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Funding for ARA-Perdeberg wine project to continue

The ARA-Perdeberg wine project will continue until 2015 following the alcohol industry's approval for funding with plans to expand the project into the Robertson wine region. Based on the success of the project in Perdeberg, Robertson Winery has agreed to participate and will be using a similar framework for its project.
Crèche community project
Crèche community project
"We are grateful that the funding has been approved for our current project and that interested stakeholders want to see the project expand into other areas," said project manager Santi Basson.

"The ARA-Perdeberg Wine Project has truly helped us to identify the needs of these communities and pinpoint areas where they require support. With the buy-in of the producers, together we have been able to create something sustainable for the workers and improve their living standards on a day-to-day level," continued Basson.

Since the beginning of the year, Basson has met the various alcohol producers participating in the project. Various needs for the workers were identified and information about the services, such as counselling, were shared. A community vegetable garden was identified as a necessary need and the feasibility around creating one on the farms will be discussed in the coming months.

Alcohol abuse, foetal alcohol syndrome and labour concerns

The ARA-Perdeberg Wine Project was launched in August 2011 and designed to address social issues such as alcohol abuse, foetal alcohol syndrome and labour concerns among the farm worker communities in this area.

"Issues impacting on these farm worker communities have put producers under pressure to address these problems on a daily basis. There is also increased pressure on producers to facilitate career-orientated, rather than task-orientated, training. It is a complex problem with numerous factors directly influencing farm worker communities such as illiteracy, poor health, poor self-esteem as well as increasing abuse of drugs and alcohol," said ARA spokesman Adrian Botha.

Intervention programmes including HIV/AIDS, personal hygiene, diabetes, hypertension awareness, foetal alcohol syndrome and alcohol abuse have been put into action. Independent social workers have conducted responsible parenthood interventions, as well as First Aid level one and Occupational Health and Safety training programmes. An independent service provider, specialising in early childhood development, is responsible for the training of the crèche facilitators to ensure that children attending the crèches reach their milestones.

Other programmes the project hopes to implement over the five year project period include:

  • ABET or adult basic education;
  • Help with financial management of the earnings and expenditures;
  • Life skills and work skills training;
  • Health facilities, such as clinics close to the farms;
  • Transport for adults to access health care and for children to attend school;
  • Recreation activities for members, especially over weekends to prevent binge drinking;
  • Identify building(s) that could be used as community centres by the farm worker community for meetings and other activities;
  • Bursaries and financial aid to promising learners; and
  • The establishment of a Youth club, Women's club and Sports club where workers and their families can participate in crafts, hobbies and other interests.

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