The nation’s premier beverage producer, Accra Brewery Limited, (ABL) is intensifying its campaign to discourage minors from consuming alcohol.
The initiative is to caution and educate students and pupils about the dangers of alcohol consumption at an early age.
The company has been carrying out the campaign since last year, targeting students in primary, junior high and senior high schools in the Greater Accra Region.
Over the past few weeks however, the campaign has picked up steam with talks at Christian Methodist and St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High Schools.
The following schools will also be reached before the end of February; Accra Academy, Kaneshie Technical High School and Achimota School.
As part of ABL’s objective of creating a sociable world, the initiative, is to ensure that the company’s products are developed, marketed, sold and consumed with high regard for individual and community well-being.
The campaign meant to reach 8,000 underage persons directly by March 2016, aims at educating the public, particularly persons under the age of 18 about the dangers of alcohol consumption.
It is in pursuit of inculcating affirmative change in the younger generation that the company organized a seminar for over 1000 students, drawn from select second cycle schools within the Greater Accra Region, on the harmful effects of underage drinking.
The facilitator of the anti-underage drinking campaign, ABL’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Cyrus de Graft- Johnson, notes that ABL, as a good corporate citizen, has the mandate to prevent underage drinking to demonstrate the company’s commitment to the well-being of society.
He advised the students to desist from alcohol intake since it could jeopardize their future aspirations and also pose serious health issues such as impaired brain development and physical arm.
“In as much as making huge sales and profits are important, we would not renege on our commitment to promoting responsible alcohol consumption. It is our belief that alcohol consumption is for adults and not for people below the age of 18. The issue of underage drinking may not be a pronounced problem as of now, but we cannot sit and wait for it to take a deeper root in our society. As they say, prevention is better that cure’’, Mr deGraft-Johnson said.
While cautioning the students to discard the notion that alcohol could assist them study better, he is urging students to focus on their studies, read widely and take their education seriously.
He noted that the interaction follows some other programmes which had been undertaken by the company since 2014 to impact positively on the youth.
“We are stepping up the pace to ensure that more underage persons are reached. We will welcome any collaboration with any institution that is ready to go on this journey with us. The school authorities have so far been very accommodating and we are grateful”, he stressed.
Some of the students who have so far participated in the interactive talk sessions commended ABL for the sensitization programme, adding that they had acquired valuable information.
“This seminar has made me understand that alcohol consumption, at my age, will impede my performance and mental development” stated 15 year old Belinda Dogbe of Achimota Basic School.
“I will now politely refuse to go on any errand that requires me to buy alcohol for any adult” said 14 year old Samuel Ofoe of Kotobabi 2 JHS.
Both students participated in a pre-valentine day talk session in partnership with Dream Believe Achieve, a mentoring group of young professionals.
By: Accra Brewery/Ghana