I am passionate about the work that I do as a coach and for the past four years have been blessed to be part of the team at The Foundation Clinic in Johannesburg. The clinic is a substance abuse treatment and recovery centre that has not only been part of my professional growth over this time, but has also deepened my personal recovery and growth in ways that cannot be measured. I have seen so many people walk up the stairs of the clinic broken, shattered and empty and watched those same people leave with new hope, promise and possibility.
Sound like fulfilling and purposeful work? It is! And I am blessed to see people move from illness to wellness on a daily basis. The problem is that treatment is expensive, and in our quest to help as many people as possible, we have sometimes made people decisions rather than financial ones. Often waiving shortfalls and payment gaps on the medical aids so that we could help someone who really needed it. And these decisions have seen us fall into something of a dire situation.
Because when we forgo shortfalls, we also forgo income that is needed to keep the clinic running. So, I guess by putting individuals first, we’ve come short in a business sense. The place needs some TLC and aesthetics have a huge impact on future clientele who are planning to undergo treatment, because before they get to know us and experience the ethos of the clinic all they can see is what’s right in front of them and it’s not looking as good as it should.
I feel sad and depleted at the idea of seeing the people that desperately need help with substance abuse disorders go untreated. But it also makes me feel helpless when the bills are not being met and the staff not being paid. The commitment from the team is unparalleled and the passion that they bring to their jobs unequalled by any organisation that I have worked in. I am proud to be part of the organisation, even with it’s peeling paint and basic bedrooms. But I know that there needs to be change and this takes money. And the best way for us to generate the income we need is to fill the clinic.
It’s so hard for me to write this post, because I feel exposed and vulnerable and that’s not a comfortable space for me to be in. But my need to do what needs to be done to help save this business outweighs my personal discomfort. I just feel like the recovery community in Johannesburg would be poorer without the clinic to run support groups, community meetings, in- and out-patient programmes, and be an empowering space for the creation of #recoverycapital.
This is not about me and my job, this is about fighting for something that is REALLY worth fighting for. The Ubuntu Addiction Community Trust (U-ACT) has worked with hundreds of individuals in communities and organisations across South Africa to assist and empower those challenged by substance abuse. The team has trained recovery coaches to become resources in their own communities and support the individuals and families that are stricken by the drug culture of this country. And much of this work is done pro bono, because the people that need the help most are those that can least afford it.
I have to admit that I do feel resentful at times when I look at the work that this organisation does in return for very little at the end of the day. It’s made me question the fairness and equality of the system more than once, because the work that is done is life-changing for so many people. But then I remember that I need to be grateful for the opportunity that I get on a daily basis to touch and change peoples’ lives as they learn to know and love themselves again, and so on I go, because I am not ready to throw in the towel just yet and walk away from a place and a team and a purpose that feed my soul and allow me the chance to really live life every day. Even though the challenges are immense, the rewards are far greater than can be measured by any bank balance. There will be no white flag above my door and you can take that to the bank!
If you are in the position to assist either on an individual, organisational or corporate level, please visit our funding page for more information on how to help.
If you would like to chat about helping out or making an donation in the form of renovation materials, please contact me on (010)900-3131 or firstname.lastname@example.org