UNODC and Lions Clubs International Foundation commenced the pilot Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" programme in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
25-27 and 28-30 September 2015, Ohrid, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Lions Clubs International Foundation signed a cooperation agreement last year to pilot the life skill school based programme of the Lions Quest entitled "Skills for Adolescence" in the region of South Eastern Europe.
Following the successful implementation of the programme in the Republic of Serbia, the piloting of the programme has been further extended to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in partnership with the country's Ministry of Education and Science.
The programme has now started with two training workshops, in a series of five, where 30 educators were trained on the programme material, implementation mechanism and teaching skills. Following the results of these training workshops, direct implementation of 40 programme sessions will be conducted in 12 elementary schools in Ohrid and Struga from October 2015 to June 2016.
Upon the completion of a five training workshops cycle, the programme is expected to reach out to more than 2,000 students in 45 elementary schools covering the topics of social emotional skills building as a tool for prevention of drug use risk factors.
A representative from the Ministry of Education and Science of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia officially opened the training, presenting national achieved results related to drug use prevention, mainstreamed interventions and effective policies. The value of the life skill based programme and its complementarity with the current national drug use prevention system has been repeatedly highlighted and welcomed.
The next training workshops, third and fourth, are planned for 9-11 and 13-15 October 2015 in Kavadarci, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with 30 new educators to be trained.