Educational Resource Material and Staff Development
We consider awareness as important as treating people with drug addiction problems. Addiction is a life long challenge and former addicts have a tendency to relapse even after decades of sobriety. We want to change that!
If people don’t start an addiction, they don’t have to quit.. In order to prevent people from using or experimenting with drugs the first time, we firmly believe that awareness education is very important for everyone, no matter their place in Tibetan society. We have a special program here at Kunphen where we are developing education materials on substance dependence, HIV/AIDS and other related issues.
- Pamphlets, stickers and posters:
During our field visits and social gatherings in Tibetan communities, we usually distribute educational pamphlets. This year we have introduced posters and stickers. When we make well designed educational materials, children and teens especially like what we produce. They use these materials in their school rooms and on their belongings. We believe our stickers and posters have the power to constantly remind those that possess them not to use drugs and take positive steps prevent HIV/AIDS:
- Kunphen’s Magazine and Educational Booklets:
This year we have published and distributed our first magazine. The main aim of this magazine is to bring information on drug abuse, HIV/AIDS awareness and related issues to teen readers. We do this because even though we endeavor to visit all of the Tibetan schools and settlements across India on a regular basis, we are not always able to get to each and every school or community. We lack funding and India is a big place. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time or resources to get to everyone.
It’s a challenge to reach everyone, but we have begun to produce Kunphen’s magazine as it is a cost- and time- effective means of society-wide outreach. Through this magazine, we are able to educate teenagers(and hopefully their parents and community) on issues that concern them including abstinence, HIV/AIDS and drug avoidance and awareness. Each year we will be printing four issues that will go to every school, primary health care center and hospital in each of the Tibetan settlements across India.
We are also currently creating books on substance dependence, HIV/AIDS and a sex health handbook in Tibetan and English that will be distributed in Tibetan schools and Colleges. The main aim is to help empower the community by providing health literature to student health clubs that can be distributed during club activities and programs.
- Staff Development Program:
In order to handle our entire program, we need more staff than we have currently have. Since we don’t have adequate funds to hire more staff, the only option left to us is with the Staff Development Program. In this program, we send our staff to workshops and training programs and provide them with educational materials for self-study.
Staff development is both cost and time effective. For example; the cost of developing and managing our website is more than ten thousand Indian Rupees per year. We must train our staff in web development and its management because we can’t afford to spend money and time on an outside person. After our staff understands how to manage our website, we won’t need to hire outside workers. Our organization saves money and we have more creative freedom to tailor our website to benefit the community.