My heart is shattered into pieces and the pieces are placed in different countries of this world. They are there kept warm and safe being taken care of by the engagement of people I have met; I have heard about, I work with on creating alcohol free environments and by doing so, opening door for realization of the human potential.
There are many problems in this world that should be solved. Poverty, violence, inequality and discrimination, wars, diseases, hunger…the list is long. So where to start? Where to join forces and make a change so all the people of this world can enjoy its beauty?
The problems are many and so are the solutions. One of them is to reduce alcohol use and prevent its consequences that lead to more than just health problems. Alcohol is a trigger of violence, it numbs people’s minds, it takes away inner reflections, it takes away childhoods, it takes away that little food there is from the hungry ones, it closes the door to education and brighter future… Alcohol use clearly hinders the development of people, development of societies and development of countries. What is so special about this problem is that it is artificially created and it could be solved easily. Alcohol is something extra that none needs when being born. The need for alcohol is created by people and that is why it can also be taken away by people. Power of we!
We together can change the status the use of alcohol has. We together can decide whether it is OK or not to accept drunk -driving or drunk-violence. It is up to us whether we worship a father sitting in a bar over a glass of beer or a father playing with his kids at home.
I have recently come home from Tanzania where I could see how huge alcohol commercials cast a shadow on places where there were women producing alcohol in secret just to be able to provide food for their families. I have seen classrooms filled with 120 kids who have just learnt that alcohol use damages their health; triggers gender based violence and makes their minds passive. They have learnt that but their parents have not had the chance to hear about it so they use alcohol as water and pay for it instead of paying an obligatory school uniform for their kids. We together need to talk about it and we need to act upon it. All the poverty fighters, human rights activists and dreamers, we need to join forces and start being consequent in what we are doing. And honestly – alcohol use does hinder our efforts in development work.
Power of we, in this case consists of individuals who reflect on this problem and set off on a journey to question the current norms of alcohol culture.
Power of we in this case consists of acts of creating alcohol free environment where people can discover their potential and develop it.
Here is a an example of how talking about the problem and offering a way out can change people’s life and influence their whole community for the better (filmed in Arusha, Tanzania):