Next week, around 100 men residing in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, most of whom are known perpetrators of crimes against women and children as a result of alcohol abuse, will graduate from a six-week workshop that focuses on driving and inspiring behavioural change. The graduation ceremony will be held at the Motherwell Community Hall NU13, Ngedle Street, Motherwell from 10am to 1pm on 7 February 2012.
The Tavern Intervention Programme (TIP) for Men is an initiative led by the South African Breweries Limited (SAB) in partnership with Men for Development in South Africa (Medsa).
TIP addresses the negative impact of alcohol abuse on women and children and its contribution to risky behavior through an intense intervention targeting men in communities. The programme has been hailed as one of the most innovative approaches to tackling alcohol abuse in South Africa by international and local NGOs, and has also been recognised as the most sustainable intervention to curb alcohol related social problems.
“One of TIP’s unique features is that the workshops are held in taverns,” says Dr Vincent Maphai, SAB’s Executive Director of Corporate Affairs and Transformation. “We find that these are the venues where the men we target spend a large part of their day, and where they feel the most comfortable in expressing themselves.
“Few empowerment programmes attempt to deal with the source of social problems in South Africa, and instead focus solely on assisting victims of these crimes. By then it’s too late and we have not fulfilled our duty as responsible citizens to protect the innocent and vulnerable, says Dr Maphai. “SAB wants to be part of the solution by not only addressing the symptoms of the problem but by targeting its source. Empowering these men with the necessary information to become ambassadors of change will mean a better life for their families and entire communities.”
More than 500 men from various parts of the country have already graduated from the programme. Of these, 80 have completed the programme in the Western Cape and a further 100 are expected to undertake it in 2012. Many of the men have reported positive changes in their lives as a result.
Over the next five years, SAB hopes to reach at least 4000 men across South Africa.
SAB partners with a number of community based organisations and leaders – including community policing forums, tavern owners and community influencers – to ensure the success of TIP and to help identify those men who require help. Police databases and social workers assist in identifying offenders.
On graduating from the programme, the men are encouraged to sign a pledge of commitment to become ambassadors of change and champions within their community.
Following this, the men form a support group, meeting once a month where they discuss relevant issues and share any problems they may be experiencing. If necessary, men are referred to expert organisations, such as SANCA, FAMSA or social workers for further intervention. Behavioural changes in the men are tracked through the support group.