On Thursday, 26 October, MARC (Mkhondo Alathia Rehabilitation Centre), held their annual general meeting at the NG Church hall.
The meeting was opened by Pastor Victor Vilakazi with a beautiful scripture stating that we need to focus on what is wrong in our world and build a wall of faith so that we can separate ourselves from the devastation that drugs, crime and other issues cause in our country. The welcoming was done by Mr Barry van Rensburg and he expressed his gratitude towards each individual who contributed to the success of MARC during 2017. The minutes of the previous annual general meeting were read by Mrs Katherine Mahodeo and there were no new matters arising that needed discussion.
Sister Ndlela, Chairperson for MARC, had the opportunity to discuss the annual Chairman’s Report and she mentioned that the biggest issue that surfaced in 2017 was the shortage of rehabilitation centre facilities in Mpumalanga. Patients have to be placed on a waiting list which causes them to relapse and detoxification centres are fully booked. It was also mentioned that MARC successfully met with 4 families of patients and taught them how to help the addicts to stay on the road to recovery.
MARC managed to open a satellite branch in Embalenhle which is running smoothly at this stage. Sister Ndlela emphasized the fact that children as young as 8-years old are addicted to drugs and it is an ongoing battle that needs to be fought daily. It was time for Mr Van Rensburg to discuss the Director’s Report with the audience. He mentioned that it is usually a long and extensive report and he would like to invite interested parties to visit the MARC office in Church Street, if they would like to go through the report.
Mr van Rensburg highlighted some of the report’s results in comparison with 2015/16. For prevention and awareness in 2015/16, MARC reached 6 354 people, whilst in the following year, they managed to reach 8 326 individuals. New cases for 2015/16 were 139 and in the following year 246 new cases were registered. Special efforts were made to introduce induction to the current staff members which provided them with the much needed training so that they are equipped with knowledge in all the necessary fields.
Guest speakers addressed the audience by informing them about recognizing the stages of addiction, the importance of support to a loved one and aftercare. Mr Van Rensburg introduced the selection of the Management Board and he asked Sister Ndlela to hand over the Certificates of Appreciation.
The event was closed off by a few beautiful songs performed by some of the in-patients and two poems were read. Thereafter, Ms Jeanné Stapelberg thanked everyone for their interest and participation in MARC and invited everyone to enjoy a warm cup of coffee and a plate of eats. Thank you to each and everyone’s involvement in helping MARC to reach their full potential and more.