With 2022 drawing to a close, we would like to express our gratitude to all youths and partners that have contributed to accomplishing meaningful milestones and events throughout the year.
Of course, one of the most important key milestones was the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Youth Initiative. To celebrate great initiatives by youth and promote their triumphs and voices, we invited youth alumni (previous Youth Forum participants) to a special Alumni Session in the Youth Forum 2022. Youth alumni warmly welcomed the Youth Forum participants of 2022 and inspired them by sharing their own experiences of the Youth Forum, what they gained, and how they sought to advocate for substance use prevention in their own communities after their participation. The Youth Forum 2022 also observed its highest number of participants since its launch in 2012, with 74 participants from 43 countries joining together to learn about evidence-based substance use prevention and meaningful youth participation. (Click here to view the 2022 Youth Forum report)
As part of the decade celebration, a commemorative video was also created, featuring youth alumni continuing to work in their communities with drug prevention efforts and calling out for prevention to be put on the agenda (Celebrating a Decade of the UNODC Youth Initiative! - YouTube). The first Youth Alumni Reunion was also organized on the occasion of the International Youth Day, with 39 alumni from 26 countries coming together to meet again and share their experiences in drug prevention and youth empowerment, despite their current location and profession.
In addition, the DAPC grants programme will soon be celebrating its own special milestone, as 2023 will be the 30th year of fundraising by the Drug Abuse Prevention Center (DAPC). As efforts to raise more awareness, communications and visibility highlights on the DAPC grants programme and related projects were increased throughout 2022, including the launch of a renovated DAPC website. UNODC continues to support DAPC grant recipients in implementing youth-focused drug use prevention projects in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe.
We would like to take this opportunity to look back on 2022 with appreciation to the youth, DAPC grantees, sponsors and many others who have contributed to another successful year of the Youth Initiative. The entire team wishes everyone Happy Holidays!