Persuasive Letter to a Funding Agency
Persuasive Letter to a Funding Agency
28th February 2012.
To the Director,
Drug Awareness Resistance Education,
P.O. Box 512090,
As a responsible citizen of the City of Mayfield Heights, kindly have a take on one salient issue affecting the community. The community faces a big challenge in addressing the menace of drug and substance abuse affecting its youth. To tackle this menace some of the concerned members of the society have started an anti-drugs initiative. The critical issues to be addressed by the campaign are identifying the root causes of the problem, carrying out drug awareness programs and sensitizing the public on drug-free lifestyles. The reason for writing this letter is to request for both financial and technical support in carrying out this noble task.
One major concern of the UN Global Health Decade is to prevent leading causes of premature death, disease, and disability. According to a report by world health organization drugs and substance abuse is a major contributor to modern global health hazards. The United Nations, through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that 200 million people worldwide use illicit drugs and roughly, 200,000 persons die in drug-related complications (UNODC, 2011). However, despite the discouraging statistics the war on drugs can be won.
The institution acknowledges the vital role community based initiatives can play to eradicate the drug challenge. During the 2011 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking the director Yury Fedotov further stressed on the role of the community to take care of the vulnerable (UNODC, 2011). He further advocated for more collaborations with the civil society to encourage approaches that empower and strengthen the community-based initiatives.
It is important to appreciate that DARE is an international agency granted consultative status by UNIDO to carry out community policing.
Community-based interventions provide a chance to tailor make solutions specific to community’s needs. Recent studies show that customized solutions have greater chances of succeeding in their endeavors. They also benefit from the advantages of financial micromanagement, improved synergies, to improvements on existing infrastructure and have better access to capital/funds.
Drug abuse is a major health issue that mainly affects the youth and leads to other social ills like crime and violence (Holtz, 2008). Men are more prone to abuse of more illicit drugs whereas women are highly to likely consume tranquilizers. Most psychological and neurological disorders are drugs and substance abuse related. Furthermore, the victims get very little medical attention because of inadequate health care infrastructures and high degrees of stigma associated with the condition
Two initial assessment studies were carried out to determine the technical viability of the project. These studies included a windshield survey and family assessments. The windshield survey indicates that the area is under a slum settlement scheme accompanied with usual poor planning issues common in such scenarios. This situation provides good hideouts for drug peddlers that thrive under informal settlements. In addition, the police do not patrol the slums further worsening the situation by creating a free market economy for the sellers and buyers of drugs.
The major cause of decay as outlined by the windshield survey is the high levels of unemployment in the youth segment. This has resulted in the recent unprecedented rise in crime levels and other antisocial habits. These habits include drugs and substance abuse, and prostitution. Studies conducted in other regions reaffirm the correlation between high levels of unemployment and drug abuse (Holtz, 2008). The problem is further worsened by the challenge that former and current drug users face in securing employment. This is usually because of the stigma and discrimination accorded to them.
Employment grants one the financial safety net to improve his quality of life, the daily routines gives him a sense of purpose and structure. In addition to these, he gains a sense of purpose and identity. Moreover, studies shows that people underemployment have higher chances of seeking treatment incase they suffer from substance abuse (Holtz, 2008). From the family assessments, it is evident that the level of incomes is low further worsening the situation. The stress associated with the low incomes may also be contributing factor to the drug situation as the youth look for a cheap way to run away from their problems (Whariki, 2006).
The following key indicators will be used to monitor and evaluate the projects’ progress. The overall objective of the initiative will be the promotion of social and behavioral change to the youth. The specific objectives will include; decrease in drug consumption, better coordination of services targeting the young population, decrease in reported occurrences of crime and prostitution. The projects objectives can be summarized as; increased community awareness on the drug-related issues, promotion of effective policies and practices through stakeholder involvement, develop the local industry to provide avenues for employment for the youth. Also to promote total eradication of the supply of drugs to the youth and, promote awareness through provision of information on the advantages of not using drugs (UNODC, 2011).
For the initiative to be successful, certain key participants should be involved. The initiative will also involve members of the local authority. They will be trained on drugs detection and monitoring techniques to assist the police in their duties. They are also expected to play a big role in the areas of local industry development and talent nurturing for the youth. They will also form public private partnerships the aimed at fast tracking infrastructure development, especially in the areas of health and housing.
The religious leaders in the area will offer moral guidance to the youth and instill a sense of social responsibility to them. In this duty, they will be assisted by local social workers. However, the social worker will be required to carry out extra duties. Some of the additional duties include carrying out visits to vulnerable groups, and vulnerable groups, offering psychological therapy to the affected, mobilizing social groups and last advising the initiatives committee on the appropriate direction to heed.
Another key player is the media. Information from the windshield survey indicates that radio stations have adequate coverage. Media can play big role in educating and sensitizing the masses on drug awareness and its-related effects (Whariki, 2006). Programs encouraging positive living and youth empowerment will be aired to appeal to the youth. The input of the media will provide an effective communication channel for conveying the projects views. Modern means of communication, for instance social media will also be set up to capture the psyche of the youth.
The initial steps will involve carrying out key informant interviews outlining the effects relating to the project. The next step will include a survey of the youth on access to drugs. In addition, they will be used to get information on youth’s perceptions on drug abuse, parental relationships, community integration, and awareness of the project activities. This will provide the baseline study of the project. An analysis of the collected information including media coverage documents and project-related documents will give an in-depth study of the project activities vise a vi the expected outcomes.
The implementation of the project will commence with intensive media coverage’s for publicity reasons. At this stage, the high-level personalities will be involved actively in pushing the profile of the initiative. It will be followed by public rallies and free therapy camps for the in the hot zones. The social workers and medical practitioners in the region will carry out this step. The funding agency will provide a supervisory role, but it will be in the advisory board to offer technical assistance. Due to the vast experience of its personnel in matters relating to drug abuse, it shall also carry out specialized trainings to equip the social workers, health workers, and project implementers with the relevant skills. As stated earlier the project will bring many social benefits and advantages to the immediate community. It is therefore my humble request that my appeal will be heard. For clarifications regarding the above issue, please contact me on the address on the letterhead.
Holtz, C. (2008). Global health care: Issues and policies. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
UNODC. (n.p) World Drug Day 2011: Global health starts with drug-free communities. Retrieved from: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2011/June/world-drug-day-2011_-global-health-starts-with-drug-free-communities.html
Wharik T. R. (2006).Community Action on Youth and Drugs Project (CAYAD): Massey University Publishers.