Innibos is certainly the biggest annual event on the Lowveld calendar. From arts to music to stage productions to culture this festival brings the whole South Africa to Mbombela. It’s a great gathering of people who love the arts, however it is also an event marred by underage drinking.
Oppi-Voete understands that the police, security and parents can’t be everywhere. It is relatively easy for under aged teens (under the age of 18) to get their hands on alcoholic drinks and fall victim to excessive drinking. Many problems can arise from this like losing personal possessions (cellphones, handbag etc), getting separated from friends, not remembering where you are or what to do. The health implications are also a risk, but Oppi-Voete is here to help.
A group of moms from Hoërskool Nelspruit started the group and offered an alternative place for teenagers to hang out at Innibos. Together with the Innibos team, Bikers for Christ and Sanca they will have a tent set up right across the Coca Cola Rock stage at the festival. The co-ordinator of this initiative Antoinette Malan, says they are not against the use of alcohol at the festival, but more worried about the first step towards an early abuse of alcohol especially amongst teens.
The tent will provide coffee, soup, a cellphone charge station, medical assistance for teens who had too much to drink as well as a place to hang out if you want to get out away from the crowd. They will provide guidance to teens on the effects of alcohol abuse and the problems associated with peer pressure and offer them a sympathetic ear. If teens find themselves in an emergency or any kind of problem Oppi-Voeteare there to assist.
Oppi-voete approached many different companies and individuals to make a donation towards the maintenance of the tent during Innibos. Skankane Transport made a proud donation to Oppi-Voete.
“Skankane Transport supports the Oppi-Voete initiative. Every year a lot of young people fall into the alcohol trap with no one to help them. Oppi-Voete reaches out to these young people and providethem with a place of safety. We donated R1000 to help these brave people with supplies needed to help and/or treat the young people ending up at their tent.” said Len Mulder of Skankane Transport.
If your teens are going to attend Innibos let them save this emergency number – 073 660 3456 and seek help if they or their friends need help. Alcohol is not sold to under 18’s at any of the Innibos beer tents and stage bars but older friends sometimes do buy for teens. Let’s help our kids to stay on the right track.