FOR two and a half years Wayback Olango has been active in reintegrating drug surrenderers into mainstream society.
Bjorn Norman, founder of the registered non-profitable organization, is a retired social worker from Norway. A missionary comes from New Zealand and a teacher is a German expat. We foreigners function as senior advisers. We invest time and money but Wayback Olango is run by Filipinos.
President Duterte has assigned the local Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (Badac) to take care of the surrenderers’ rehabilitation. But the elected councilors have no idea nor a program on how to proceed. Consequently no action is taken.
The Department of Health (DOH) has come up with a program eventually. Considering that there are about 500 former users on the island Olango (more than 10,000 in Lapu-Lapu City), Badacs should be happy that Wayback Olango has been doing a part of their assignment for so long.
But they want us to take over their program for our “clients,” a program that Bjorn finds incomplete and deficient. The DOH even wants to rescind the certifications of the eight boys who have successfully graduated under Wayback Olango.
The certifications were signed by the representative of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the barangay captain of Sabang, the police chief and Rosario, the president of Wayback Olango.
Our clients–-and even the eight who graduated--continue to attend the lessons and spiritual sessions. They appreciate the camaraderie in the framework of their new “family.” They object to the program of DOH.
Our clients regularly do land and sea cleaning. Several of them work as drivers or utility boys. They can be hired as helpers in gardening, cooking, constructing, decorating etc.
Meaningful work is important. It keeps our clients from relapsing. Read more of this in www.waybackolango.com and www.olangopost.com--Rosario Jumao-as