Ghana's premier beverage producer, Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), is intensifying its 'Anti-underage Drinking' 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 this campaign since last year, targeting students in primary, junior and senior high schools in the Greater Accra Region.
Over the past few weeks, the 'Anti-underage Drinking' campaign has picked up steam with talks at Christian Methodist and St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High Schools.
By the end of February, Accra Academy, Kaneshie Technical High School and Achimota School will also benefit from the campaign.
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 8000 underage persons directly by March 2016, aims at educating the public, particularly persons under the age of 18 about the dangers of alcohol intake.
It is in pursuit of inculcating affirmative change in the younger generation that the company organised 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 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 jeopardise their future aspirations and also pose serious health issues such as impaired brain development and physical harm.
“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 also urged the students to focus on their studies, read widely and take their education seriously.
He noted that this 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 collaboration from 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 in the ABL sensitisation programme said they have acquired valuable information.
“This seminar has made me understand that alcohol consumption, at my age, will impede my performance and mental development,” 15-year-old Belinda Dogbe of Achimota Basic School spoke of her exprience.
“I will now politely refuse to go on any errand that requires me to buy alcohol for any adult”, said Samuel Ofoe, 14, from 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.