The Outreach Team continues to work to organize and lead a support group for parents suffering with alcoholism. The support group helps drinkers come to terms with their addiction, identify the problems their addictions are causing, understand and reduce the negative impacts of their children and families, economic situation and health, and eventually reduce intake and try to give up.
One of the beneficiaries of the Alcohol Support Group is 45 year old Malea*, a mother of six children, who we have been working with for four years. She lives in one of the poorer areas of the city that many of our clients come from.
When she was drinking the children were habitually neglected and none of her children were going to school. It was not uncommon for here to become violent when she was drunk. Her husband is a fisherman and as the sole provider for the family it was a struggle to makes ends meet.
Malea has completely stopped drinking now for more than one year and the change was been remarkable. She is healthier and happier. She laughed as she told us “Before I only wanted to drink and not eat but now I eat a lot and worry that I might get fat.”
The Outreach Team’s social workers continue to visit Malea and her family regularly and offer support when needed such as urgent house repairs and referrals for free medical care. The Team also helped the family with purchasing new fishing nets so they now catch more fish and crabs and sell them at the market. This has resulted in an increased income for the family. Malea was recently even able to afford to buy her children bicycles. The children use the bicycles daily as now the older school-age ones are attending classes at the local public school with the support of M’Lop Tapang’s “Back to School” program.
We are all so very proud of the progress that Malea has made and very grateful that she remains as part of the Alcohol Support Group to help and influence others in the group. There are currently 25 members in the support group that meet regularly every month.
*name and photo changed for confidentiality.