About the Programme
UNODC in partnership with the Lions Clubs International Foundation commenced the programme Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence in the region of South East Europe (SEE) in 2014 with the programme execution in Serbia which was gradually expanded to Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 2015/16. Following the successful implementation in these countries, the programme was further expanded to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2016.
The Lions Quest “Skills for Adolescence” programme is a school-based drug use prevention intervention targeting the students of the age group of 10-14 with the educational package on social emotional learning, aiming to develop the refusal skills to cope with peer pressure, to enhance the scholastic achievements and their attachment to school and to delay and prevent the onset of drug use.
Until today, the programme was implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education in 145 elementary schools across the SEE region reaching more than 7,000 students with the programme execution. Positive trends, in terms of substance use, normative beliefs, intention to use substances and refusal skills among the groups exposed to the programme, were noticed as a result of a structured programme evaluation.
"Prevention is better than cure." -Desiderius Erasmus
Helping our young grow into happy adults
We know from research conducted in these countries that the programme works, that the programme has the desired effects in terms of drug and alcohol prevention, that it has the desired effects in terms of social emotional skill development and so, the more were able to talk to the pilot countries and identify what has been successful, identify challenges that need to be overcome, the more we will be able to create stronger programmes for those countries and throughout the SEE Region.
We are grateful to have this link with the Lions Clubs International Foundation to avail that tool, which is the Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence, as one of the outputs that helped us meet the objectives regionally. We are very happy that this initiative is taking a place in the SEE region and that many countries are benefiting from it and we are sure that we can expand this process, in the future.
Ready-Made & Free of Charge
The programme is multifaceted. This programme really helps us deal with all the problems concerning adolescents. It is implemented by trained teachers in schools, which is great. I think we are really privileged to have been able to be the beneficiaries of this programme. We got it ready-made, the whole package, completely free of charge for our schools.
Accrediting the Programme
I think that we will move towards accrediting the programme, but also to see if maybe there is chance for some intercultural programme which could include topics from different subjects. Then, we could include this programme into those subject programmes so that we could implement it not only in these 17 schools but in as many schools in Montenegro as possible.
A new page in the educational system
With this programme a new page in the educational system has been turned, more precisely in the chapter on child upbringing. These issues have already been covered before, but I personally think that the subject that are part of this programme are extremely useful and that they will bring the expected results.
Fits really well
The programme fits really well with our national programmes, also because the text of the National Strategy on Supervision over Narcotic Drugs has been agreed on, so these programmes will have a great place there.