Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" continues to work with Macedonian and Montenegro schools

21 March 2016, Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; 23 March, Podgorica, Montenegro: UNODC and the Lions Clubs International Foundation initiated the pilot programme "Skills for Adolescence" in June 2015 in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro. The programme is currently being implemented in more than 40 elementary schools in the two countries reaching out to over 3,000 students, significantly supporting the expansion of evidence based drug use prevention initiatives in these countries.

With the intention to address the challenges and report best practices, as well as to collect relevant data on the effectiveness of the programme delivery, the follow-up sessions were conveyed in Skopje and Podgorica with the support of national partners, the Ministry of Education of Montenegro and the Ministry of Education and Science of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The follow-up sessions served as an opportunity for the trained professionals, who are directly supporting the programme implementation in their communities, to network and discuss the value of the programme, its challenges and sustainable solutions. Further institutionalization of social-emotional school based programme was repeatedly highlighted as the  topic of high concern especially in view of the programme capacity to address many drug use protective and resistance factors important for the group of adolescents.

Representatives from the relevant Ministries commended the initiative and repeatedly highlighted the value of the provided expertise both by the Lions Clubs International Foundation and UNODC.

The next follow-up sessions are scheduled for the end of May 2016. In their course, collected data from the elementary schools on drug use patterns, refusal skills, intention to use drugs and perception of harm will be additionally showcased and discussed.