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Zambian Breweries launches youth mentorship programme

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Vice President Inonge Wina has backed Zambian Breweries’ Youth Mentorship Programme aimed at curbing alcohol abuse among youth and promoting positive and responsible decision-making through mentorship.

The Mentorship Programme which was launched on Friday currently has 30 mentors and will see trained mentors provide counselling and career guidance to young people signed up for the programme.

In a speech read for her by the Permanent Secretary for Administration Stephen Mwansa, the Vice President encouraged youths to take advantage and register for the mentorship programme.

“The Patriotic Front government has taken great interest in this important event as it is promoting the spirit of responsibility, innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth. This initiative is fully in line with the objectives of the Seventh National development Plan and the Vision 2030, which call for economic co-diversification and employment creation. I wish, therefore, to thank the Zambian Breweries group of companies for introducing the mentorship and empowerment programme targeting youth below the age of 25,” she said.

She added that government is happy that Zambian Breweries is in tandem with the Republican President Edgar Lungu’s call to lessen alcohol abuse among youth for a productive labour force, during his address on national values and principles delivered in the second session of the twelfth National Assembly early this year.

Zambian Breweries is hoping to steer kids away from alcohol and drug abuse with powerful celebrity ambassadors, including musician Maureen Lilanda, celebrated host and media personality Lulu Haangala, and actress Grace Rumsey. The four will be joined by 20 other mentors, from all walks of life, who will be available to inspire Zambian youth to fulfil their potential.

The mentorship programme is a structured programme offering activities that positively impact lives and enable kids to become the best version of themselves.

The programme includes ongoing support for Chibolya Media Farm, Bauleni Football Academy, Sotrane, AfroTwist and the YWCA.

Zambian Breweries country director Jose Moran attributed the rampant alcohol abuse to the sale of cheap unregulated illicit spirits commonly known as junta or tujilijili.

“The youth have suffered social and health problems because of alcohol abuse and sale of junta and tujilijili,” he said.

“According to a report by Euromonitor International commissioned by Zambian Breweries, Market Analysis for Illicit Alcohol in sub-Saharan Africa, the nation lost US$145.5 million in 2017 alone; an increment from US$53.6 million in 2014 through tax evasion by unregistered and registered low-cost spirits producers and smuggling of ethanol and beverages. This shows has not only affected the youth, but also the national treasury as well,” he said.

Moran said the company is a responsible brewer and will continue to support the mentorship programme and hoped this initiative will expand to other parts of the country.

Minister of National Guidance in a speech read for her by Permanent Secretary Katongo Chifwepa assured youths that the programme was a constructive one and had good intentions.

“Let me appeal to our youths to enjoy life responsibly by exercising common sense, self-restraint and self-discipline through resisting the temptation of alcohol because it has health and social effects,” she said.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31