Fighting the drug scourge

Workshop equips participants to help communities

COMMUNITY ambassadors from various areas in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality recently attended a five-day workshop to equip themselves in a bid to change communities into drug- and alcohol-free areas.

FORWARD STEP: Facilitator Colber Prosper, left, Clodia Swanepoel, Veronica Kock, Bernito Gosling, facilitator Irina Broughton, (back), Jona-Lize Erasmus and Jowaine Jurie show off the certificates received at an anti-drug workshop last week Picture: SUPPLIED

About 40 participants from different sectors of their respective communities attended the workshop, initiated by The South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) in partnership with Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (Cadca) at the Osner Hotel last week.

The participants are from Breidbach, Duncan Village, Buffalo Flats and Scenery Park. They received certificates from Cadca on completion of the course.

The Breidbach participants found the workshop helpful as they see on a daily basis how rife drug and alcohol abuse have become in their community.

Bernito Gosling, who is a member of the Belstone Congregational Church in Breidbach, said the skills they had acquired at the workshop would benefit the entire community, as what they had learnt could help others to overcome social ills like drug abuse.

“In a period of one week we were taught so many things, such on how to overcome drugs within our community; who to be working with; what a coalition is; how to arrange meetings and bringing on board other important stakeholders,” Gosling said.

“We are five members and will be called the Breidbach Anti-Drug Coalition, and will be working closely with all other structures within our community to strive in bringing chance,” he added.

Cadca is an international organisation representing more than 5000 community anti-drug coalitions in the United States and abroad, and holds consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and enjoys non-profit status in the US.

They build – and strengthen – the capacity of community coalitions by providing technical assistance and training, public policy education and advocacy, coalition-specific media strategies, national conferences and special events.

Another Breidbach resident, Clodia Swanepoel, commended Sanca and Cadca for the opportunity.

“I extend my sincere gratitude to Sanca for allowing me to attend the course and I also have to commend the Cadca facilitators for the professional way in which they presented the workshop,” Swanepoel said.

She is looking forward to implementing the knowledge gained from the course..

Sanca director Roger Weimann said it was a pleasure to have the Breidbach group with them and they were looking forward to developing a long-term relationship and a strong coalition.

“I think the course was excellent and that using the model they gave us to implement change can only be beneficial in our communities.”


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