I am sitting at home at my table. It’s a late night but it is still light outside and I have some time to reflect on latest happenings in IOGT International. I feel that IOGT International is moving in the right direction.

We’re on a roll

Considering this year alone, we have actively participated in several high-level policy processes and in various high-level conferences. Let me just name a few:

  1. We participated in the UN Commission on the Status of Women and held a parallel event at the CSW57 in New York;
  2. We took part in the 66th WHA in Geneva;
  3. We attended the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Helsinki;
  4. We were represented at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna and also held a Side Event there together with UNODC and Lao Women Union;
  5. We held a lecture at the Students’ Parliament on Health in New Delhi.

Seeing just this list of events and knowing that we spoke out and networked, contributed with our know-how and heart-driven commitment to all events and processes makes me feel excited about the months to come and the possibilities they bring.

In the course of the latest week, we met IOGT Poland that is currently financially supported by the IOGT-NTO movement in their work to include kids from marginalized areas in society and to promote alcohol-free lifestyle.

Time for colour project by IOGT Poland

Time for colour project by IOGT Poland

Recently we have come back from IOGT Switzerland, deeply impressed by the vast spectre of activities carried out by our heart-driven members. From prevention work through counselling to building schools in Guinea Bissau. I can’t feel anything else than adoration for our members and organisations out in the world.

Reinvigorating IOGT values of democracy, freedom, global solidarity, global health and well-being and human dignity - before the start of this years Annual Meeting of IOGT Switzerland

Reinvigorating IOGT values of democracy, freedom, global solidarity, global health and well-being and human dignity – before the start of this years Annual Meeting of IOGT Switzerland

Our movement is growing

And is if it was not enough that we’re rolling, our movement keeps growing, too, with three new member organisations joining since our board meeting in March 2013. Hereby we would like to welcome Khmer Youth Association, SCAD and IDYDC. I am convinced that they will greatly benefit from the membership and that we all together will have a stronger impact bringing a positive change into people’s lives.

Iringa Development of Youth, Disabled and Children (IDYDC) – runs over 5000 local groups working on prevention of alcohol and other drugs in Tanzania. IDYDC uses football as a method to approach youth and prevent alcohol use. The organisation works on helping street-children, satisfy their basic needs of accommodation, food and education and when possible re-unites them with their families. IDYDC has also started with a new approach by empowering communities to get hold of their problems themselves, having identified alcohol one of the most disturbing factors for the development of the communities. This method combined with micro-financing for those who want to switch business from alcohol production/sale to anything more beneficial for their communities and society, helps to prevent and minimise alcohol problems and create safe activities in the villages.

IDYDC vocational training for youth empowerment #HeartDriven

IDYDC vocational training for youth empowerment #HeartDriven

Students’ Campaign Against Drugs (SCAD) –  is a youth organisation based in Kenya gathering more than 1200 members organised in so-called SCAD clubs. The organisation runs education and training programmes for students in Nairobi and its surroundings. They are in close cooperation with and supported by NACADA – (National campaign for a drug abuse authority) and together with IDYDC they are founding members of East African Alcohol Policy Alliance.

Who said alcohol was fun? Friends are, like SCAD #HeartDriven

Who said alcohol was fun? Friends are, like SCAD #HeartDriven

Khmer Youth Association (KYA) – from Cambodia has more than 4500 members organised in more than 50 groups. The organisation works on empowering youth, strengthening youth policies and running prevention activities. A natural part of and a “secret” to the success of young people is their alcohol free lifestyle.

KYA youth club and health promotion activity #LifeSetFree

KYA youth club and health promotion activity #LifeSetFree

I am incredibly happy that these organisations have decided to join us, enrich our world and together with IOGT International set life free for many, many other people around the world.