Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has today rolled out a campaign against underage drinking in partnership with Topowa Youth Mentoring Uganda, a youth empowerment and support center.
The campaign dubbed, “Cool Teens Don’t Drink” is aimed at increasing awareness and sensitizing young people between the ages of 10 and 17 on the dangers of alcohol consumption. The legal drinking age in Uganda is 18 years.
Speaking during the launch of the campaign, Uganda Breweries Managing Director Mark Ocitti said, “According to a survey conducted by Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL) among 1,134 individuals in selected slum areas in Kampala, 46 per cent of the youth aged between 12 and 17 consume alcohol and this is unhealthy for them. At Uganda Breweries Limited, preventing alcohol use in young people and reducing alcohol-related harm in society is a key priority. It is for this reason therefore that we have partnered with Topowa Youth Mentoring Uganda to continue educating about the dangers of drinking at a tender age,” Ocitti said.
Topowa Youth Mentoring Uganda is a youth support organization that invests in helping adolescents find positive motivation and gives them adequate training, tools and assistance that can help them to accomplish their dreams.
Topowa, which will be implementing this campaign for the next 2 years , will visit 30 schools in Kampala and upcountry majorly to sensitize against underage drinking.
“We shall engage with the students at different schools and teen hangouts on the dangers of consuming alcohol at a tender age. We shall use the platforms of music, dance and drama to deliver our message. We shall not stop at the children but go a step further and educate the teachers, community leaders, and train peer educators as well as give them the tools they need to influence teen drinking behavior,” said Sulaiman Katongole, the founder of Topowa Youth Mentoring Uganda.
Uganda Breweries Limited has for the last 6 years undertaken underage drinking campaigns to educate on the dangers of alcohol. In 2014, UBL entered a partnership with Straight Talk Foundation (STF) to run a campaign against underage consumption of alcohol among adolescents.
The brewery has so far reached over a million young people to reinforce the message that underage drinking is both harmful and socially unacceptable through different channels including online websites, social media, print and radio broadcasts. Over 2,000 influencers have been reached with education programs and materials designed to prevent and reduce underage purchase and consumption of alcohol via face-to-face interactions.