Revolution Train helps reduce drug abuse among youngsters

It is a well-known fact that drug abuse has become an international problem. Almost every country is facing the menace of drug abuse. Young boys and girls take drugs and narcotics to alleviate pain but most of the time to get a thrill at being persuaded by their friends and gradually they become addicted. Prevention and awareness of youth needs to be supported not only by parents, schools or municipalities, but also by companies. And that is exactly what our colleagues from Decorative Paints in Prague did by participating in a unique and valuable project called ‘Revolution Train’. They discovered that this indeed is a revolution!

Unlike other drug addiction prevention projects – which are usually boring and young boys and girls find them embarrassing - Revolution Train shows the hard reality of drug addiction and its consequences like fear and hopelessness. Surprisingly, inspiration for this project came from Britain's Prince William. After smoking marihuana, his father took him to drug rehab and according to his own words, it was more helpful and deterrent than any other punishment. The Czech Revolution Train project envisages helping to create a new insight in ‘the wall’ that keeps most of society ignorant about this problematic issue. Modern technology is used to show where addicts end up – not only rehab but also prisons, psychiatrics, drug dens, bars, car accident place, etc.

As the project wants to reach as many youngsters as possible, a trainset, consisting of six wagons, equipped with interactive multimedia sections, will travel across the country. In these sections several stories on different levels are communicated about the causes, development and consequences of addiction. The visitors have a real life experience in this story and, thanks to the interactive technology, real policemen and bartenders, are actually persuaded to have a shot. Professional psychologists help explain the threads and treatments.

The outside of the trainset had been decorated by graffiti artists in the past years, which was found distracting by the initiators of the project. They wanted a more neutral look triggering the attention of the public. Our colleagues in Prague were consulted for professional advice and choose the perfect color for such a metal surface: Hammerite DTR silver smooth! Having heard about the revolutionary approach of the project, they did not hesitate and decided to become part of it. In close consultation with management, they agreed to connect this Drug Prevention Educational activity with their Safety Day in order to get the as many colleagues engaged as possible. This approach certainly worked – almost the entire office staff was enthusiastic. Support from the Community Program was granted, a careful planning was made and work could begin.

It was the first time that so many colleagues worked together in a team. Senior HR Generalist, Mirka Bozděchová explained their experiences: ‘Even though the main idea of this project is quite sad and serious, we had big fun there. First, it was because of the perfect weather and we’ve have been enjoying time outside. Second, it was thanks to our professional outfits which underlined that we are not just theoretical experts on decorative colors but also practical ones. Our passion for work was so strong, that also some random people were curious what was happening.’ During a break the main organizer showed our volunteering employees some video stories from the Revolution Train. It was shocking to see the cruel reality of drug addiction, but on the other hand it reminded them why they were there and about the importance of the project.

At the end of the day they were all quite excited about their achievements, working together in a team and learn about drug addiction and its consequences. ‘For a lot of our colleagues it was the first teambuilding and we are looking forward to help our community and strengthen our friendships again. And these are two perfect things to connect. At the end, the most important is to say, that we all believe, that also thanks to our contribution the number of drug addicts will decrease’, Mirka concluded. In the meantime the ‘pilot’ operation of the silver smooth Revolution Train project has started and was attended by 520 school children in the ages between 14 and 17 years old. Another 2,000 youngsters are scheduled to jump on the train in the next months. Indeed, a real revolutionary approach which will undoubtedly have a positive and sustainable effect on society.