SAB truck drivers will deliver 845 million condoms to 16 000 taverns in 5 years to avert 1.6 million new HIV/Aids infections.
Donation keeps critical De Aar’s Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Project going13 September 2012
A donation of R1 million by The South African Breweries (SAB) to the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR) has saved one of the Foundation’s most significant projects in De Aar from closure.
FARR was established as a section 21 non-governmental, not for profit organisation in 1997 with a focus on – amongst other things – preventing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) through the provision of awareness and prevention programmes, diagnostic services, research, education, training and surveillance.
Since then, FARR’s efforts to reduce the incidence of FAS have been globally lauded, They resulted in a 30% drop in FAS community prevalence rate in De Aar, which had the highest incidence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in the world. This year alone, FAS chairperson, Prof Denis Viljoen, received the prestigious Henry Rosett Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Field. It was the first time that the award was bestowed on a person outside of North America. Prof Viljoen, along with FARR’s CEO, Leana Olivier, also opened a FASD Centre in San Diego which is modelled on FARR’s own centre in De Aar.
One of FARR’s many success stories is a 28-year-old De Aar mother who, after four miscarriages because of alcohol abuse, gave birth to a healthy baby three months ago after completing the Healthy Mother Healthy Baby programme, supported by FARR counsellors.
“SAB has provided financial backing to FARR on a number of occasions in the past, having been also involved in its founding which was supported by the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) ,” says Dr Vincent Maphai, SAB Executive Director of Corporate Affairs and Transformation.
“When we heard that their project in De Aar, which is undoubtedly one of the most successful examples of FAS prevention in the world, was threatened with closure earlier this year, we immediately decided to donate the necessary funds to keep its doors open,” says Dr Maphai.
“When we announced that we were being forced to close our doors, we were faced with a huge media and community outcry,” explains Olivier. “Thankfully SAB’s donation has changed all that, and we are hugely grateful to them for keeping our most successful project to date going. This funding will enable our centre in De Aar to remain open for another year, which will hopefully save many more children from being born with FAS in this community. It will also enable us to continue to develop and refine our evidence based programmes for implementation elsewhere in South Africa,” concluded Olivier.