By Jane Slater
I’m headed to Kenya next week for work I told my friends – Really? The response. Does Kenya have a particular drug problem? Why are you headed there? My reply, where doesn’t have a drug problem? Here’s my story of why I went and what I discovered on my Kenyan drug policy reform campaign journey.
We were off to launch Anyone’s Child Kenya – the latest extension to our successful campaign. Anyone’s Child is a growing network of families whose lives have been destroyed by the drug war, who speak out for the need to legalise and regulate drugs.
I first met Lugard, the Kenyan founder, a few years ago at our office in Bristol. He visited as an African fellow on a training programme organised by Release. I’d mentioned the Anyone’s Child campaign and how we were trying to tell the real stories of the drug war, and he’d told me the story of his friend who had died from police brutality because of her involvement with drugs. He mentioned how much it had impacted him and driven him in his work (read more here).
We then invited him to attend the 2016 United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, where we held a rally of families from across the world who wanted to change the debate around drugs. The mood was clearly both rallying and inspiring, and Lugard returned home and felt compelled to set up his own extension of the Anyone’s Child campaign in Kenya – an African first!
Thumbnail: Anyone's Child, Kenya