Media Releases

Aware.org and MER Launch Unique Underage Drinking Pilot in Mpumalanga 5 June 2018

Better Tomorrow Starts Today

The Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org) together with the Mpumalanga Economic Regulator (MER) has launched a pilot project to tackle underage drinking in South Africa at an event with local stakeholders in Nelspruit.

This first phase has been rolled-out at schools in the Bushbuckridge area in Mpumalanga (Bushbuckridge Secondary School, Ngwaritsane Secondary School, Mavilian Primary and Sh Nyalungu Primary) and in Bothshabelo, Bloemfontein, (Hohle Primary, Ntemoseng Senior Secondary, Leratong Secondary and Pontsheng Primary). The MEC Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Mr. Sikhumbuzo Eric Kholwane was in attendance and delivered the Keynote Address.

“South African children are drinking from a young age, and our country has the unenviable ranking of being the third-largest consumer of alcohol in Africa, and 19th in the world. The liquor industry is seriously concerned by the stats which show that our young people are, in fact, drinking from as young as 15 years of age (in South Africa, the legal drinking age is 18 years old),” says Ingrid Louw, aware.org CEO. “To tackle this problem, we have to start the conversation earlier. This is the rationale behind our programme, which we are calling It Starts Today.”

Underage drinking is a key pillar in aware.org’s broader programme to drive social change and promote responsible drinking. The It Starts Today programme aims to change the behaviour of junior high school learners (Grades 8 and 9) with regards to alcohol. This will mean changing harmful attitudes and practices regarding alcohol in these learners, and by changing the attitude towards underage drinking within the broader community in which these learners live.

Underage drinking is firmly established in South Africa. One in two teenagers are active consumers of alcohol, and 15 percent of males and 8 percent of females have had their first drink before the age of 13.

Accordingly, aware.org has developed a multi-pronged programme to address underage drinking in collaboration with strategic partners including the MER, HDI, YDX, TeenActiv, Project Isizwe and the HSRC. These partners are integral in realising sustainable change, as they operate on the ground.

“The MER is proud to be part of this programme, which seeks to bring awareness on the issue of underage drinking and provide young people in the Province with the tools to avoid the destructive effects irresponsible behaviour can have on their future. As a regulator, it is important to continue to discourage teenagers from drinking and abusing alcohol at an early age, as this puts their lives at risk. Every day we live with experiences of young people who lose their lives whilst engaged in activities that involve drinking, resulting in the lives of young people being cut short. We need to make a collective effort as communities to prevent this from happening by educating young people about the risks of alcohol from an early age”, says MER CEO, Mr Bheki Mlambo.

One fundamental element of the programme is the distribution of specially developed material aligned to CAPS to schools for use in Life Orientation classes, accompanied by support for the educators via workshops and online support. Aware.org have also developed a zero-rated content portal (www.awarefreewifi.co.za) to further assist the programmes and community at large.

An allied initiative, Project Isizwe, will enhance the portal accessibility by providing Internet hotspots across townships. The Project Isizwe Wi-Fi rollout includes access to free content, news and a micro-job ambassador programme. It will thus provide Internet support for all It Starts Today programmes by providing the right tools to educate and ultimately change behaviour. The material is tailored content for learners, educators, caregivers and parents alike. In addition, the township Wi-fi roll out will include added services.

As important, the programme will take its message to parents, teachers, tavern owners, church leaders, local government structures and the rest of society. This community engagement will help to reduce teenage alcohol consumption by changing attitudes and providing information about the realities of alcohol abuse. It will also aim at inspiring the community to assist the youth to imagine and then attain a productive future.

Community engagement will be driven by interventions at taxi ranks, community workshops, ambassador school talks, teen camps, tavern visits and exhibitions at shopping centres.

“Underage drinking has many dimensions, and we must address as many of them as possible, which is what we are trying to do,” says Ingrid. “With the help of the Human Sciences Research
Council, we will be monitoring and evaluating the pilot in order to refine the programme further before full roll-out,” concludes Louw.

#itstartstoday
aware.org.za
www.awarefreewifi.co.za

Aware.org Consumer Campaign Launch 31st May – Platinum Sky , 12th Floor, Sinosteel Building, Sandton, Rivonia

Making the right choice can change your tomorrow.

Aware.org looks at how responsible drinking can positively impact tomorrow.

Johannesburg, 31 May 2018. Aware.org, the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org.za), launched a new consumer campaign focused on building a culture of responsibility and moderation within the alcohol ecosystem of brand-owners, consumers and other stakeholders.

The campaign, When you drink, drink Like There is a Tomorrow, seeks to enable consumers to rethink their choices when it comes to the consumption of alcohol. What is different about this campaign is that it defines what drinking responsibly is and highlights the positive impact thereof.

