A single photo inspired 180 different stories in the “Tell My Story” project, from an NGO working to bring hope and inspiration back to drug users.The project found a creative way to show people who are addicted to drugs how different their lives could be.Children, seniors, celebrities and anonymous authors wrote a mini biography based on the same image. They were published as a 180-page book of ideas that could change a life.
Participants received a single sheet of paper with a photo and blank lines waiting for a story to be written. Each participant used his or her imagination to write down a story about everything they imagined about the young man in the photo.Some imagined him to be a superhero, others a mathematician, a trucker, and even a comedian.They named him Paulo, João, Roberto.There was an abundance of inspirational names, traits and stories to help the real man in the photo – Leo, age 32, salesman – find strength for the battle he’s fighting against drugs.
According to psychologist Ana Laura Parlato, who oversaw the project, “Leo will have 180 stories he can read to find inspiration to rewrite his own story.”“With this book, he can see the possibilities for a better life, for plans for his life.How others see him and how he can see himself as having a better future,” she comments.According to Leo, “what’s in the past can’t be changed.But I can write a different ending.”
The most recent World Drug Report, published by the UN in 2014, indicates that roughly 5% of the global population between the ages of 15 and 64, an average of 243 million people, use illegal drugs.The report further indicates that, on average, 27 million people are problematic drug users (those who consume drugs regularly or who exhibit drug related disorders or addiction).One alarming piece of data is that only one in six drug users have access to, or receive any sort of treatment for addiction.