Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

The Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (SFP,10-14) was piloted in two schools in Ashgabat

Ashgabat, October-December 2018

Aiming to equip parents and youth with the skills that will support them to deal with risky behaviours and prevent Turkmen adolescents to use natural and synthetic illicit substances, the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries in collaboration with the Ministries of Health and Education of Turkmenistan implemented the "Strengthening Families Programme for youth aged 10-14" (SFP 10-14) in two schools in Ashgabat. 

The programme was conducted with the presence of 120 family members during 7-weekly primary sessions from October to December 2018. The trained national SFP facilitators who are mainly teachers of the two piloted schools and specialists from the Ministry of Health of Turkmenistan led the sessions. They were certified to work as national SFP facilitators by two international SFP experts in May 2018.

During the 7-week primary sessions, parents learnt about the appropriate disciplinary practices, for instance, how to manage strong emotions, and how to communicate effectively with their youth. In parallel, the adolescents learnt how to effectively deal with peer pressure by saying "No". They also learnt other personal and social skills, including management of stress as well as problem-solving. Moreover, both parents and youth were engaged in some activities designed for improving conflict resolution, communication skills and family bonds.

Having considered that the SFP programme, unlike other family support programmes implemented in Turkmenistan in the past, has a whole-family approach and works with parents and youth as a unit it has been successful and well received by families and teachers.

" Families are our most basic community. Things such as a sense of belonging to a family, growing in a safe and protected environment and being valued and supported by a family are considered as our basic needs and this is what the SFP programme focuses on." said one of the teachers.

Many thanks to the European Union for supporting this programme.