Breidbach community takes action

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Workshop held to strengthen Breidbach Anti-Drug Coalition

FOLLOWING a growing concern regarding substance abuse and addiction in the Breidbach community, various organisations, governmental and non-governmental organisations held a workshop on Tuesday.

The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (Cadca) and Breidbach Anti-Drug Coalition (BAC) joined forces with local-based governmental institutions, non-governmental organisations and local community leaders to have the event.

BRAIN-STORMING: Cadca facilitator Lorraine Macdougall watches while groups participate in discussions during a successful workshop in Breidbach on Tuesday Picture: THEMBELA NDLUMBINI

The workshop was aimed to empower more community members in strengthening the BAC to effectively work in developing a comprehensive solution to the community’s substance abuse problems.

In attendance and listening to social worker and facilitator Lorraine MacDougall, were educators of local schools, clinic health promoters, clinic board members, church members, SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) executive members and members from the sporting fraternity, as well as youth members.

“Drug and alcohol abuse is everywhere and affecting all communities, but what is the community doing to curb it?

“Form a coalition and recruit more members that can work in this community,” Macdougall said.

“It is not about individuals, we need to build and implement strategies to create community-level change which is challenging, but mobilising your community requires working with sector representatives and reaching out to groups and individuals who can become important allies to your coalition.”

She explained that an effective coalition knows how to work with volunteers and other community stakeholders.

“A vibrant, meaningful, effective coalition becomes the group to which others turn to when they need information and resources and want to generate community action.”

The workshop attendees were divided into groups to discuss ways on how to attract and recruit members and were asked to make presentations.

After it was clear everyone understands the workshop’s purpose, they agreed to become BAC members.

Cherylene Booth, Philasande Ndobeni, Belinda Gysman, Ruth Swartz, Tully Winnaar and Deidre Coetzee were elected to assist Jowaine Jurie and Jona-Lize Erasmus as data collectors, with Desmond Coetzee as overseer and Genevieve Thompson and Kelvin de Lange his assistants.

BAC member Veronica Kock, who has announced that she will soon leave the community for good, was excited about the overwhelming support and wished the new incumbents well.

“I am excited about what has happened here today and have full confidence in the members coming on board,” Kock said.

“It is just a pity that I have to leave next month but my spirit will always be here with you and I wish you all everything of the best.”

Words of appreciation went to the facilitator for the professional way she conducted the workshop and the proceedings ended with a meal.

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