The increase of gang and drug activity on the Cape Flats in the Western Cape is causing tension within communities . These activities have a negative impact on citizens in these communities and contribute to a sense of helplessness. A community with tension can be described as “a community where the well being of its citizens is threatened”. Reconstruction or rehabilitation of ex-drug addicts are challenging due to communities with tension not being able to empower these citizens or not willing to be rehabilitated. This presents the opportunity for the use of technology as part of the reconstructing of these citizens.
Research has found that there is an increase in mobile instant messaging (MIM) amongst teenagers in South Africa . Many of whom are using MXit, a popular South African (MIM), as their primary tool for messaging . Collaborating with a local NPO, Impact Direct (041-188-NPO), we started a project to provide a platform on a mobile platform to offer advice, support and frequently asked questions (FAQs) for people impacted by drug and substance abuse. The main objective was to meet the youth on a platform that they are comfortable with as a first point of contact where they can express themselves, receive support and advice on the issue of drug and substance abuse.
We decided to equip ex-drug addicts with technology skills and under the supervision of Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and Impact Direct these reconstructed ex-drug addicts are in a position to communicate with the contacts using mobile technology giving them real answers from their own personal life experiences. This was the birth of Drug Advice Support (DAS). Not only will support be offered to substance abusers but also families, people affected by the problem. The Drug Advice Support (DAS) service also connects the contact with personal support organisations, other drug rehabilitation facilities in the local area where the contact is located when the person is ready for face to face counselling and support. To access the DAS service the user has to add our contact to their mobile MIM profile.
Click here to add DAS to MXit
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