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Teetotaling Swedes toast national sobriety day

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Teetotaling Swedes toast national sobriety day
09:04 CEST+02:00
For many, the start of a five day long break from work is a good reason to celebrate with a drink. However one group will be happy to do so without the need for alcohol.

Today, for the 86th time, marks the National Sobriety Day in Sweden. The tradition, which dates back to the 1930s is an attempt to highlight the dangers of alcohol, particularly in developing countries.

Each year, the event is organised by IOGT-NTO Movement, with an annual theme. For 2011, it is "Big and small" which will highlight the need for more sober meeting places for people of all ages.

“We need more alcohol-free places and times where both children and adults can hang out together, without alcohol acting as a barrier," Kjell-Ove Oscarsson, the organisation's Deputy Federal Chairman said in a statement.

The IOGT-NTO Movement carries out development projects with partners in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine and Belarus.

It also provides information in local clubs, organizations, networks and schools, primarily to highlight the dangers of alcohol as an obstacle to development.

Quoting World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics that alcohol accounts for 3.2% of deaths globally, the movement's mission is to encourage and support organisations which are trying to decrease the use of alcohol and other drugs in developing countries.

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