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Funding for foetal alcohol research

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De Aar Solar Power announced on Tuesday that it would be putting its support behind the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research by funding the organisations presence.

De Aar Solar Power announced on Tuesday that it would be putting its support behind the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR) by funding the organisations presence. Picture: Supplied

WHILE South Africa, and specifically the Northern Cape, has the highest rate of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the world, a research centre will be set up in Britstown to ascertain the prevalence of FAS among its residents.

De Aar Solar Power announced on Tuesday that it would be putting its support behind the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR) by funding the organisation’s presence in Britstown, a small farming community in the Northern Cape.

FARR will be following a three-pronged approach in this small town, commencing with research to ascertain the prevalence of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome  in the area. This will be supported by a prevention and awareness programme as well as training.

“FAS is the most common preventable form of mental disability in the world and is estimated to affect three million children in our country, with a significant percentage from the communities in and around De Aar. It is expected that Britstown may be equally impacted, which is why we have chosen to provide funding for this programme that commences with in-depth community research,” explained Harrisinah Theka, economic development officer at De Aar Solar Power.

FARR will be setting up local offices in Britstown so that it can service the community properly. This office will serve as an administrative base as well as providing community support, especially to expectant mothers and young children.

FARR is a leading NGO source of research and information on Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and the most severe form of this disorder, FAS, in South Africa.

The organisation is dedicated to building positive futures in South African communities by significantly reducing birth defects and mental disabilities caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

“We have previously supported FARR in the community of De Aar and are now helping the NGO expand its work into new communities,” said Theka.

FARR has become a hub for experts, community workers and everyday South Africans who are determined to improve the lives of those affected by FAS, their families and caregivers. They are involved in training, education, research, prevention, support and management projects across South Africa.

“We believe that FARR has an important role to play in rural communities across our country, such as the small town of Britstown in the heart of the Central Karoo,” concluded Theka.