Health

Delta joins universities in drugs, alcohol abuse fight

MARTIN MAWAYA

HARARE-Blue chip Delta Corporation Limited general manager corporate affairs, Patricia Murambinda has urged universities to take the lead in combating the scourge of drugs, substances, and alcohol abuse within communities.

Murambinda made the remarks during the official launch of the “Smart Drinking and Moderation Innovation Challenge” Bootcamp held in Harare, which runs from April 2024 to December 2026 under the theme “Above the Influence.”

The launch saw 106 Enactus Zimbabwe student leaders from 13 different universities across the country attending the leadership Bootcamp.

The Bootcamp was organized by Delta Corporation Limited in partnership with the Boost Fellowship.

Murambinda said the initiative aims to raise awareness about the risks and consequences of alcohol, drug, and substance abuse among young people in Zimbabwe, with the ultimate goal of eliminating this harmful menace.

“As a responsible business, we prioritize the well-being of our consumers. We firmly believe that drinking and driving should never mix, and it is important for consumers to understand the proper and safe consumption of alcohol,” said Murambinda.

She emphasized that it is the collective responsibility of young people to provide solutions in their respective communities, particularly regarding the harmful effects of illicit substance and drug abuse.

“We are investing in this program to witness highly impactful and scalable innovative solutions that address this problem,” added Murambinda.

Tinoda Moyo, a social media expert, encouraged the students to leverage social media and relevant technological solutions to advocate for safer and better communities.

Moyo highlighted the role of technology as a crucial tool for behavioral change in today’s tech-savvy society.

He urged the students to collaborate with law enforcement agencies and report incidents of drug and substance abuse.

One of the students from Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University, Wisdom Munemo, commended Delta for the learning fellowship.

“The initiative has enlightened us about the consequences of alcohol abuse, which include gang violence, school dropouts, suicides, gender-based violence, risky sexual behavior, among other things. We are now equipped to share this knowledge with our colleagues at school,” said Munemo.

The boot camp provided students with capacity-building opportunities on various topics that will assist them in implementing their initiatives, such as supporting legislative frameworks and running effective advocacy and awareness campaigns within communities to address the negative impacts of alcohol and drug abuse.

During the challenge period, students will be tasked with developing innovative projects that combat drug, substance, and alcohol abuse.

The initiatives will be aligned with six thematic areas, including illicit drinking, drinking and driving, alcohol and pregnancy, binge drinking, underage drinking, and impact of sugary drinks on health.

The teams will Implement innovative models to address drug, substance, and alcohol abuse within their tertiary institutions and communities for a duration of eight months.

In December 2024, the final initiatives will be evaluated at the Smart Drinking and Moderation Innovation Challenge Competition for further upscaling and investment opportunities provided by Delta.

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