From Sunday, 24 June, until Saturday, 30 June, SANCA Week was commemorated in Mkhondo. During this time, MARC (Mpumalanga Addiction Rehabilitation Centre) took part in various activities to create awareness of substance abuse issues.
Yellow cloths were wrapped around trees and yellow ribbons were distributed to show support for the fight against drug abuse during this SANCA week. The community of Mkhondo was challenged to participate in the “Kick a Habit” project.
This project was designed for individuals to commit themselves to abstain from a habit for one week. The staff members at MARC challenged each other to quit habits such as drinking too much coffee, wearing high heeled shoes, using social media and even drinking energy drinks.
Whilst giving their feedback on the challenge, it was clear that one does not always realise how dependent you can get on something as simple as drinking too much coffee. Challenges mentioned were the need for commitment and internal motivation when getting to grips with a project like this.
It was also mentioned that pressure from friends who would offer you something you were quitting for the week, was a difficult task to say no to. People who are trying to change their lifestyle need the support of their friends and family in order for them to be successful in their endeavour.
It is difficult, but sometimes, one has to lose a few friends if you really want to stay committed in achieving your goal. Some of the participants forgot to not use sugar in their coffee, but once they realised their mistake; they did not give up on the challenge and started over again.
The lesson herein is that if you slip up, you should not give up. Continue to work hard towards your target of getting rehabilitated. Three of MARC’s staff members managed to stay “clean” for the whole week and they received an award for their commitment.
Hopefully, there will be an increase in the community’s participation in the Kick a Habit project next year as this really gives one an insight into addicts’ challenges that they face from day to day.
MARC also created awareness for SANCA week by holding two exhibitions at Boxer Supermarket and at Mall@Mfula. Information on MARC as well as substance abuse was distributed and they encourage the community to take part in the poster competition. The date has been extended to Tuesday, 31 July.
The aim of the poster competition is so that it can be used for substance abuse prevention projects. Entries can be submitted at 1B Church Street, Piet Retief or you can contact Sonja Benecke on 071 670 8536 for more information.
Thank you to the community of Piet Retief for supporting the SANCA Week and congratulations to those who silently participated in the Kick a Habit project, and succeeded.