Algiers, Algeria – 28 November 2023
The harmony in family relations between children and caregivers can serve as a foundation for a resilient and prosperous future for children and contribute to their growth. Young people may face difficulties and become more vulnerable to risky behaviours such as drug use, violence and crime as a result of unhealthy family relations. This is what UNODC seeks to address by implementing the “Strong Families” programme in Algeria.
The Strong Families (SF) Programme is a family skills programme that provides an evidence-informed prevention response to building family skills that benefits the health and safe development of children. SF helps caregivers and children (ages between 8 and 15 years) to deal with difficulties and daily stresses and challenges. A main component of this programme is to strengthen the family capacity to help families prevent drug use, violence and other negative social consequences in their children.
"As a clinical psychologist with over 15 years of experience, my work has primarily centered on vulnerable youth. Throughout my career, I consistently prioritized my commitment to these young individuals,” shared one of the “Strong Families” training participants. UNODC conducts trainings of trainers as part of its sustainability strategy. Equipped with an extensive toolkit from the training, the trainees are now able to apply the “Strong Families” tool at the local level in the youth center where she works.
Two “Strong Families” sessions were provided to 34 practitioners, including social workers from various participating government sectors, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of National Education, the General Directorate of National Security, the National Office for the Fight against Drugs and Drug Addiction and the National Body for the Protection and Promotion of Children, as well as Civil Society Organizations with a specific mandate on youth protection and resilience in the face of drug-related risks, violence and crime.
“Thanks to the ‘Strong Families’ training, I am now reevaluating my perspective on this issue [vulnerability of youth]. I am increasingly realizing that young people who are facing difficulties or even conflicts with the law are the reflection of broader challenges that affect their entire family. The specific sessions for families and caregivers are a novelty and an advantage in my role as an experienced psychologist,” continued the trainee.
The trainings were implemented under the ‘Youth 4 Impact’ regional programme that has already positively influenced 8,607 families and 382 professionals working with communities in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine and Sudan. Recently, Algeria joined ‘Youth 4 Impact’, with an anticipated reach of at least 900 families under the ‘Strong Families’ programme.
"Youth 4 Impact" aims to empower young men and women, including those most vulnerable and at risk, to face life's challenges and become more resilient against crime, violence, and drugs. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Development and Economic Cooperation (BMZ), ‘Youth 4 Impact’ has already been successfully implemented in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine and Sudan in addition to Algeria.