Support for addicts’ parents

2018-06-26 06:00
Patricia de Lille speaking at the launch of the Marcelino Community Support Group. From left are Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli, De Lille, and councillors Gorge March and Rashid Adams.  PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM

Patricia de Lille speaking at the launch of the Marcelino Community Support Group. From left are Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli, De Lille, and councillors Gorge March and Rashid Adams. PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM

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A new project, championed by ward councillor Rashid Adams, is set to provide much needed assistance and training to the parents of drug addicts in view of finding solutions to deal with their daily issues.

Substance abuse being a major problem in the community of Athlone, Adams launched the Marchelino Community Support Group at Athlone Stadium in the presence of more than 80 locals on the day.

Mayor Patricia de Lille opened the launch by urging families to never give up, despite knowing how hard the situation might be, and made a plea for the community to work hand in hand with the City of Cape Town to fight substance abuse.

“With the month of June being dedicated to our youth, we shouldn’t just help them during this time. We should assist them throughout the year to fight substance abuse.

“It is our responsibility as a community to see that our children are saved. We must put our heads together to sort out the problem, and as parents we must help our children,” said De Lille.

“Young people battling substance abuse are often rejected in their communities and substance abuse has torn many families apart. We need to tackle this issue on all levels by implementing preventative programmes.

“This programme is the brainchild of Adams who has brought together the City and non-profit organisations to support parents in his ward.

“This innovative approach with this support group is just one of many interventions the City is implementing to ensure that the next generation has access to opportunities, and lives in a more inclusive and caring city. As much as we reach out to young people to walk the journey with them, they too have choices and each day we must all work together to empower the youth to make the right choices,” added De Lille.

Adams said the name and inspiration for the support group comes from a very special resident in the community of Athlone.

“This support group comes from a very good inspiration. About two and a half years ago I met a man by the name of Marchelino Hendricks. Knowing him for a period of time allowed me to see and understand what is happening in the life of a drug addict,” said Adams.

“The beauty of Marchelino was that even though his life was troubled by drugs, he always had the plight to fight the community issue, and to change, and to care for someone else who was also fighting drug abuse. This is when I realised a support group is needed in this ward to find solutions for our youth. I then made contact with various groups on the idea. The sad thing is that Marcelino is not here today to share this event with us. He was brutally murdered on Wednesday 30 May.

“In honour of his life, I announce that this support group is named after him,” Adams added.

De Lille and Adams unveiled a plaque dedicated to the late Hendricks (30), who had been killed three weeks prior to the launch. Hendricks’s mother, Carol Hendricks, his 16-year-old son Cody Hendricks and sister Done Hendricks were present for the special launch.

Hendricks’s sister also read a tribute to her brother and thanked the founders of the support group for naming it in his honour­.

The Marchelino Community Support Group is set to train 20 parents from Athlone this month, by creating a platform for them to start talking to one another.

The Mosaic Centre for Abused Women and Children, Horizon Halfway House, the Matrix Clinic and the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate are among many groups tasked to provide the necessary training to the community.

Adams says participants will be trained on how to deal with substance abuse and will be given guidance on how to identify the possible signs of substance abuse. They will also be provided with information on where to seek help and will be taught how to assist other parents in the community who may have similar problems.

V For more information, call Rashid Adams on 021 820 2002.

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