also involved with Outreach
programmes as part of a demand reduction strategy through information and education of the public. As treatment With this stakeholders, we strongly believe we can consistently contribute to reduction of alcohol and drug use in Uganda. balanced approach, together with the support of other I thank the Board of Trustees, fellow Board members, Director and staff of Serenity Centre for the great effort. Let us keep the candle burning. We can achieve more.
Dr. Basangwa David
Chairman, Board of Directors