On a mission to curb youth alcohol abuse
Local organisation Danonetix implemented an Anti-Alcohol Abuse Campaign (AAAC) across the province that is in its third month running, targeting the four universities in the province, Rhodes, Fort Hare, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela.
Award-winning actor Chumani Pan is the campaign ambassador, with the Eastern Cape Liquor Board acting as the funders.
The campaign hopes to shed light on the dangers and hazardous effects of alcohol abuse on the minds and behavioural patterns of young people.
Pan’s role within the campaign is to assist in making the message resonate with the young people that it is ultimately aiming to support.
“Not only is this a great initiative, but it also speaks to my own personal aims of uplifting the youth.
“I hope that my involvement further supports this cause as I believe that it is one of extreme importance.”
Eastern Cape Liquor Board official Mgwebi Msiya said there was a serious problem in the province of young people becoming heavily dependant on alcohol.
“It is even sadder when these youths are still students. That is why it is imperative that we do as much as we can to try and assist young people in overcoming this particular challenge,” he said.
Dantonetix director Khanyi Ncana said she felt the campaign was a crucial step in ensuring that the society produced a well-rounded youth.
“Part of our role within the campaign is to arm young academics with critical information that will assist them in making better informed choices the next time they wish to entertain themselves with alcoholic beverages.
“This in turn will assist us in limiting the amount of young people that find their lives forever changed through consequences that have arisen from the abuse of alcohol.
“The campaign is already in full swing and is scheduled to continue for a minimum of three years. It is our collective hope as an entire community that the message carried by this campaign makes the major difference that it seeks to.” Most of us have heard the well-founded advice, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” – a powerful concept which can prevent hastily formed opinions and flawed misperceptions that come all too easily to many of us.
The old man sitting in the corner of a bar will certainly have a story to tell of experiences and obstacles encountered, of successes and failures, family bereavements and other challenges of life.
Is it for others to judge his appearance and chosen location to while away his ebbing years and engage with memories that could enlighten the observer?
The unsociable and uncooperative old lady in a retirement home may have been dealt cards in life that were traumatic way beyond the range of experiences that have characterised our life journeys.
Do many of us too easily judge her without the perspective of insight into her defining challenges and debilitating obstacles? The beggar on the street corner or plying his trade at the traffic lights – do we have even the vaguest idea of the circumstances that have put him in that survival struggle?
Every person has a story to tell of life-affecting experiences and pivotal events that have defined who and where they are. Most don’t know of or understand these because they have not travelled the unique path which is peculiar to each one of us.
On another level, it can be argued that an unhealthy proportion of us are prone to judging the appeal of the opposite sex on looks and appearance, rather than on personality, values and character traits that are more likely to facilitate happy and successful relationships.
Maybe we are prone to making these judgments that have not been informed by “the book”. It seems sad that the human condition, encapsulating our abundant flaws, too readily relies only on “the cover”.
“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement” John 7:24
There seems to be a compelling need for much greater levels of empathy and understanding as we interact with others on our journeys through life.
MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE: Anti-alcohol abuse ambassador Chumani Pan, centre, with Nelson Mandela University students during the Anti-Alcohol Abuse Campaign