Nelson Mandela University: Partnership to restore hope through fight against substance abuse

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Substance abuse remains one of the biggest challenges affecting our communities and a concerted effort is being made to address this social ill in the Eastern Cape, in general, and Gqeberha, in particular.

This, through a recently launched partnership between Nelson Mandela University, The Hope Revolution Vision and the Department of Social Development Professions around the theme “Creating Cycles of Hope: From Confronting to Carefronting”.

The launch on 24 August 2022 at the institution’s Missionvale Campus also served as the initial conversation between the partners, several faith-based organisations, government officials, schools and other stakeholders working in this sector.

The Hope Revolution is an organisation that aims to collaborate with communities on programmes aimed at eradicating substance abuse, which has been identified as one of the cancers eating away at the healthy fabric of society.

It mobilises individuals, families, churches, communities and other like-minded organisations to engage in this much needed project. It is working to establish and develop a programme in the prevention, early intervention and awareness about substance abuse and its associated dangers.

“South Africa, as an emerging democracy is frequently referred to as the ‘Rainbow Nation’. However, we are facing another oppression and slavery, which is substance use and abuse. These are escalating at an extremely alarming pace with the greatest concern being for our children and youth,” says Hope Revolution’s Jacobus Nomdoe.

The launch conversation culminated in the development of a programme under the theme: “An ecosystem to make a significant impact to reignite hope in our communities”. For the programme to be activated, the participants of the launch agreed on the following plan of action:

Stakeholders who were part of the start-up engagement at Missionvale Campus will network to support existing community programmes aligned to the programme launch.
The Hope Revolution Vision, in partnership with Mandela University, will facilitate training in the adopted “carefronting” approach toward the community-based substance abuse module. This module will be rolled out in areas identified by participants in the programme launch engagement.
Mandela University is to consider a form of recognition for participants of The Hope Revolution Vision module.
Establishing the following structures to facilitate the implementation of the action plan:
Stakeholder Community Working Group: This will comprise participants of the start-up conversation last month. Participants to this group will grow as other stakeholders are identified.
Coordinating Committee (CC): Seven participants of the programme launch volunteered to form part of the CC.
The first rollout of the programme is forecast to be in October 2022.
“The Hope Revolution Vision and Mandela University are excited with the outcome of the programme launch and are looking forward to collaboration with other relevant stakeholders in fighting community-based substance and alcohol abuse,” said Bruce Damons, The Director of Mandela University Engagement Office, who is leading with Mandela University Transformation Office and Social Development Professions as collaborative internal partners of the institution’s contribution to the partnership.

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