Community Engagement Unit Substance Abuse Programme Graduation Ceremony
Substance abuse is a major problem within South African communities, particularly in the Western Cape. The University of the Western Cape (UWC), together with the Western Cape Provincial and Local Government, has identified a need for higher education institutions to be involved in the training of professionals and community workers to deal with issues pertaining to substance abuse. These training programmes were developed by the Community Engagement Unit and introduced at the University in 2011. The training programmes are registered with the Division for Lifelong Learning and the Substance Abuse Programme is funded by the Provincial Government while the Foetal Alcohol Training Programme is funded by the City of Cape Town. Participants receive a certificate for each course they complete and those whom have completed the FAS training and at least five out of the eight modules in the Substance Abuse Training are invited to a formal graduation ceremony.
This year, 40 participants successfully completed the course and became the fourth group to graduate from the programme, together with 26 graduates from the Foetal Alcohol Syndrome training programme. The graduation ceremony held on the 15 May was attended by Professor Tyrone Pretorius, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of UWC, Professor Vivienne Lawack, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), and Mr Charles Jordaan, the Chief Director for Social Development all of whom presented speeches and well wishes to the graduates. An inspirational word of thanks to all those involved in the programme was given by the dapper looking graduating class representative, Dwain Ludick. He challenged the graduates ‘to make use of their training and make a difference in their communities’.
Next year the programme will run for its fifth consecutive year during the 2015-2016 period. The University of the Western Cape, together with all the partners involved in the facilitation and implementation of these programmes, are committed to the sustainable development of communities through meaningful community engagement activities.