World Teacher’s Day is held every year on 5th October to celebrate all teachers around the globe, and their critical role in transforming learners’ potentials and in the healthy development of children and youth. And according to the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention, strategies found to be effective in preventing drug use involve positive school attachment, interactive activities to develop children’s personal and social skills, as well as classroom environment improvement programmes for teachers and students. Even in very difficult circumstances, children who are in school and feel a sense of belonging are less vulnerable to risky behaviours.
In line with these strategies, we would like to acknowledge the efforts of a DAPC grantee, Friends International in Lao PDR, who demonstrated their recognition and awareness on the importance of education in children’s development. They aimed to prevent substance use among children both on the streets and in schools through mobile education, school reintegration, development of school policies and activities at local schools. In particular, for out-of-school children and youth in marginalized communities, the project team provided non-formal education sessions to build positive affinities to schools and supporting their school enrolments.
Furthermore, the project team was able to drive the development of substance use policies in schools, as well as training for teachers to support their knowledge of substances, reasons of use, the school’s role in drug use prevention, and how to respond to cases of substance use. Teachers were also involved in the discussions on drug use prevention and response policies in school, some of which were adopted by the school at a later stage. Student workshops were also held in participating schools, which are planned to continue even after the project completion to ensure positive long-term influences. Kudos to Friends International for the successful completion of the project and helping children and youth in Vientiane communities to grow and develop healthy and safely!
Thanks to the generous support of the Drug Abuse Prevention Center (Japan).