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JHI PROPERTIES MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN CHATSWORTH COMMUNITY Corporate Social Responsibility project address serious drugs issue

Chatsworth Shopping Centre in Durban, which is owned by Sanlam Life Insurance and managed by JHI Properties, was recently globally acknowledged for a community project initiated by the centre management to raise awareness among schoolchildren of the serious effects of drug use.

The prestigious award was presented to the centre by the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) for ‘Sugars, The Bitter Truth’ - a comic book addressing the dangers of ‘sugars’, the street name given to a drug which is a highly addictive and even lethal combination of heroin and cocaine.

The ICSC Solal Marketing awards recognise the most effective retail marketing campaigns across Europe and South Africa, and are seen as a benchmark of quality throughout the industry.

With the assistance of the Chatsworth Anti-Drug Forum and Primedia Lifestyle, the centre decided to take action and created a comic book to raise awareness of the devastating impact this increasingly popular drug is having on families in the local community. 

Comments Rubecca Khan, portfolio manager of JHI Properties: “The Sugars Comic Book was initiated in 2010, with the launch event held in August that year, and the first edition comprising 20 000 copies was distributed to approximately 45 primary schools (Grades 5-7) in the Chatsworth and Shallcross communities. To date five editions of the comic book have been produced and distributed, with each edition on a different theme but all related to the drugs issue.”

Adds Nishtha Sanichur, Marketing Manager of Primedia Lifestyle: “Chatsworth Shopping Centre is looking at re-producing the existing editions of the comic book as there will always be new learners who will benefit from the original storyline which effectively communicates the dangers associated with drug use and abuse. The centre is also looking at producing actual costume characters of those featuring in the comic books and conducting road shows at schools, to bring the message ‘to life’ and further increase awareness.”

The ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping centre industry, with more than 55 000 members in over 90 countries. Comments JHI Properties KwaZulu-Natal regional director Rob Moran: “As managers of Chatsworth Shopping Centre and together with Sanlam Life Insurance and Primedia Lifestyle, JHI Properties is proud to receive this recognition from such a highly respected global organisation. It is testament to the centre’s close involvement in the local community and desire to make a difference.”

Adds Khan: “As a corporate company operating in the heart of Chatsworth and being genuinely concerned about the youth in the community, we identified the need to address this issue by talking directly to the primary school children in the area. In this way our aim was to address the drug issue in a relevant, attention-getting format aimed at the target age group ie grades 5, 6 and 7, before they become aware of it in high school – where the drugs tend to filter through.  This is achieved in a comic book which effectively deals with the reality and seriousness of the situation and the consequences.”

For further information contact Rubecca Khan of JHI Properties at Chatsworth Shopping Centre on 031 4035451 or email rubecca.khan@jhi.co.za.

Ends

Issued by Gaye de Villiers


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