Educator at the Goodwill Primary School, Julienne Martin, is lamenting the fact that some parents in Dominica think that it is alright for children to consume alcohol, especially during festive times.
She said there should never be a reason for introducing alcohol to children.
She made the remarks at the ceremony of an eight week anti-drinking program called, Ask, Listen and Learn Classroom Champions (ALLCC), which took place at the Arawak House of Culture on Wednesday 17th June 2015.
“It is reflected in a perceived attitude of parents towards the notion that it is OK for children to taste a little alcohol during festive times or during special occasions,” She said. “There is never a good time or reason to introduce or share alcohol to your young ones, parents for once you begin, when would be the right time to stop? Hence the African proverb that, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is quite applicable here.”
Martin pointed out that there is a correlation between the advertising of alcohol and the propensity of young people to drink.
She argues that manufacturers ought to label their alcoholic beverages with advisory warnings and the retailers must be cognizant of whom they sell these beverages to.
Meantime Chairman of the Regional Beverage Alcohol Alliance (RBAA) Dr. Patrick Antoine who also addressed the function had some advice to the young children.
“To our wonderful and brilliant students, I say congratulations and to all of you simple things: listen to your parents, listen to your teachers, manage your time, eat well, sleep well, exercise, study hard, be the best that you can be. You are born for success and continue to make wise choices,” he said.
The program is designed to raise the awareness of the dangers of underage drinking specifically among children ages 8-11 which utilizes cutting edge technology, research, partners of industry and athlete mentors to educate children about the dangers of underage drinking and it provides valuable information about prudent lifestyle choices.
The ALLCC was piloted in four primary schools: Sineku, Salybia, Grand Bay and Good Will Primary schools, where it was concluded that underage drinking and lifestyle development were critical areas in Dominica needed intervention and support initiatives