“We aim to instil faith in a better future for all by changing the lives of children, families and communities adversely affected by the abuse of alcohol.”
The Beyers Truter Foetal Alcohol-Syndrome and Interrelated Treatment Help Fund (FAITH) is a new Section 21 company geared to tackle one of the most serious issues in the winelands head-on.
The FAITH Fund will operate as a non-profit organisation and a credible vehicle for raising funds through various activities, and to distribute donations for specific projects, charities and other organisations working with children, families and communities affected by alcohol abuse, with a particular focus on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Because it is known to be the foremost preventable reason for mental retardation and birth defects in such cases, the Beyers Truter Faith Fund recognises the importance of health education in reducing the number of alcohol-exposed births. The FAITH Fund pledges to fund the implementation of innovative ideas in advocacy, prevention, education and intervention.
The board of directors include internationally acclaimed winemaker Beyers Truter; current premier of the Gauteng Province, Mbhazima Shilowa; and Springbok wing from the victorious 1995 RWC team, Chester Williams.
Together with their fellow board members they have one desire and that is to eradicate Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). This umbrella term is used to describe a broad range of effects associated with alcohol use during pregnancy. The spectrum can include physical defects as well as effects on the brain that may result in problems with learning, emotions and behavior.
Pregnant women who drink do not intentionally harm their unborn babies. In most cases, they simply do not know about FASD or fully understand the risks. They may have been given incorrect information about alcohol and pregnancy from family, friends or health care providers. Through the Beyers Truter Faith Fund we expect to generate enough capital to implement programs to address these issues.
FASD and associated alcohol abuse may be sensitive topics for some but it is important to talk loudly about it and to help in every way possible. The Beyers Truter Faith Fund aims to do just that. And it needs your assistance to do that.