14 Dec 2018

Tonga youth camp to look at drug issue

5:17 pm on 14 December 2018

A church in Tonga is hoping to reach up to 10,000 youth at camps this month which they say will prioritise drug-use as an issue which needs to be addressed.

The Centenary Church of the Free Wesleyan Church

The Centenary Church of the Free Wesleyan Church Photo: Peacebuilders International

The Free Wesleyan Church, the largest denomination in the country, is running its youth camps across Tonga next week.

President, the Reverend Dr Finau 'Ahio, said the annual camp would look at the problem of drug-use.

His comments followed an appeal by a women and children's advocate for the country's leaders to meet and discuss the growing problem of methamphetamine.

Dr 'Ahio said drug use was a national problem but the church was working on solutions.

"This camp is purposely for young people and for us, a church, to deal with the problem of drugs and alcohol. We have a reach-out programme for young people.

"This camp is going to be held in every village church."

Dr 'Ahio said his church was also counselling drug users discreetly in an effort to slowly reintegrate them into a healthy community.