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Love Thy Neighbour

You may find it difficult to talk about drugs or other substances causing addictions. But, like it or not, drugs are a problem here on the island, if not everywhere in the world. When we first got to Mallorca in 1987, we were warned that the Instituto de Educación Secundario in Felanitx was a major hub for drug trafficking here in Mallorca. Then, in the late Eighties, drugs reportedly came to Europe through the port of Marseille (France) and through the port of Palma, all courtesy of the 6th Fleet of the US Navy. We were quite shocked by the revelations at the time. It did not stop us from sending our kids to the local primary school and, between 1999 and 2006, to the very Instituto in Felanitx. From the feedback we got from our children, there was some dealing going on in the school premisses but, nothing bigger than was reported from any of our friends whose children went to school in the UK or in Germany. Perhaps things did not get out of hand over the years in Felanitx because the 6th Fleet had slowly retreated, by and large, to the Eastern parts of the Mediterranean and beyond, to the Persian Gulf. That might have been one good thing that came out of the first Gulf War, if any good there ever was.

All this I mention because I want to tell you about a fantastic organization here in Mallorca, the Projecte Home Balears, an organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, training and investigation of drug addiction. The Mallorcan set-up was initiated by Tomeu Català in 1987, a fine man if ever there was one. Projecte Home Balears belongs to the Asociación Proyecto Hombre and as such to the World Federation of the Therapeutical Communities (WFTC). This association is a consultant member of the Economic-Social Council of the United Nations. In the Balearics, Projecte Home Balears is financed by private donations as well as by a number of public bodies, such as the Agencia Tributaria, the Balearic Government, the Consell de Mallorca and by many Town Halls in Mallorca albeit, sadly, not the very one in my home town, Felanitx. Many professionals, therapists and doctors, as well as hundreds of volunteers combine their efforts to help combat addiction, help with habit-breaking, and assist in the reintegration of a few hundred drug-addicted individuals every year. Special attention is given to prevention with a Selective Prevention Programme.

The organization will celebrate its 24th anniversary later this week. A Festa will be celebrated on August 25th at 18h30 in Sa Vileta, and everyone with an open heart for their neighbour is invited to join in the celebrations. If you are too shy to attend on account of an absence of Catalano-speaking abilities, you can always send a donation to Fundació Projecte Jove, at Sa Nostra Savings Bank, account no. 2051.0003.58.1032380828. Your friendly bank clerk, wherever you bank, will be able to help. 10 € will go a long way if that is all you can spare. You never know, it might be your very own son or even your granddaughter who one day may benefit from your generosity. Thank you in advance.

If you want to know more details or if you want to become active in one way or other, or if you – God forbid – are addicted in one way or other yourself or co-dependant of someone who is, consult the projectehome website for more information.

The photo (top) was taken at the Centro de Reinserción Nou Dia in Binissalem, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: June 23rd, 2011. The time was 16:27:40. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of Projecte Home Balears.

Moltes gràcies.

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