04 May 2018 - UNODC and the Dominican Republic have joined forces to promote sport as a tool for social development, with life skills training that helps youth build resilience to violence, crime and drug use.
UNODC's evidence-based life skills training, Line Up, Live Up - an initiative of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration - offers a sports-based training curriculum of 10 sessions, transferring the accumulated expertise of the United Nations and other partners in working to prevent violence, crime and drug use, all in a sports settings. Through Line Up, Live Up, sports coaches, physical education teachers and other trainers, working in various communities' schools and sports facilities, can help young people develop valuable life skills; these include critical thinking, problem solving, resisting social pressures to engage in delinquency, coping with anxiety, and communicating effectively, through a set of interactive and fun exercises.
The initiative complements the ongoing efforts of Dominican authorities to introduce a competence-based curriculum as part of the current Educational Reform, and to integrate sports in all schools across the country. In the same scope, the recent agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Sport and Recreation aims to ensure that sport becomes an integral part of a competence-based school curriculum, ensuring accessibility to sport for all and focusing on marginalised and vulnerable communities - all priorities for the Ministry of Sport and Recreation.
Following the announcement of the cooperation with UNODC, the Minister of Education, Andrés Navarro, spoke on the relevance of the initiative for his country. "I believe the implementation of the Line Up, Live Up programme is very timely for the Dominican Republic, and it can complement our ongoing efforts and initiatives to move to a comprehensive competence-based curriculum, focusing on critical life skills such as communication, critical thinking, and problem solving, which will help our youth to develop positive social behaviour." Adding to this, the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Danilo Diaz, highlighted that "the programme will also be beneficial for our coaches and trainers, and will help them develop new pedagogical and interactive methods to work with youth."
The implementation of Line Up, Live Up in the Dominican Republic will also build on the experience and expertise of the National Council on Drugs (CND) in working with at-risk youth, through life skills trainings and sport based activities. "CND looks forward to continuing its cooperation with UNODC on evidence-based prevention programmes, addressing common underlying factors for youth violence, crime and drug use, and promoting sport as a tool for prevention," noted the President of CND, Retired Major General Rafael Guerrero Peralta.
Working in close cooperation with these three entities - the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Sport and Recreation, and the National Council for Drugs - UNODC will help build the capacity of sport coaches and physical education teachers as they incorporate Line Up, Live Up into their programmes in schools, community sports centres and clubs. With the pre-pilot already planned for the second half of 2018, a national training of trainers will take place in Santo Domingo for about 25 trainers, who will then train approximately 500 youth. This pre-pilot aims to facilitate the cultural and institutional adaptation of the initiative in the Dominican Republic, with plans to scale it up to the national level as of 2019.