FAMSA, churches, NGOs linking via social media

FAMSA in Port Elizabeth hoped to partner with some 170 local churches and NGOs involved in family outreach, through the medium of the new forgood social networking platform, said FAMSA board member Trevor Jennings yesterday.

He was speaking at a Christian Leaders consultation on marriage and family life in Nelson Mandela Bay. During the consultation at the Hoogland Dutch Reformed Church, delegates heard presentations by PE FAMSA director Erna Jonker on the alarming breakdown of family life in South Africa, and by Brian Helsby of Heartlines on the new forgood technology that was developed to facilitate community project networking.

During group discussions consultation delegates agreed that the free-to-use technology looked like it could play a valuable role in linking people who initiated family outreach projects with people who had the skills, resources and interest in participating in such projects. Faced with the sheer scale of the family breakdown problem, which was a factor in evils such as drug and alcohol abuse, crime, violence, teenage pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, dropping out of school, unemployment, poverty and depression, the technology was seen as offering a ray of hope.

In an interview today Jennings said that FAMSA Chairman Mvusi Gwam had allocated funds which would be used to establish the platform in the family ministry arena in PE over the next year. He said technical support would be offered to churches and groups with limited resources . He also said that somebody would be appointed, on a part-time basis, to contact all organisations involved in family restoration, to promote and assist with networking via the forgood platform.

In another social networking initiative, FAMSA in PE is currently implementing  another South African developed system, the JamiiX platform, which has the potential to greatly increase its ability to reach communities with a wide range of family support services. The system is currently being piloted at a local school where it is being used to counsel children who call for help anonymously via their preferred social media channels.

Forgood, which can be freely used by anybody, to facilitate worthy causes, will also be promoted in the city and in other centres through a banner advertisement on Gateway News. The ad will link to the forgood website.

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