UNODC scales up its social and emotional learning program Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence in Bosnia and Herzegovina

19-20 July 2023, Banja Luka and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: As part of the Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence (LQSFA) Programme implemented in South-Eastern Europe (SEE), UNODC in partnership with and co-funding from the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) will conduct a new phase of the programme. To initiate the process, UNODC representatives, Wadih Maalouf, Global Coordinator of Preventive Programs and Zana Glavendekic, Regional Coordinator met with the Ministries of Education at the entity level, and other officials to discuss further cooperation and the implementation of the upcoming phase of the "Lions Quest" Program - Skills for Adolescence.

UNODC presented the results of the successfully implemented previous phase of the project for students in a number of selected primary schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other Western Balkan jurisdictions, announced the upcoming project phase in Bosnia and Herzegovina focused on capacity development training for education professionals working with students, as well as the evaluation and expansion of the Program.

The Government officials expressed interest for the upcoming activities aimed at improving the skills of educators to effectively address the challenges faced by students, build their resilience towards drugs, violence and other unwanted behaviors and enhance social and emotional skills.

The main goal is to expand the program to a larger number of schools. The training will include schools where the program has been already implemented, as well as schools that are new to the program.

The LQSFA programme is an effective evidence-based prevention programme for young people aimed to help them develop various social and emotional skills, take responsibility, communicate effectively, make healthy decisions and resist substance abuse.

The LQSFA programme was initially launched in South-Eastern Europe in 2014 and gradually expanded to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia reaching more than 10,500 students in over 210 elementary schools across the region. Following a strict evidence-based implementation modality, the programme proved to be effective and showed encouraging results in substance use reduction, the intention to use drugs and dissuasive effects on the engaged students on substance use in their local environment.