NC youth engage in Fight Against Alcohol Abuse dialogue

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Lindiwe Mathebula

 

Studies show that people who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics.

This is according to research done by Statistic SA and  one of the critical issues discussed at the Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison’s educational dialogues held today amongst 150 youth. Youth and the government are joining forces  against alcohol abuse amongst the youth and other issues in Postmasburg in the Northern Cape.

The fight against alcohol abuse and the mobilization  of  youth are tightened as the festive season approaches. Alcohol abuse is seen to be more prevalent during this time.

Other issues discussed were unemployment and the youth’s involvement with crime. The youth is also encouraged at this dialogue to be more entrepreneurial.  A field worker for the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison, Xoliswa Xabendlini, says there are ample business opportunities available for out of school youth.

Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and liaison intensifies awareness on responsible drinking amongst youth by conducting dialogue discussions as the festive season approaches.

Xabendlini explains: “It won’t assist us in telling young people about responsible drinking, because possibly one young people don’t know what is responsible drinking. They have a right to drink at 18. To tell them to not drink, is not going to be an option during this festive.”

An awareness campaign will be starting on the 23rd of November in Postmasburg. Xabendlini says the department does not only want  to raise awareness on the challenges relating to alcohol abuse but also increase awareness on the limitless opportunities the youth can access as an alternative to alcohol abuse and crime.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and an aviation company made presentations. They also ask for more information in the aviation careerfield.

Hopefully by the time they leave they will be equipped with tools to pursue further with their careers,” says Beatrice Bosch NYDA spokesperson. They had a presentation for the youth on how the youth could start up their own cooperative businesses.

We have business consultancy services available as well as the funding which is in a form of a grant and we also have skills development and entrepreneurial development training. It was an opportunity to hear direct from the youth what are some of the challenges. “

Denzel Baitsomedi (24) who attended the dialogue, says this will open doors to business ventures for youth in the future, “Most of the youth here because we are from villages we resort to crime most of us have less education and we are really involved in crime so we going to utilise this information today to form cooperatives and start businesses and move forward as youth.”

According to Jonathan Mosala (22) this will also give the relevant stakeholders an indication on some of the challenges . “The session was very informative. We would like to take ownership for once and let the stakeholders know that the little that they do is helpful. We would like to have more sessions.”