Fellow Since 1993
South African Videographers Association
This profile was prepared when Sanku Molaoli was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1993.
The New Idea
Sanku intends to introduce South Africa's first alcoholism recovery program specifically targeted to the black community. It will be a holistic rehabilitation and prevention program with both community outreach and an "in-house" residential component, and it will begin in the sprawling two and a half million-person township of Soweto. Once established, the "Community Alcoholism Center" will train community workers and recovered alcoholics to work with patients and to develop a community awareness program. Services and educational materials will be offered in the vernacular and will be adapted to the specific needs and problems of young adult substance abusers in the urban African community. Sanku, a recovered alcoholic, believes that only a community-based and community-sensitive approach can reverse the devastating effects alcoholism is having on the social fabric of the urban African community. Targeting the youth, Sanku will focus initially on high schools in Soweto. A volunteer network of recovered alcoholics and substance abusers will be trained to meet and address students, as well as to conduct workshops on alcoholism, substance abuse, and recovery. The Center will work closely with the Department of Education and accept referrals from high schools in the area. To further the objectives of broad public awareness of the problem, Sanku intends to draw attention to community leaders who have recovered or are recovering from substance abuse. He will organize a media campaign to publicize their struggles toward recovery as testimony to the widespread abuse of substances throughout the black community. As a modest pilot program, the Center's residential facility will initially service no more than ten patients. To the greatest possible extent, the Center will grow its own food and members will share responsibility for the Center's maintenance. Where possible, tutors will conduct remedial and supplementary classes. The Center will also offer aerobics classes, physical training skills, and training in small-scale income generating activities.