Renewed Hope for Liberia’s “Zogoes”-As Samuel Grimes Initiative Steps Up

MONROVIA: Liberia faces ongoing challenges as it seeks sustainable solutions for the escalating number of at-risk youths, colloquially termed as “zogoes”. However, the country can now breathe a sigh of relief as the Samuel Grimes Initiative begins to make a significant impact, offering hope and support through practical and meaningful interventions aimed at the recovery and rehabilitation of these affected youths.

A comprehensive summary report compiled by Professor Adam M. Kyne, Executive Director of the A.M. Kyne Collegiate Resource Center on 12 Street, and the Samuel Grimes Initiative for At-Risk Youth in Kakata copy of which was sent to The Analyst showed a promising endeavor. Established by the Pentecostal Assembly of the World, USA, in partnership with the A.M. Kyne Collegiate Resource Center, the initiative, under the guidance of Bishop Leo M. Simpson and his daughter Monique, has already transformed the lives of numerous individuals, giving them a path towards recovery and success.

The report keenly emphasizes the initiative’s achievements, particularly its role in empowering individuals. It quotes, “The Samuel Grimes Initiative has demonstrated unparalleled effectiveness in helping individuals overcome addiction and reach significant milestones on their road to recovery.”

Marking a landmark in Liberia, this initiative is the first Intensive-Outpatient Program in the country, making a profound impact within a short span. “Over the past six months, 17 of the 42 clients who started the program have successfully maintained complete sobriety from mood-altering substances”, the report asserts, underscoring the initiative’s effectiveness, the team’s dedication, and the clients’ resilience.

The report elaborates on the program’s extraordinary results, citing that two clients who completed the program not only achieved sobriety but also passed the national teacher training placement test, subsequently registering for classes to become teachers. It lauds this accomplishment as a testament to the transformative power of the Samuel Grimes Initiative, enabling individuals to overcome addiction while pursuing their personal and professional goals.

Furthermore, the initiative has been successful in reuniting two female clients with their families, healing their lives, and restoring crucial community bonds. The program’s comprehensive approach ensures clients receive the necessary guidance and support to rebuild their lives, thereby becoming productive contributors to society once again.

The report underscores the potency of Intensive Outpatient Programs as a viable Path to Recovery. Unlike traditional inpatient models, these programs provide individuals with the opportunity to receive comprehensive treatment while maintaining their daily routines and responsibilities. This flexibility enhances accessibility to care, allowing individuals to apply their newly acquired skills and coping mechanisms in real-life situations.

The Samuel Grimes Initiative effectively harnesses the power of intensive outpatient programs, offering clients structured Intensive Outpatient Program group sessions three times a week. These sessions equip individuals with knowledge about addiction and essential coping skills and help them foster a supportive community.

Despite its success, the report emphasizes the need for expansion to effectively address the complex needs of individuals battling addiction in Liberia. It argues for integrating a detoxification program, which will lay the foundation for successful recovery.

Analyzing the data collected over the past six months, the report notes a recurring pattern of clients maintaining sobriety on weekdays but struggling with relapses over weekends. This observation highlights the need for more targeted interventions focusing on impulse control and strengthening weekend programs.

Recognizing the significant impact achieved thus far, Professor Kyne firmly believes that a collective effort is needed to enhance the program’s reach and effectiveness. He calls upon the Liberian government and NGOs to provide additional financial and logistical support to establish and sustain the expanded services of the Samuel Grimes Initiative.

He explains, “Through multi-sectorial collaboration and funding, the initiative can further its mission of transforming lives and contributing to the nation’s larger goal of combating addiction. The program’s proven track record and commitment to providing high-quality, eclectic, evidence-based, and culturally contextual care makes it a worthy investment for government and NGO funding. It promises to yield long-lasting positive outcomes for individuals, families, and communities affected by addiction.”

Together, let us recognize the power of the Samuel Grimes Initiative in changing lives and join hands to ensure its continued growth and success in Liberia.

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