Islamic Republic of Iran


The Life Skills meets needs of Afghan and Iranian at-risk youth to stay away from drugs

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the Drug Control Headquarters (DCHQ) of the Islamic Republic of Iran conducted 24 weekly sessions on drug prevention life skills training for at risk Afghan and Iranian youth in 8 centres run by NGOs in Tehran, Bushehr and Mashhad graciously funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.

The life skills training manual used for the present training is the revised and adapted translation of a life skills training developed originally the well-known Expert, Ms. Clare Hanbury MA, RCC, Founder and Director of Children for Health (UK) with her kind exclusive permission.


The aim of the training is to empower at risk youth with practical life skills to manage their lives in a way making drug use unnecessary. The training works on life skills such as, self-awareness, interpersonal relationships, goal setting, decision making and solving problem, ability to say no in confrontation with abusive situation and drugs, and coping with negative emotions and many more.

"I can say NO" is the feedback that Atefeh* one of 121 students who has attended the life skill training said in the last session of the training.



Participation in this 24 sessions UNODC training was a great experience for both the youth as well as the training facilitators according to many statements they expressed.  The content of life skills training is ambitious and fun at the same time fostering group learning dynamics. "The classes were so much fun" said Razegh*, one of the participants to the training. "I myself enjoyed the time carrying out the training with the children, also I found the training very useful and practical" said one of the trainers.

Moreover, the 24 sessions design offers an excellent opportunity for the participants to actively practice and rehearse the skills in a safe living environment, learning teamwork, sharing ideas, discuss problems and many more.

The present pilot of the 24 sessions life skills training for at-risk children was implemented following an earlier training of trainers, where the NGO drug prevention staff entrusted with the present training of at-risk children had been familiarized with the principles of facilitation and drug prevention. They also had the chance to deliver training in the presence of their peer trainers and master trainers earlier. The pilot took place in continuation of this earlier training of trainers and in the context of a 7-day training conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the Drug Control Headquarters (DCHQ) July/August 2017 funded by the Federal Republic of Germany as well.

Now at the end of 24 sessions feedbacks of the youth is extremely positive. In the last session of her training Maryam said to the circle of her peers, "I can behave better with my family and classmates". "I feel very much calmer now" said Firouzeh.  Most of the participating children were keen to continue working on the skills they had learned during the training.




The assessment of the pre- and post-evaluation revealed that the emotional problems of the participating youth had decreased significantly following the training.

*The names were changed for the purpose of ensuring anonymity

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