Community leader and Local Hero Ernest Shangali founded the Ernest Rehabilitation Centre Tanzania (ERCT) to support and care for people affected by and struggling to overcome drug addiction. As a rehabilitated drug addict himself, Ernest understands the challenges addicts and children of addicts face. There are few resources outside of ERCT where individuals can seek help in breaking their addiction due to the abundance of other community issues like poverty, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. ERCT has become a beacon of hope for the many struggling adults and children in the community.
Ernest is particularly determined to keep youth off drugs and ensure they get an education so that they can have options and future opportunities in life. He has established a partnership with the Kilimanjaro Regional Social Welfare Office and the local police so that youth who are caught using drugs are first brought to ERCT for care to immediately receive the support and assistance they need in order to prevent them from further experimentation with drugs. As part of the rehabilitation program, ERCT provides vocational training, skills development, income-generating activities and educational scholarships to children of addicts. Read more about Ernest’s project with GO below.