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Ukombozi Program: Tanzania

Alcohol and other drugs, violence against women and children, and AIDS are all very common. All too often the alcoholism, drug addiction, and violence are ignored and AIDS sufferers are shunned. When these issues are identified there are few professionals to address them other than the clinical care for AIDS itself. The 12 step approach used by alcoholics anonymous is proven effective and does not need professionals to implement it. The emotions anonymous has broadened this approach to a multitude of emotional issues. The problems need to be identified and the denial overcome if 12 step self-help groups are to be established.

Ukombozi (Save yourself, your family and your community) seeks to train all community members to: 1) understand more about these problems, 3) learn what they can do for themselves, their family and their community to both prevent and help treat these conditions, and 3) to mobilize them to act. The training is two hours, taught by volunteers. People with alcohol/drug, violence or AIDS problems are then helped to form their own self-help groups to deal with their problems. The self-help groups are based on a proven 12 step process which has helped millions of people overcome addiction and emotional issues. The Emotions Anonymous manual has already been translated into Kiswahili by Prof. Mabula as part of the Interfaith-Government partnership.