Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org) is taking the lead in urging South African consumers to play their part in affecting positive change through better choices based on moderation and a sense of responsibility with regards to the consumption of alcohol.

With the advent of COVID-19 and the removal of the ban on alcohol sales, the new aware.org INBTWN campaign reflects the strong realisation that irresponsible drinking has more consequences than ever before and it is essential for those who consume alcohol, to do so responsibly, because there is an opportunity for all of us to enable a better tomorrow.

The consequences of reckless behaviour and bad choices have the potential to endanger people’s lives because, our drinking choices can take essential workers away from helping people in need, they can turn social gatherings into opportunities for crime, take away hospital beds, lead to road deaths, lead to bad influence on minors and lead to broken families. Aware.org together with the liquor industry is on a mission to instil a collective consciousness through meaningful engagement with regards to alcohol harm reduction in South Africa.

“The goal is to reduce alcohol harm and promote healthy behavioural choices with regards to alcohol consumption, as we combat this scourge continuously and effectively,” says Ingrid Louw, CEO of aware.org. “The issue is not alcohol itself but rather the way it is used and abused. We are at a tipping point and never before has the need for responsible alcohol awareness and education been more pertinent,” she continues.

As the easing of lockdown restrictions were announced, with the much-welcomed allowance for limited sales of alcoholic beverage, aware.org and its industry partners came out in support of liquor traders to ensure they are fully equipped with personal protective equipment and resources to empower them to trade responsibly and maintain effective and globally accepted hygiene practices to limit the spread of the virus. The coordinated partnership between aware.org and its members has been crucial in the efficient rollout of this intervention to ensure both customers and retailers are kept safe and the effect of the pandemic is substantially limited.

The INBTWN lifestyle is a culture of moderation and responsible drinking in South Africa. The INBTWN is therefore an unapologetic harm reduction commitment and the beginning of a movement which demonstrates a collective consciousness from aware.org and the industry so that people (adults) can be empowered to make the right choices. With so much we cannot control, there is one thing each of us can – INBTWN a drink and a better tomorrow is a choice.

Endorsing this messaging on their various platforms are patrons of the brand such as South Africa’s darling and broadcast presenter, Azania Mosaka along with Joburg’s favourite youth drive-time presenter, DJ Sabby; provocative and experienced entertainment industry guru, DJ Warras Mpumalanga’s no. 1 breakfast drive presenter, Mpumi Mbethe, the Free State’s top club DJ and presenter, Shaxe Khumalo; fruitful Western Cape entrepreneur with a background in TV and radio, Danilo Acquisto and the Eastern Cape’s one and only Amaza Ntshanga.

With the help of its members, industry stakeholders and government, aware.org has rolled out impactful programmes, as well as a series of consumer education and awareness campaigns.

These have been designed to make a sustainable difference, targeting Underage Drinking (UAD), Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Binge Drinking. This has been done in parallel with supporting and educating traders through the Responsible Traders Facilitation (RTF) Programme.

“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have done as much as we can to support the efforts of aware.org as well as their partners for their calls for moderation. At the end of the day, all of us, including the Liquor industry are working towards a better future for our country, a goal we believe is shared by all South Africans. By taking responsibility for our drinking choices, we can all play a part in building a better tomorrow for ourselves and our communities,” says Chairman of the Board of aware.org, Ricardo Ferreira.

The consumption of alcohol has long been a part of South African society, intertwined with our customs, rituals, and celebrations. “Binge drinking, however, cannot be accepted as a part of our rich tradition, and should be seen as a problem on the rise in recent years that threatens our future and especially our young people. South Africans are awakening to a new way of doing things, a new sense of responsibility which we all need to challenge ourselves with, that INBTWN a drink and a better tomorrow is a choice, individually and collectively,” Louw concludes.

Now is the ideal time for South Africans to work together with the Alcohol industry to re-evaluate and recalibrate our relationship with alcohol. So many other areas of life are being reimagined often against our express will. Why not take this poignant moment in time to deal with some of the most important choices we can make as individuals and as a society.

Follow @AwareOrg on Twitter and @aware.org.za on Instagram and Facebook using #INBTWN. You can also view the INBTWN campaign ‘Life Before Lockdown’ TV commercial on YouTube. For
more information, visit https://aware.org.za/binge-drinking/

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