East Africa - together we reduce alcohol damage

In East Africa, we collaborate with 17 organizations in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Our partner organizations in East Africa have developed from being grassroots organizations, working to improve the living situation in their local communities, to today also working with advocacy work nationally and regionally. We support alcohol policy networks that work to enforce effective alcohol legislation that puts human health and development ahead of the alcohol industry's expansion.

By acting together, the chances of being heard increase. Our partner organizations work to make alcohol a problem not only talked about but also acted against.

No children should drink alcohol

The fact that children and young people drink alcohol is a problem throughout East Africa. In Burundi, for example, 6 out of 10 ten-year-olds have drunk alcohol. There are several explanations for this. One reason is that knowledge is low about how dangerous alcohol is. Another is that children who are already vulnerable and may be living on the streets use it as self-medication. Another serious reason is that the alcohol industry markets its products directly to children and packages the alcohol in small, cheap packaging - which is sometimes even distributed at schools.

That children drink affects their health and ability to cope with school. It is an obstacle to their and the countries' development. We support a number of projects aimed at children and young people that provide knowledge and offer safe and healthy activities. The projects include scout corps, leisure clubs, football, dance and music.

Fewer bars strengthen women's rights

It is common for women in the region to support the family by producing and selling home-burned alcohol at home. It is a quick and cheap way to earn a living, but it also means that the home is transformed into a bar, where the men of the village gather for days, evenings and nights. The women and their children are often subjected to violence and sexual abuse by customers, who also threaten to go elsewhere if she protests.

In our projects, women are given the opportunity to switch to another source of income. Life becomes safer for women and children, but also for society as a whole, when alcohol consumption decreases. The whole village is involved in finding common, long-term sustainable strategies to reduce alcohol problems.

Better health with an effective alcohol policy

In East Africa, we support several countries in developing a national alcohol policy. Today, there are clear links between major problem areas such as HIV, violence and alcohol. The more alcohol consumption, the more common it is with violence, abuse and unprotected sex that spreads sexually transmitted diseases. With a functioning alcohol policy and effective alcohol legislation, the situation improves dramatically in the other areas as well - and many lives can be saved.

See a list of our partner organizations in East Africa

Our partner organizations in East Africa are:

BCYCBO – Blue Cross Youth Community Based Organization
NCDAK - Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance

RGGA - Rwanda Girl Guide Association

TPHA - Tanzania Public Health Association
ICCAO – Integrating capacity and community advancement organization

UGGA - Uganda Girl Guides Association
UAPA - Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance