Primary students in Kicukiro schools, using OLPC Laptops to study and aware the community the effects of an emerging drug” Datura Inoxia” locally know as 36 ( trente six) in Kicukiro area.
The whole idea of holding this five days camp came from an observation made by Pauline Nyirahirwa (working on learning side of OLPC project in Ministry of Education of Rwanda). During her time voluntarily working with some students in holidays, helping them to learn more about uses of their laptops, she observed a strange movement of youth in school neighbouring forest( called ETO), and curiously she asked students about what happens in that forest, students told her about drug users taking this forest as their hidden place to practice this risky acts. She was inspired by this to suggest “Drug” as one of the themes for the three OLPC’s students camps were being organised by OLPC project -MINEDUC. Finally a five days Camp Started 16thApril
with title “ Children’s Voice Against Drugs”involving totally 24 students from two primary schools ; KICUKIRO & Nyanza both neighbouring this forest. This camp helped students to use their XO Laptops to research, gather all information about different types of drugs found and used in this area. Students also had to use the gathered information to teach other students and community members about impacts of drugs use on health, security and country development in general. Four days, students interviewed ( recording pictures, videos, writing answers using their laptops) community member, parents and invited police officer. On the last day of the camp during the campaign at school in which students were presenting their findings, a new emerging drug , declared to be famous in youth and most used was 36 ( Trente six, named after the maximum number of seed you don’t have to exceed as dose taking this drug). This plant is actually a poisonous helicinogen plant scientifically called Datura inoxia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura_inoxia, which is normally prohibited to be grown, sold, or bought in some countries mostly in Latina America.
Different students publically gave their testimony, how they came to know about this drug, all memories mostly started last three years ago. Some students admitted to used this plants seeds as drug many times, and now still seeing their friends using it. They described the effect of this drug on their health, as lost of their sensibility, temporal unconsciousness, hallucinations, vomiting, throat pain and headaches. Rutembesa Peter, P5 at Kicukiro primary school said” my brother used it, and many times he felt unconscious, passes his nights in toilets or bushes, he use to come home in the morning acting like crazy, insul
ting people, etc”.
All students confirms a high level of use of this plant seeds by students, street children and community members, mostly Bicycle taxi-men (Abanyonzi), man-power at Kicukiro market (Abakarani), and other people in this neighborhood. From the information gathered by students showed that Datura plants (36) contain dangerous levels of poison and may be fatal if ingested by humans and other animals, including livestock and pets.
Teachers confessed to not knew about this plant, which
is robustly growing every where around the school, neither the history of it being used as drug by students. The school authorities are now eager to conduct more extended awareness activities using these students work on their laptops to make sure all students and community members know about the poisonous effects of this plant.
This camp has been a great success. Besides knowledge constructed by these students about drugs, this camp helped students to build some 21st century skills , like communication skills, creativity through team work, information searching, preparing presentations using Portfolio activity and confidently present their findings to the audience.