YTL Launch

Goa’s first & largest campaign on drug demand reduction launched
Yes to Life (YTL), Goa’s first and largest operational campaign to fight substance abuse initiated by Human Touch Foundation (HTF) was launched on the eve of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The campaign was launched in the presence of Sayonara Telles, President, Children’s Court, Jyoti Sardessai, Director, Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Amit Dias, Goa Medical College and Peter F. Borges, Founder, Human Touch Foundation
The campaign encourages all to get involved in the cause: raise awareness and inspire action to help reduce substance abuse, and to mitigate its impact on society. It seeks to encourage involvement from governments, civil society, the corporate sector and lay individuals alike, to inspire action.
Human Touch Foundation (HTF) has attempted, with limited resources, to address substance abuse in Goa since 2011. The impact of substance abuse among Goan youth has been magnified on many levels. The use of alcohol and drugs is linked to the spread of HIV and other communicable diseases. The economic toll of drug-related illnesses and conditions is devastating villages across Goa and robbing the state of vital, employable citizen leaders of the future.
This campaign seeks to directly engage youth in Goa to improve their understanding of the life-altering effects of substance abuse, and to empower teens to reach their full potential. The newly launched portal,, will also provide an interactive space for general public to avail of services and accessible information on the consequential impacts of substance abuse.
Founder of Human Touch Foundation, Peter F. Borges, talking about the importance of this campaign says, “Substance abuse is one the major reasons some of our youth fail to reach their true potential. This new initiative is key in protecting and educating our children. We must ensure teens across our state have the tools and knowledge to make good decisions that will positively impact the rest of their lives. We need a wholesale shift away from the punitive, carceral approach to substance use, and toward public health strategies rooted in compassion and dignity. We also need state and central government to fund youth led prevention programmes.”
Applesta Da Costa, Head of Operations at Human Touch Foundation, speaking about the campaign, says, “Yes to Life empowers young people with the facts needed to make informed decisions for their future. The earlier teens start using drugs, the greater their chances of continuing to use them and developing substance abuse problems later in life. We must educate our children on these important issues to ensure they live long and healthy lives.”
Schools across the state will be provided the necessary resources for engagement, alongside collateral campaign material to continue essential conversations throughout the school year. By engaging with peers directly through schools, parents, and educators, this initiative focuses on direct channels that foster healthy conversations about the facts around substance use.
This campaign will help support our schools and educators in meeting requirements for instruction in the area of substance abuse prevention. The substance abuse prevention standards give students an opportunity to develop an awareness of the dangers associated with the use and abuse of harmful substances and develop essential knowledge and skills that promote a drug free lifestyle.
Nishigandha Deshpande, Programme Lead, Drug Demand Reduction, HTF, says, “Teens need to understand the long-term effects of substance use in order to make sound decisions. Yes to Life campaign is breaking new ground to ensure protection of Goa’s students and youngsters. The dangers of substance use and abuse are clear – not only can they ruin a child’s life, they can end it as well. To be crystal clear, this is an opportunity for us to help save lives and prevent tragedies through education and awareness.
The campaign is supported by Drug Abuse Prevention Centre and United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime.
Scroll to top