Shebeens are complex social spaces. They provide much needed social space in communities like Sweet Home Farm with a dire shortage of both public and private recreational spaces. Shebeens enable leisure through entertainment and provide a context for social drinking of alcohol. For a significant number of people they also provide an important source of income. Yet shebeens can have negative influences through impacts of noise and drunken sociability on the neighbours and through the alcohol harms to drinkers that abuse alcohol and behave inappropriately. As the vast majority of shebeens operate without a state license and almost always in violation of various municipal zoning regulations and bylaws, they are both informal and illegal enterprises.

This report covers the first phase of the project and describes in detail the participatory research and engagement process towards the development of the concept of the Safe Shebeens strategy.

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