Zambian Breweries has handed over a recreational facility worth over K2 million to residents of Bauleni township in Lusaka.
The refurbished Bauleni Youth and Sports Centre is part of the company’s commitment towards combating underage drinking among youths in the country.
The facility houses a football pitch, a new water tank, and a refurbished children’s park, youth skills development centre and an ablution block.
“The facility will provide healthier alternative activities for our young people,” said Zambian Breweries Country Director, Jose Moran.
Mr Moran was speaking this week in Lusaka at the handover ceremony of the modern youth centre to Bauleni residents.
The Zambia Breweries Country Director urged young people to desist from underage drinking and focus on education and skills development.
“Stay away from alcohol; leave it for adults. Focus on school. Focus on building your life and your career,” Mr Moran stressed.
He noted that youth was an important time for self-discovery and that the physical environment surrounding young people plays a big role in their development.
Mr Moran reiterated the company’s commitment towards combating underage drinking.
“Zambian Breweries is committed to constructing and revamping youth centres in Lusaka our country and in a bid to address alcohol, drug abuse and unemployment among young people,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Minister of Youth, Sports and Child Development, Hon. Emmanuel Mulenga in a speech read on his behalf by Director of Sports Mr. John Zulu said underage drinking and other vices are as a result of a lack of recreational facilities for young people.
“The lack of adequate recreational facilities is the main reason that compel youth to engage in vices such as underage drinking and use of illicit drugs,” said the minister.
Mr Mulenga applauded Zambian Breweries for renovating the Bauleni Youth and Sports Centre.
“As government, we are always delighted to work closely with corporates such as Zambian breweries in fostering social development in our country,” he said.
The minister also appealed to management at Zambian Breweries to refurbish and construct more youth centres across the country.
“Extending this project to other parts of the country will keep more young people active and rescue many from underage drinking,” Mr Mulenga explained.
Area Member of Parliament Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe also commended Zambian Breweries for its commitment in serving the various communities the company operates in.
“This facility is a testimony of the many developmental projects Zambian Breweries has carried out for the people of Zambia. Government will continue working with the private sector in promoting social-economic development,” she said.
Mrs Mwanakatwe further alluded to the cassava out-grower scheme in Luapula as one of the key area Zambia Breweries has helped government foster development in rural areas.
The Bauleni Youth and Sports Centre will benefit over 2,000 youths in and around Bauleni township.