Guinness Nigeria’s ‘Smashed’ campaign impacts over 5,000 students
To further demonstrate its commitment towards responsible use of alcohol in society, Guinness Nigeria has launched its ‘Smashed’ campaign. It is a live drama performance delivered to 14–17-year olds (SS1 – SS3 students) in government and private schools across Lagos State by professional actors, along with follow-up interactive workshops. About 28 schools in Lagos benefitted from the innovative corporate social responsibility project. The initiative took into consideration the Nigerian culture by engaging young people in a safe and motivational learning environment that enabled them to understand the consequences of underage drinking.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Ndegwa, stated that the company’s Underage Alcohol Education programme is aimed at reducing the incidence of alcohol-related harm amongst young people.“Between the ages of 14 and 17, young people are most vulnerable to different societal burdens such as peer pressure and the need to fit in,” he said. “This sometimes causes them to make uninformed decisions.”
He noted that schools are important setting for interventions aimed at shaping behaviour among youths because no other community has as much continuous and intensive contact with young people, adding, “And this is why Guinness Nigeria decided to implement the ‘Smashed’ programme in 28 government and private schools across Lagos state.
In every country, Diageo works with reputable local organisations to deliver the ‘Smashed’ programme as our Diageo Marketing Code restricts us from engaging with persons under the legal purchase age of 18+. As a result, Guinness Nigeria did not interface directly with any of the schools during the implementation of the ‘Smashed’ programme, as we partnered with Collingwood Learning and Rue 14 Studios in Nigeria to deliver the programme.”
While sharing global success stories from the ‘Smashed’ Project, Managing Director, Collingwood Learning, U.K., Mr. Chris Simes, noted that ‘Smashed,’ an award-winning theatre and education initiative, was launched in the U.K. more than a decade ago, saying, “It has now been delivered in 10 countries around the world, including Mozambique. The result of the programme in other countries has been incredibly encouraging and we have received very good reviews from both students and teachers. Building on this success, the ‘Smashed’ Project was rolled out in Nigeria and reached over 5,000 young people and teachers in classes SS1 – SS3 in 28 public and private schools across Lagos State.”
On her part, local implementing partner and Founder/Artistic Director, Rue 14 Studios, Keke Hammond, commended Guinness Nigeria for delivering such a unique initiative, which was at no cost to schools across the state during the 3-week tour of the pilot programme.
“At the end of this first phase, 80 per cent of the students that watched the performance and workshop said that they won’t drink alcohol underage,” she said. “Over 94 per cent of the students said that they enjoyed the programme. Also, 85 per cent of the teachers think that students who watched the performance understood more about the dangers of underage drinking than they did before the performance, while 95 per cent of the teachers felt that the performance explored pertinent and relevant issues for children between the ages of 14-17. 91 per cent stated that they would like the programme to return to their schools next year.”
Corporate Relations Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Viola Graham-Douglas, said ‘Smashed’ Project was dedicated to breaking the culture of underage drinking around the world. Through creative education, said, it would equip young people with the information, awareness, and confidence to make responsible choices around alcohol.
According to her, the project engages young people in a unique way, allowing them to explore the causes and consequences of underage drinking in a safe and motivational learning environment, noting, “This involved the use of emotive theatre, interactive workshops, and interactive teaching resources all backed up with robust evaluation, with fantastic results. The programme does not include any reference to Diageo or any Diageo brand positioning materials or adverts in the schools visited.”
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