As a result of the collaboration between United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Lions Club International Foundation, a strong evidence based prevention tool will be added to the prevention programming of Serbia. This programme called LionsQuest (Skills for Adolescents) is a school based programme delivered by teachers that works on improving the social and life skills of students in order to prevent a variety of risk factors including substance use.
Through this programme, Serbian students, families, schools and communities will engage in creating a community that cares, that works on promoting positive behavior. It also provides opportunities for young people to learn the essential skills needed to lead a healthy and productive life. It promotes a healthy approach to life free from the harms of alcohol and other drugs. Serbia will be the first country in the South Eastern European region to benefit from the piloting of LionsQuest.
The launch of the programme was on July 15, 2014 in Belgrade. It was nationally attended by a delegation representing the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Republican expert committee for prevention and control of drug addiction, Institute of public health of Serbia and the city municipalities Zvezdara and Novi Beograd.
The launch included a description of the value added and the international knowledge and expertise of the LionsQuest Skills for Adolescents by the LionsQuest main office in Chicago, USA. It also covered a presentation on how this programme moves the Serbian national prevention programming closer in line with the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention.
The first of a series of five trainings of Serbian teachers on Skills for Adolescents will commence in August 2014. This training will lead to a direct implementation of the 40 sessions of this programme in 20 elementary schools in the municipalities of New Belgrade and Zvezdra during the following academic year.
This programme was made possible through the financial and technical support from Lions Club International Foundation and will be coordinated by UNODC.