Breaking the chains of evil

Mamelodi, South Africa :: In a poor town in South Africa, teenagers struggle with drug addiction and no hope in sight.

Along the streets of poverty in Memelodi, teenagers sit in a drug shack rolling a couple of marijuana cigarettes, idling their lives away. Raul Maya (US) sits with them and starts talking to them as they suck on the joints, inhaling that moment of brief pleasure and exhaling a breath of self-pity and guilt that seems to engulf their entire self.  A life yearning for change, yet bound by the chains of the devil that grips tightly onto them. To help these boys, Raul encourages them to join a programme called Teen Challenge organized by OM South Africa, a three-month programme where they go through rehab and don't leave until they have quit drugs. While walking along the same streets one day, Raul befriends two boys, Robert* and Stephen*, who are heavily addicted to drugs. He makes a bet with them and tells them that if they reduce to smoking two joints a day for a week, he would cook a Mexican meal for them. The deal is made official in black and white and even stamped and copied. After waiting anxiously for a week, he meets the boys again and is thrilled to find out that the boys not only kept their promises but have even decided to join the rehab programme!

*Names changed


By Flora Man