Secondary students in Seychelles are learning more about the dangers of underage drinking through Smashed Project, a theatrical initiative intending to help delay the onset of early alcohol use.
Smashed Project is an educational initiative from UK-based Collingwood Learning that is aimed at breaking the culture of underage drinking through theatrical plays. It also looks at reducing alcohol-related harm amongst young people around the world.
The programme was launched at the Pointe Larue Secondary School on Monday, through the collaboration of Collingwood Learning, Seychelles’ Ministry of Education, Seychelles Breweries Limited and ‘Komik Lokal’.
The performance tells the story of three teenagers whose use of alcohol affects them in different ways, impacting their relationships, school life, mental and physical health, and aspirations. The story culminates in a tragic accident.
After the 30-minute play, students get to interact with characters to understand the reasoning behind their decisions. Students are given the chance to alternate the outcome of the play, by providing an alternative scenario.
The programme was launched at the Pointe Larue Secondary School on Monday. (Louis Toussaint) Photo License: CC-BY
The director of ‘Komik Lokal’, Kurt Lagrenade, explained that before his team enacts the play, students are asked to fill out a pre-questionnaire to learn more about what they know. ‘Komik Lokal’, a local drama group, has been contracted to make the project a reality in Seychelles.
“We are carrying out an evaluation and collecting statistics. After the play, the same students are handed a post-questionnaire through which we get to learn what they have picked up through the project,” said Lagrenade.
On June 19 the play will go to Beau Vallon in the north of the main island, Mahe, and from there to other state schools on the three most populated island of the archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
‘Komik Lokal’ had the help of the Creole Institute to translate the play and adapt it for Seychelles.
The managing director of Seychelles Breweries, Nick Cook, said the interest in the programme was sparked through a conversation with President Danny Faure. Both parties expressed “interest to do more in education, particularly around the dangers of alcohol and underage drinking.”
“Our plan is to deliver this content to over 6,000 students. I think it is particularly important at a time where we have been focusing a lot on the renewal of the national alcohol policy and education is one of those key tools to make sure that we are tackling those issues together,” said Cook.
Launched in the UK 14 years ago, Smashed Project has reached its 23rd country. This year alone, the Smashed Project will be delivered in 15 countries to over 300,000 young people on six continents.
Source: Seychelles News Agency