Graphic scenes highlight the reality of white street beggars’ motives
Solidarity Helping Hand’s new documentary, Bedwelmd (Drugged), highlights the harrowing world of drugs and the devastation caused by addiction to it. The documentary contains conversations with both current and recovering drug addicts and their loved ones, and graphically showcases the tragedy of drug addiction from begging on the streets to the broken lives caused in its wake. Bedwelmd aims to make the public aware of the dangers thoughtless charity for beggars on the streets of South Africa.
In a qualitative study undertaken by Helping Hand, respondents claimed that up to 90% of white beggars are addicted to drugs. Experienced investigative journalist, De Wet Potgieter, took the camera crew into the dark underworld of drug abuse and addiction. The viewers can see firsthand what life is like on the streets and how the people try to escape from the cycle of addiction.
Interviewees include Ado and Michael Krige, the managers of House Regeneration Rehabilitation Centre, as well as Jacques Papenfus of Moeg Gesukkel Rehabilitation center. The documentary also includes conversations with rehabilitating and former drug addicts, as well as a couple anguishing over their son’s addiction.
Helping Hand’s 150 branches, including 250 staff, supporters and volunteers, stood on street corners and at traffic lights to beg with unconventional slogans on their signs. Helping Hand wishes to inform the public that in spite of the ludicrous messages on these pretentious signs, the public still gave them money.
“When the public gives money to beggars on street, there is a misconception that the money will be used to support their livelihoods. Sadly the public does not realize the damage they unwittingly cause in the lies of these street beggars,” said Dr. Danie Brink, chief executive at Helping Hand. “The graphic scenes in Bedwelmd aims to bring across the hard reality of drug addiction.”
The documentary was released at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria on 21 April. Helping Hand believes that donations should rather be given to trustworthy organizations who are committed to helping the poor. The organization urges the public not to give money to beggars as the money only feeds the beggar’s addiction. Helping Hand’s study showed that the majority of beggars need specialised help to treat their addiction.
For more information about the #geeREG campaign, please contact Lizelle Joubert, project leader at Helping Hand on 012 644 4390 of send an email to [email protected]