FARR focused on FAS

MARAPONG — The SAVF One Stop in Marapong hosted an award ceremony on Friday 21 September where the Foundation for Alcohol Related Researches (FARR) handed over certificates to more than 20 local trainees from diverse organisations.

The workshop, FARR’s first in Limpopo, was held from 18-21 September, with the intention to equip participants with knowledge needed to run educational drives in the society, focusing on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

Attended by stakeholders that included early childhood development educators, care givers, youth representatives, peer counsellors as well as Social Development Portfolio ward committees among others, the workshop was facilitated by Therin Stoucken, the training officer at the FARR training department.

She tasked each trainee to speak to at least 20 people about FAS.

FAS refers to the physical and mental damage done to an unborn child due to alcohol consumption by the pregnant mother.

It has been medically reviewed that treatment to FAS can help but the condition can’t be cured and will require a medical diagnosis.

The risk increases if the mother is a heavy drinker and symptoms include the child experiencing problems with vision, hearing, memory, attention span as well as abilities to learn and communicate while growing up.

The physical symptoms include the child having a small head, below average height and weight, heart problems as well as kidney defects and abnormalities.

It has been further noted that while the defects may vary from one person to another, the damage is often permanent.

Therin Stoucken said that FARR aims to raise awareness on substance abuse and its effects, with a particular focus on Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and her organisation offers sustainable interventions to stop alcohol usage during pregnancy.

“The purpose of the workshop was to create awareness of FAS as well as to highlight the importance of working on one’s own self-esteem in order to be able to encourage and build up our children’s self-esteem.

“We also covered topics such as disciplining children, safety in and around the home and healthy nutrition,” she said.

The workshop was presented in an interactive style, making use of storytelling, lively discussion and other role plays.

SAVF Senior Social Worker Josephine Makhuthudisa congratulated recipients and thanked them for their commitment, hard work and dedication throughout the four-day workshop.

She encouraged them to use the training as a tool to fight social injustices that include the consumption of alcohol by pregnant mothers.

Stakeholders that attended are directly linked to the SAVF Centre in terms of their respective campaigns and events.

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