Pascal Donoghue TD for Dublin Central visited Sankalpa recently as part of our political awareness campaign. Drug services have not aways spent enough time telling the story of the work they do. Too often we take for granted that people understand the work of drug rehabilitation services. We just get on with the work and believe that people are aware of what we do. However this is not always the case and more and more services need to improve their relations with the media, politicians and other key stake holders. We can not take for granted anymore that our politicians know what we are doing, we have a responsibility to ensure that they know. Its a two way process, as the we can educate the politicians as to the work we do and the challenges we face.
Pascal arrived on his bicycle after getting lost on the Ballyboggan road. However I was impressed with his mode of transport as a cyclist myself. Pascal was friendly and warm to our service users and staff and after a brief meeting with myself, Pascal met with a number of participants to listen to their fears and anxieties around the cuts to CE and social welfare benefits. The session was very engaged and Pascal was reminded by one of the participants ‘remember, we vote now!’. And so goes out the reminder to all politicians that Sankalpa is raising the political conscientious of service users from Finglas and Cabra. Too often politicians think that once their elected they can do what they want. Sankalpa would like to promote a participatory democracy. A democracy that is built on genuine participation. Too often our citizens are excluded after the general election has ended and the votes have been counted. Lets start changing that and call our politicians to account to us the voters on a regular basis. Lets get more politically active!
Dr. Tom O Brien
Manager of Sankalpa