Addressing Underage Drinking in the Caribbean

Ask, Listen and Learn is an underage drinking programme run across Diageo’s Caribbean markets in partnership with regional beverage alcohol producers. The programme was developed by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR). Ask, Listen and Learn has been introduced to over 20,000 schools and is now being implemented by various Ministries of Education.

Case study

The programme was launched in the 2015 - 2016 academic year where some 4,100 students between the ages of 8 and 12 years across 32 schools received the training in the islands of Grenada, Dominica and St. Lucia. The programme has continued through the requests of the Ministries of Education and this year 1,745 students received this training, as well as 66 teachers in St. Lucia and Grenada.

Ask Listen and Learn teaches children about the dangers of underage drinking in the context of a wide range of related topics. It features a number of digitally-based interactive exercises designed to build life skills, including critical thinking, character development, problem solving, decision making and healthy self-management, using a series of worksheets, games and classroom activities that teach children healthy lifestyles.

Initial results from the programme showed that students are having more discussions about underage drinking, both in school and at home.  Discussions about underage drinking increased 15% in the classroom and family discussions increased 18%. Ask Listen and Learn increased students’ knowledge of how to live a healthy lifestyle to 76%. A pre and post evaluation also revealed a 15% increase in students’ ability to say “no” to underage drinking. 91% said they were more engaged in school and that Ask, Listen and Learn helped them to learn how to accomplish goals. Finally 84% of the students said the programme helped them to do better in school. Overall, students demonstrated a broader knowledge of the consequences of underage drinking.

Diageo plans to expand the programme to at least two more of its markets while the industry body will explore the programme for Haiti as well.