‘Be Independent!’ – the annual forum of Cēsu alus – took place in Liepāja on May 10 with more than 200 young school children (grades 9 to 12) from schools all over Kurzeme gathering together at the Liepāja State Technical School. ‘Be Independent!’ is one of the social responsibility projects of Cēsu alus with an aim to educate young people about the prevention of alcohol addiction and with the help of inspirational speakers and interactive workshops to motivate them to make responsible decisions in the future. This year the event was organized in cooperation with the Liepaja State Technical School, Liepāja Student Council and the Youth House of Liepāja.
Agita Kārkliņa, Cēsu alus Communication Manager: “I have inexpressible joy about this project and about the willingness of the youth to take part in such events. This was an opportunity for us to talk with these teens in a relaxed and open environment, and I really hope that they will gain not only inspiration, but also some valuable insights on these serious issues. I would like to thank the great people of Liepaja, who were very responsive and helpful in organizing the workshops and thus creating this meaningful event.”
Among the presenters of inspirational and thought provoking talks were Māris Žunda, implementer of the Whim Hof Method and founder of the Toughening School, who also carried out a breathing workshop, Niks Jansons, young entrepreneur, who gave a lecture on self-discipline and motivation „what they don’t teach you in schools”, while psychologist Inga Dreimane shared her experience on working with teen addicts and disclosed the necessary steps to feel better about oneself and to make responsible choices. After the presentations a panel discussion was also organized including both lecturers and teens on ways how to find motivation, achieve goals and how to take care of one’s mental health.
In the second part of the event, participants had the opportunity to take part in several interactive workshops – to get acquainted with the art of improvisation together with the improvisation theatre of the Youth House of Liepāja “The Free Style”, to observe the demonstrations by the street gymnasts of Workout Generations and to hear out the personal experience of Gvido Šalms on reaching life goals, to create informative posters on the topic of addiction, have a discussion with Madara Lapsa, the head of the Addiction Prevention Centre of the city of Liepāja, to acquire the basics of first aid together with the representatives of the Liepāja branch of Riga Stradins University, to acquire the basics of breathing with Māris Žunda, as well as to fill out an interactive test on the effects and consequences of alcohol abuse. Throughout the day, each participant also had the chance to express their opinion and engage in discussions on the interactive question-answer sofa organized by the Youth House of Liepāja, as well as to try out the glasses of intoxication and to answer the question – “Why do you use it?”.
The alcohol dependency prevention project for young people “Be Independent!” has been organized since 2012. More than 1,600 teens have been educated within the project by taking part in discussions, educational and entertaining activities and practical workshops in their schools, as well as by socializing on the project’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/EsiNeatkarigs. Cēsu alus is the initiator and organizer of the whole project, while the event in Liepāja was organized in cooperation with the Youth House of Liepāja, Liepāja Student Council, Liepaja State Technical School and Liepaja Children and Youth Centre.