From Japan to Argentina. UNODC selects NGOs that will receive DAPC support in 2011

16 December, 2010 - Better safe than sorry. Thus says the popular saying and that is the purpose of the project  Prevention in Action of the Convivir Argentinean foundation, selected among other NGOs from Brazil and the Southern Cone countries to receive the contribution for 2011 of the partnership project between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Centre for Drug Abuse Prevention in Japan (DAPC). The money was raised by thousands of youngsters in Japan.

The foundation will receive $ 6,000 in support for prevention activities and awareness of drug use with children and mothers who frequent El Pastorcito cafeteria, in the Villa Rosa-Partido de Pilar, in Barrio Lucchetti, in Buenos Aires. The cafeteria serves children who attend the School of Basic Education Nº 48, the only one in the area.

According to a research of the Convivir foundation, zones of exclusion, social vulnerability and precarious work, the mother figure becomes more important and at times of crisis there is an increase of diverse conducts, non-attendance and abandonment of the education system. In the Province of Buenos Aires, for instance, out of 100 students who enter high school, 38% do not graduate, 30% repeat after three years (mostly in the first year), and therefore fall behind and will  have a greater propensity to dropout school, and the remaining 32% will abandon school permanently.

Looking for school dropout prevention and, especially, to raise awareness about drug use, the  Prevention in Action project, which will begin in March 2011, seeks to raise awareness, support and facilitate critical thinking relating to the naturalization and/or the denial of the problematic of drug use within groups of women and children who attend the cafeteria.

The project also aims to reduce risk factors through the training of school directors and teachers so they know how to respond to problems that may arise in the classroom.

Worldwide solidarity

The Convivir foundation is part of a list of 23 NGOs that had their projects selected in 2010 to receive  contribution from UNODC and the NGO Center for Drug Abuse Prevention in Japan (DAPC), Tokyo. The money has been collected by thousands of Japanese teenagers who participated this year in the fundraising campaign of the NGO. For more than fifteen years, the resources have been allocated to projects of awareness and prevention of drug use among young people in developing countries.

To collect funds, students ask for donations on the streets and visit businesses and civil society organizations. The money raised is given to UNODC, responsible every year for selecting NGOs in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe to receive the contribution.

In addition to contributing to the prevention of drug use among youngsters from developing countries, the involvement of youth in the collection process is also a form of drug prevention. During the campaign they learn about the problems associated with drug use and the care they should have, and are trained to disseminate information on the issue in their communities.

Since the beginning of the partnership between UNODC and DAPC, in 1994, about $ 4.5 million have been raised and given to over 500 NGOs, in 90 developing countries. In 2010, the Japanese students were able to raise more than $ 180,000.

Each year, six youngsters who stood out during the campaign are selected to receive the title of Youth Civic Ambassadors. The group travels to Vienna and hands over the contribution to the UNODC Executive Director.

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