Aware.org’s focus is on preventing the negative consequences of alcohol abuse and, as such, has an important role to play in educating consumers in this regard. Research shows that South African’s have become desensitised to seeing cars crashing at high speeds, bodies flung into the distance on poorly-lit roads, and grieving families affected by reckless behaviour. This insight served as a catalyst to more effectively communicate their new campaign and position the positive future outcome of responsible drinking as a reason to do so.

“From the start, we wanted our message to be clear. We know that finger-wagging and the shock approach does not work; we’re in an age of social awareness and we know that we’ll make more of an impact if we can start having the right conversations around responsible drinking,” says Ingrid Louw, CEO of aware.org.

“We believe that this new approach is a move in the right direction. We will actively drive the campaign messaging and educate consumers across various platforms, with the hope that this transcends into consumers making the right choices, and in turn, that this will begin to drive behavioural change. When you drink, make the right choices so that your tomorrow is a better tomorrow,” adds Louw.

Social media platforms will deliver detailed content to fuel the right conversations and provide the right information, whilst radio and taxi TV will stretch and extend the campaign to all consumers. “We aim to supersede our past reach of 95 million consumers through television, radio, out of home, transit and digital platforms with the new campaign.” concludes Louw.

While there are none of the visceral images associated with the more traditional (and somewhat over-used) socially responsible advertising around alcohol consumption, the campaign delivers a hard-hitting and socially pertinent message: “Drink Like There is a Tomorrow”.

The Deputy Minister of the Department of Social Development, Mrs Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu was in attendance and delivered the Keynote Address at the Campaign Launch Event. This reinforced the collective responsibility of key role-players in alcohol harm reduction programmes in South Africa.

Aware.org Free State launch "A Better Tomorrow Starts Today" Pilot Programme to tackle Underage Drinking - 24 May 2018

The Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org) has launched a pilot project to tackle underage drinking in South Africa. This first phase will target schools in Bothshabelo, Bloemfontein, (Hohle Primary, Ntemoseng Senior Secondary, Leratong Secondary and Pontsheng Primary) and in the Bushbuckridge area (Bushbuckridge Secondary School, Ngwaritsane Secondary School, Mavilian Primary and Sh Nyalungu Primary).

“South African children are drinking from a young age, and our country has the unenviable ranking of being the third-largest consumer of alcohol in Africa, and 19th in the world. The liquor industry is seriously concerned by the stats which show that our young people are, in fact, drinking from as young as 15 years of age (in South Africa, the legal drinking age is 18 years old),” says Ingrid Louw, aware.org CEO. “To tackle this problem, we have to start the conversation earlier. This is the rationale behind our programme, which we are calling It Starts Today.”

Underage drinking is a key pillar in aware.org’s broader programme to drive social change and promote responsible drinking. The It Starts Today programme aims to change the behaviour of junior high school leaners (Grades 8 and 9) with regards to alcohol. This will mean changing harmful attitudes and practices regarding alcohol in these learners, and by changing the attitude towards underage drinking within the broader community in which these learners live.

Underage drinking is firmly established in South Africa. One in two teenagers are active consumers of alcohol, and 15 percent of males and 8 percent of females have had their first drink before the age of 13.

Accordingly, aware.org has developed a multi-pronged programme to address underage drinking in collaboration with strategic partners including the Free State Gambling, Liquor and Tourism

Authority (FSGLTA), Mpumalanga Economic Regulator (MER) HDI, YDX, TeenActiv, Project Isizwe and the HSRC. These partners are integral in realising sustainable change, as they operate on the ground.

“The It Starts Today programme is one of the initial steps towards bringing about generational change in attitudes to alcohol. The fight against alcohol abuse and curbing underage drinking requires collective effort, and to achieve this “change” we need the support of the community at large, liquor registrants and parents of the minors. Communities will be empowered through learning and engagement, resulting in change within societal interactions and setting clear boundaries,” says FSGLTA CEO, Mr Itumeleng Kenny Dichaba.

One fundamental element of the programme is the distribution of specially developed material aligned to CAPS to schools for use in Life Orientation classes, accompanied by support for the educators via workshops and online support. Aware.org have also developed a zero-rated content portal (www.awarefreewifi.co.za) to further assist the programmes and community at large.

An allied initiative, Project Isizwe, will enhance the portal accessibility by providing Internet hotspots across townships. The Project Isizwe Wi - Fi rollout includes access to free content, news and a micro-job ambassador programme. It will thus provide Internet support for all It Starts Today programmes by providing the right tools to educate and ultimately change behaviour. The material is tailored content for learners, educators, caregivers and parents alike. In addition, the township Wi - Fi roll out will include added services.

As important, the programme will take its message to parents, teachers, tavern owners, church leaders, local government structures and the rest of society. This community engagement will help to reduce teenage alcohol consumption by changing attitudes and providing information about the realities of alcohol abuse. It will also aim at inspiring the community to assist the youth to imagine and then attain a productive future.

Community engagement will be driven by interventions at taxi ranks, community workshops, ambassador school talks, teen camps, tavern visits and exhibitions at shopping centres.

