Kamelamos Guinar (meaning 'We want to be heard'). A programme for the prevention of drug addiction, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted disease among Gypsy children and teenagers

Quality level: 2


This is a specific programme to prevent drug use and HIV among Gypsy children and teenagers living in Santiago.

Type of intervention:
Type of approach:
Target group:
children/young people
Age group:
Annual coverage:
Substances addressed:
tobacco, cannabis, alcohol, cocaine and derivatives
Evaluation type:
outcome evaluation, impact evaluation, process evaluation
Start date:
End date:

Overall objective

Introduce teenagers from the Santiago Gypsy community to content on the prevention of drug use, HIV/AIDS and STD (sexually transmitted disease), in a manner in keeping with their cultural codes.


Since 1999 the Municipal Drug Addict Support Unit conducts a specific programme to prevent drug use and HIV among Gypsy children and teenagers living in Santiago. The name of the programme is "KAMELAMOS GUINAR", meaning "we want to be heard" and this is the programme philosophy; allowing teenagers and children to tell us what they know and talk about it. Many of them have first-hand knowledge and experience with drugs. They need to talk about it and contrast the information with their own beliefs. This programme takes their cultural differences as a point of departure, combining prevention strategies with the need to mainstream the population to standard resources. Gypsy minors' situation with respect to formal education, schooling and social mainstreaming is typical of socially disadvantaged groups. This is aggravated by the attitude of the Gypsy population towards schooling, which they regard to be foreign and far removed from Gypsy interests and values, since among other things it retards the incorporation of Gypsy youngsters to adult roles, which traditionally takes place at an early age. This general situation is applicable to the target group, characterized by: - Lack of schooling and high absenteeism rates. - High percentage of pupils with learning problems and lower than average performance at school. - Scant parental involvement in the formal education process, generally keeping their distance from academic institutions. - Substantial shortfalls in social resources and skills: scant control of emotions, aggressiveness. - Drug problems in the nuclear family. Working in the area of prevention with the Gypsy community calls for the creation and consolidation of a dynamic social network that supports, participates in and shares the preventive strategies proposed. In difficult social circumstances, where subjects are needy. prevention must form a part of their everyday lives and problems.

The PDF contains the full intervention description including additional contact information.