Elvina’s Story About SummerLEAHP Impact

SummerLEAHP 2019 is the world’s first ever international summer school for bright young minds from all around the world who want to take the lead in transforming student environments by addressing alcohol-related harm. SummerLEAHP – the Leadership Academy for Alcohol Harm Prevention – was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia between June 16-22, 2019 and brought together 23 young leaders from 13 countries.

Elvina’s story about summerLEAHP 2019

One of the participants at summerLEAHP 2019 was Elvina Majiwa, from Kenya and the Daystar University in Nairobi, where she is also the chairperson of the Daystar Care and Compassion Centre (DC3).

Elvina (left) with Wanatsanan from Thailand and Sohini from India

On return home, Elvina gave a remarkable interview about her experience at summerLEAHP 2019. We are sharing a few of her reflections here:

Attending the Leadership Academy in Slovenia, which is in Central Europe, was an extremely humbling experience for me. Meeting young people from different cultures and experiencing the beauty of Slovenia especially visiting tourist sites such as the castle by the scenic lake Bled, the breathtaking Postojna Caves, and let us not forget the shopping malls.

The conference was very well planned out, it included lectures, youth-led discussions, Q and A sessions and even tours around the city.

We had a Drink Revolution Momentum Dinner where we discussed issues such as alcohol harm, advocacy for change and Big Alcohol. We also had a sober sensation party where we “turned up” with alcohol-free drinks. The whole experience was lit!”

What stuck with you regarding alcohol harm prevention?

There were professionals in the field of leadership, advocacy, prevention, science and communication who shared their expertise with us through lectures and youth-led discussions.

Using evidence was discussed; Learning what works and what does not work in prevention was one of the highlights for me. The do’s and don’ts. For instance, it wouldn’t be right to use scare tactics in prevention because evidence shows that it is not successful.”

Is what you learnt relevant and implementable in Daystar? Do we have an alcohol problem that we need to candidly discuss?

Yes, what I learnt will be implemented by DC3 in partnership with SCAD in Daystar University.

Over the years, DC3 has been doing awareness campaigns about alcohol. However, we will move from awareness to actually taking action in prevention.

The project will be one that promotes sobriety. We will be highlighting school policies that are curbing alcohol harm and promoting alcohol-free spaces and norms to ensure that the school environment is alcohol free”

What makes you so passionate in your advocacy for alcohol prevention?

The misconception people have about alcohol, who said alcohol is fun?

So much potential is lost in alcohol; many people lose themselves, their hopes, dreams and ambitions through addiction or other alcohol-related problems like accidents, injuries, and crime.

And there are the health effects it has on people. For example, there are literally seven cancers that are caused by alcohol.”