Fundación Fenix Drug Prevention Campaign Event

Ambassador Dogu poses with the winning team of the foundation's internal girls league

Discurso de la Embajadora Laura F. Dogu
Managua, 21 de abril del 2016

Ambassador Dogu shows pictures on her mobile phone to a group of kids
Ambassador Dogu talks to a group of kids from the foundation

Good morning everyone!

It is a pleasure to be here in Ciudad Sandino with all of you to celebrate Fundación Fenix’s drug prevention campaign and the “Schools for Parents.”  Thank you to Fundación Fenix who organized this event for so many parents, mentors, special guests, and young people.  It is clear that the U.S. Embassy’s partnership with Fundación Fenix has made a positive impact in Ciudad Sandino, Mateare, Los Brasiles, and District two of Managua.

We are proud to continue this partnership with Fundación Fenix on such an important topic to the United States and Nicaragua.  No matter where you live, drugs and violence only serve to disrupt our families, schools, and communities, and diminish opportunities for success.  That is why this project is so relevant. It is helping families strengthen communication skills. It also helps parents learn how to protect their children from the risks associated with drug use and violence.  Youth are able to see the benefits of a healthy and productive lifestyle, so they can make the right life choices into adulthood.  Taken together, the prevention education and the vocational training provided through this project, will no doubt make for a better future generation here in Ciudad Sandino and beyond.

And since tomorrow is Earth Day, I think it’s a great opportunity to take a look around at the way Fenix has greened their facilities with funding from the United States over the last year.  I love that the project purchased solar panels to help cut electrical costs, and a rain water harvesting system for more environmentally efficient farming practices here at Fenix.

To the many young people here today, I hope you will continue to improve communication with your parents, and that you are mindful about the dangers of drugs and violence.  The vocational skills some of you have learned will also take you far, as you make future decisions and choose career paths.  It’s not always easy to be able to make the right decisions, like saying “no” to drugs. But it’s important to recognize that friends that do not accept a “no” are not true friends. For that you have the support of your peers, parents, and teachers.

To the parents: thank you for the role you are playing in the development of your children. Not all parents decide to invest their time the way that you have done. As a mother, I know it can be overwhelming to cultivate a relationship with your children, especially adolescents, and to try to instill values in their upbringing.  Sometimes, we feel we do not even speak the same language.  I am happy that this program is helping you to improve communication channels with your children, and as a result helping them make better decisions for a brighter future.

I’d also like to say a special thank you to the psychologists and mentors here today.  We hope this program has been equipping you with knowledge on drug prevention, allowing you to better identify youth-at-risk.  Many of us probably remember that one great instructor or mentor who pointed us in the right direction during our upbringing. I am sure that these youth will remember you. Thank you for all that you do to help the youth engaged in this project. Each one of you here today plays an important role in this campaign.

The United States appreciates your commitment and dedication to this common goal of drug and violence prevention, and economic prosperity.  All of you can make a real difference in your neighborhoods.  Thank you to Fundación Fenix for a successful campaign. Congratulations to you all, and enjoy this wonderful event.