“Underage drinking has many dimensions, and we must address as many of them as possible, which is what we are trying to do,” says Ingrid. “With the help of the Human Sciences Research

Council, we will be monitoring and evaluating the pilot in order to refine the programme further before full roll-out,” concludes Louw.

#itstartstoday

aware.org.za

www.awarefreewifi.co.za

Aware.org / JMPD Rand Easter Show exhibition partnership - 30 March / 8 April 2018

Aware.org / JMPD Rand Easter Show exhibition partnership

The 2018 Rand Easter Show kicked off with fun-filled entertainment and lifestyle extravaganza for the whole family.

Held between Friday, 30th March and Sunday 8th April 2018, the event showcased Future Expo, Lifestyle Expo, Sports Expo, Outdoor Lifestyle and more.

In partnership with Johannesburg Metro Police Department, aware.org joined the list of exhibitors this year.

Aware.org ran a successful Alcohol Abuse Awareness program, to promote Responsible Drinking.

The two major areas of focus were Drinking and Driving/Walking and Under-age Drinking.

Representatives from aware.org educated the public about legal alcohol limits.

People generally aren’t aware of legal alcohol guidelines. Those who visited the stand seemed fascinated to learn.

Both JMPD and aware.org representatives explained the dangers of drinking and walking. The core message was, ‘If you plan to drink, get home safely. Call a taxi.’

Visitors to the stand were reminded that they should never drink and drive; there’s no acceptable amount of alcohol to drink if you’ll be behind the wheel.

There was a drinking and walking challenge, which involved participants wearing goggles which simulate being intoxicated – hazy blurry vision. People were required to walk in a straight line, on an allocated marked area. This initiative was very well received, with much laughs, but a real understanding of the impact of consuming alcohol irresponsibly.

Visitors were handed water bottles, driver’s licence holders, earphones and pens, with anti-alcohol-abuse messaging.

Overall, aware.org found the experience of running an information stall with JMPD fruitful, exciting and educational for all – an excellent endeavour.

The partnership with aware.org is very important to JMPD as it helped us to achieve success in educating the public about the dangers of drinking and driving. This subject is very close to our hearts because we lose our best men and women in uniform because of drunk drivers. The partnership with aware.org was a real success at the 2018 Rand Show. We hope to keep on working together to make our roads safer - JMPD Spokesperson and ‎Superintendent Edna Mamonyane

Aware.org Brand Launch - Thursday 30 November 2017 at Turbine Hall Johannesburg

Peter Ndoro served as MC during the launch

Renewed efforts by the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org) to reduce alcohol related harm in South Africa have been well received by its stakeholders, members and the media.

With the re-launch of the organisation that took place on Thursday 30 November 2017 in the heart of Johannesburg, the need to create a national culture of responsible drinking has realigned efforts to create a generation of South Africans that is free from alcohol abuse.

The commitment to creating this generation, took the form of a relaunch of the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) into the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org). The rebranding symbolises the intrinsic purpose of the aware.org to drive collective efforts focused on creating a change in the country’s drinking behaviour.

“As a uniquely new organisation, the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education or aware.org, we accept that we cannot continue to do the same thing and expect different results. We accept that we have a pivotal part to play in building and nurturing an alcohol harm- free South Africa. This will allow us to not lose another generation of South Africans to the scourge of alcohol abuse,” says Ingrid Louw, CEO of the aware.org.

Aware.org is well placed to re-write the narrative of alcohol abuse and misuse in this country. Its role is to support business and society to achieve deep and sustainable social change for the greater good. Through the adoption of an evidence based approach, the work being done will not only bring South Africa closer to global responses as it will have direct implications for national drinking practices as well as the public’s responsiveness to initiatives.

“Many of us do not consider ourselves alcohol abusers and yet alcohol responsibility and education remains a necessary priority in South Africa. As aware.org we understand that drinking responsibly is subjective as the parameters of this often come down to an individual’s preferences and right to choose. In partnership with the Road Traffic Management Cooperation (RTMC), our #MakeOneChange festive campaign will encourage the nation to review its drinking patterns in social and private settings. It is in these instances when alcohol abuse takes place even with those individuals who are not habitual drinkers, “continues Louw.

This co-ordinated and collaborative effort is supported by aware.org members who recognise the importance of creating a culture of responsible drinking. The nation will be educated about how much they drink and how they can do so responsibly.
“This multi-stakeholder approach makes it imperative to ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards a single goal. We call upon our members and stakeholders here today to work with us. This is a journey that will see us not only disrupting the current trends but also turning the tide on alcohol abuse and misuse. it will also make us all responsible for the better!” concludes Louw.

Video

Aware.org.za CEO Ingrid Louw's interview SABC Kids
Aware.org.za CEO Ingrid Louw on ENCA
TVC Video

Drink like there is a tomorrow

Behind the scenes TVC

When a society drinks double the worldwide average of alcohol, how do you inspire them to change?

Aware.org Launch Video
Multimedia Animations