The D&G Foundation has been making significant strides in its mission to prevent underage drinking through its Pon Anodda Level youth summer camp series.
Since its launch in June 2023 the programme has successfully educated over 140 youth in St Elizabeth, St Thomas, and Westmoreland about the severe risks and consequences of underage drinking.
Pon Anodda Level is an integral component of The Movement, a dynamic three-year partnership between the D&G Foundation and RISE Life Management. The overarching goal of this initiative is to equip minors with crucial information and guidance to make informed decisions about underage drinking.
Emphasising the pivotal role of collective action in cultivating a culture of responsibility, director of the D&G Foundation Dianne Ashton-Smith said, "Through the strategic partnership with Rise Life we have established a formidable platform to engage and empower youngsters against alcohol consumption. We are equipping them with essential tools to confidently navigate societal pressures, enabling them to lead positive and alcohol-free lives."
By providing comprehensive guidance the D&G Foundation aims to build a generation that can make informed choices and resist the allure of underage drinking. This commitment underscores the dedication to fostering a safer and healthier future for the youth and the wider community.
The foundation's work extends to parents through its Parent's Movement programme, a collaboration with the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica that features an interactive seminar dubbed How to Talk to Your Child About Alcohol.
The "Pon Anodda Level" Summer camps have been hosted at Yallahs Primary School in St Thomas, Newell High School in St Elizabeth, and Y's Menettes Resource Centre in Savanna-La-Mar. The other destinations in the series are Norwood Basic School in St James and Kingston Technical High School.
RISE Life Management counsellor and camp coordinator Odeon Anderson said, "Our camps provide a transformative one-day experience for children aged 12-15 years. We aim to empower them through playful introductory sessions, activities fostering self-esteem, pre-tests to assess their knowledge, and engaging breakout sessions where they collaboratively create and present creative pieces. These thoughtfully designed camps have shown outstanding results, with an 87-90 per cent effectiveness rate in delivering valuable information to the participants. Additionally, the camps offer valuable insights to the RISE Life team, helping us enhance youth engagement even further."
The D&G Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Red Stripe, which in 2017 became the first Jamaican alcohol company to advocate for responsible drinking. The company continues a robust education programme to discourage alcohol misuse with a range of impactful Drink and Live Responsibly initiatives that include the Responsible Serve bartender training programme, partnering with rideshare services for the Get Home Responsibly initiative, active briefing of event promoters, and the inclusion of responsible drinking messaging at all sponsored events. Additionally, Heineken 0.0, a non-alcoholic beer, is always included in bar menus.