UNODC scaled up the Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence programme implementation in Serbia

14-16 September 2018, Belgrade, Serbia: Expanding the successful cooperation between UNODC and the Lions Clubs International Foundation on the dissemination of evidence-based drug use prevention strategies, a training of educators for the further implementation of Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence programme (LQSFA) was held for 10 additional elementary schools in Belgrade.

The LQSFA is an evidence-based programme targeting school population by means of addressing the developmental factors with groups of adolescents. It addresses the strengthening of the social emotional skills with groups of students in order to develop the resiliency skills to refuse and delay the onset of drug use. The programme is delivered jointly with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological development of the Republic of Serbia.

This particular programme was initially piloted in Serbia with 21 elementary schools in 2014-2016, reaching more than 1,300 students from the central city municipalities in Belgrade. The pilot programme generated 75 educators and 3 trainers as a resource for continuous and sustainable implementation.

The programme was rigorously monitored and evaluated for effectiveness, where particular positive outcome was evident in the enhancement of the refusal skills among the students that participated in the programme, as well as in the reduction of the reported substance use.

The expansion process of the programme entails a slightly different implementation modality following the list of recommendations from the cultural adaptation report that was derived as a result of the initial pilot phase in Serbia. Following the suggested implementation outline, the programme will be conducted in 10 additional primary schools, both from central Belgrade and municipalities at the outskirts of the city, in the period of two academic years, which is different than the initial pilot implementation period that lasted for one academic year. It is expected that, with the longer implementation period, more programme sessions will be implemented, and thus even more efficient outcomes are expected to be achieved.

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