What is the Recovery Foundation NPO?
The Recovery Foundation NPO is the brainchild of three passionate individuals who are united in their fight to break the stigma of chemical dependency, and help maladjusted people to reintegrate and reconnect with society.
The Recovery Foundation NPO looks at the external and environmental circumstances that surround addiction and chemical dependency, such as trauma, abuse, and unhealthy environments, to better understand why a person engages in regular substance abuse. The Recovery Foundation Team emphasises the importance of connection and purpose. The Foundation believes that through creating healthy environments, encouraging strong and meaningful relationships, and fostering an individual’s passion for sports, cultural activities and other healthy outlets, people with chemical dependency issues who feel disconnected, may overcome their circumstances and find a new way to live. However, the NPO’s focus is on more than chemical dependency issues.
Brendan James van Staadan, a director at The Recovery Foundation, believes more people need help who do not have addiction issues. His focus is more on the workforce. Brendan asserts that there are many people who go to work who come from home environments and communities where abuse is prevalent. These people may be engaged in, or victims of physical abuse or violence. They then go to work and have to somehow manage and get through their day. As a result, they may resort to using substances during the day to survive. They do not have a safe place to go home to, making the use of substances a better option as an outlet for fear and frustration. These people are not drug addicts – they merely use drugs as a means to cope with their situation. Brendan has seen this in the companies he has owned. Brendan’s desire is to make the work environment safe and comfortable so those affected by abuse may deal with their problems in a secure workplace.
What is the main purpose of The Recovery Foundation NPO?
The Foundation seeks to help those with traumas process their feelings and pain. The Recovery Foundation Team also seeks to help those affected by abuse and trauma to create healthy environments at work and at home, which in turn leads to the recovery of the community.
The ultimate goal is to eradicate addiction.
How does the Recovery Foundation aim to achieve this purpose?
Before The Foundation was officially registered as an NPO, there were a couple events the team held and facilitated to raise funds for the cause. Roberto Ferreira, a director of The Foundation, completed the Cape Argus under his own name and held a soccer fundraiser to create awareness and inspire donations for the cause. These donations were used to help people get into treatment centres. After the NPO’s registration, the Foundation organised a cycling team of 22 people to participate in the 94.7 cycle race, which raised a considerable amount of money for the cause: R36 680.64.
Sporting events are a major focus of The Foundation. By increasing chemically dependent persons’ involvement in sports and team play, these individuals feel connected with others and feel a part of something healthy and fun, which encourages them to take care of themselves and put down the drugs.
A main goal of The Recovery Foundation is to help those who are not cared for by the system – those at the bottom end of society. The funds raised by the NPO are used mainly to help those who have nothing and are on the street, or about to be on the street. They cannot afford treatment so The Foundation pays for it and takes them through the process of getting clean, and assists in their reintegration into society with a focus on skills development, work opportunities and long-term housing.
How does the Recovery Foundation facilitate skills development, family reintegration and basic coping skills?
At the moment, the NPO outsources the work to the treatment centres, rehabilitation centres and halfway houses. However, the end goal is for the Foundation to have their own facility. In terms of the outsourcing, the team is very involved in what processes the treatment use and their programmes to ensure a good fit and healthy environment for the patient. At these centres, skills development courses are held as well as therapy groups with family members. The patients are also taught effective coping skills to help them feel, heal and deal from their emotions and traumas.
How does The Recovery Foundation seek to fight the stigma of drug users and chemical dependency?
The NPO aims to destroy the stigma of drug users as criminals in society. There is a general perception of drug users being subhuman and as a result, they are treated as such by the people they need most: doctors, police officers, family and friends. By spreading awareness of the cause, The Foundation hopes to change society’s view of people who use substances.
This cause has not been addressed enough in South Africa. However, on a positive note, there has been movement towards it being addressed. In SA, our progress is a bit slower than other countries, and we are considered late bloomers in terms of methadone programmes and other treatment programmes’ availability. It is also important to remember that there is lots of corruption surrounding substances, and there is a huge amount of money being made off drugs. There is resistance to change because there are a number of people who stand to lose a lot of cash when the approach to drugs changes, and old controlling ways are eliminated.
What is The Recovery Foundation’s vision for the future?
The Foundation hopes to open a drop-in centre in Hillbrow to provide substance users and non-substance users with shelter and a place to bond with others. The NPO wants to provide those on the street with a healthy and safe place, a means of lifting people out of a violent community or abusive home environment so they may find a purpose and connect with others in a meaningful and constructive way.
The Foundation also hopes to open their own facility where they can offer treatment and skills development, and also assist their patients to find work opportunities. This centre would also offer trauma counselling for those affected by trauma, abuse and violence, as well as its own detox centre. In addition, The Foundation hopes to have the involvement of educational institutions to assist with the provision of practical workshops and groups that concentrate on the acquisition of life skills and career goals.
What can you do to help?
So far, The Recovery Foundation has helped two people. The first individual is now over seven months clean and is recovering at a halfway house in Johannesburg. The other is undergoing Opiate Substitution Therapy and has been lifted out of an extremely unhealthy living situation.
By donating to The Recovery Foundation, you can help us to give people the treatment they need, and also help us in achieving our vision for the future.
The Recovery Foundation believes that humans can do whatever they want, they just don’t know that they can. But when they do, miracles happen!