In 2005, with the aim of establishing “Drug Free Communities through Drug Free Pesantrens”, the Colombo Plan initiated a programme to support and strengthen the Pesantren (Islamic Boarding School)-based prevention and aftercare programme in Indonesia. The initiative is also in accordance with the Colombo Plan objective of addressing the needs of its member countries and uses the strategy of mobilizing faith-based organizations in drug demand reduction. The Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme (CPDAP), collaborates with the Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulamak (NU) and the National Narcotics Board of Indonesia in the implementation of this Programme. The initiative is funded by Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, US Department of State.
Since its inception, a total of 12 Pesantrens with a total of 36,000 students participates in the programme. These Pesantrens are:
The main activities implemented by the Pesantrens are primary prevention, early intervention, aftercare and referral services. The teachers of the Pesantrens selected to implement the programme were trained by the CPDAP in developing a comprehensive Pesantren-based prevention and aftercare programme. The teachers are also trained to integrate life skills into their school curriculum.
In primary prevention, the Pesantrens integrated preventive drug education into their curricula which includes the Colombo Plan life skills module for youth. Apart from the curriculum of preventive drug education, the teachers of the Pesantrens were also trained on activities to be implemented through co-curriculum which includes peer-led strategies and activities relating to drug prevention. From time to time, the Pesantrens also organised awareness programmes targeting the whole school and the surrounding community. Activities conducted include essay writing on drug issues, film shows on drug abuse, seminars for parents and teachers, and wall magazines on drug abuse.
As part of the early intervention activities, the Pesantrens conducts random drug screening of students and provide counseling and life skills training to high risk students. For the severely addicted students, they are referred to treatment centres. In view of the scarcity of treatment services in certain areas, the Pesantrens started to implement aftercare services catering to recovering persons in the community. Support group meetings, counseling and social integration are some of the activities conducted.
The CPDAP regularly monitors the performance of the each Pesantrens and conducts visits to the Pesantrens and have meetings from time to time to evaluate their activities. Pesantrens are also required to send quarterly reports of their activities to the Colombo Plan.