For nearly three decades, UNODC has supported non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in low and middle-income countries on youth-centred substance use prevention activities, thanks to the generous contribution from the Drug Abuse Prevention Centre (DAPC) of Japan. It aims to support NGOs initiate and scale-up evidence-based prevention activities for/with youth, and empower youth to take more active roles in supporting the health and wellbeing of their peers.
With the 2-phased process of the DAPC Grants Programme, more than 650 applications went through an eligibility review and technical assessment, and six project proposals have been selected from six countries for the awarding of the DAPC grants. The following 6 grantees will be implementing their projects starting mid-2023, with the hopes of benefiting the children, youth, and community with stronger resilience against substance use.
Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) from Bangladesh is launching its project ‘Enhancing the Capacity of Civil Society to Prevent Drug Abuse Among the Youth’ in Cox’s Bazar. The project aims to build knowledge, capacities, and resilience to prevent substance-use by providing capacity building trainings for teachers, and develop Youth Leaders who will conduct cascade trainings to ‘Youth Brigades’. Together, Youth Leaders and Youth Brigades will conduct extra-curricular activities to raise awareness in the community and school. The grantee also plans to provide parenting skills trainings to parents to support child development and substance use prevention.
In Ecuador, Instituto Preven Foundation is implementing the project ‘Youth Network for the Prevention of Drug Use’, and aims to create a youth movement of leaders for the prevention of drug use, mainly targeting adolescents of 14 and 15-year-old in Quito. Youth groups will be trained in life skills, information about drugs, youth leadership development, and will later conduct outreach activities to their peers. They will also plan and implement drug prevention campaigns for promotion in public schools and neighbourhoods in Quito.
Rural Health Organization is working on the ‘Family-Based Intervention for Prevention of Substance Abuse among Children and Adolescents’ project in five localities inImphal West District, Manipur State, India. Their goal is to support substance use prevention among children and adolescents by targeting the first social institution that children come across during their lives; parents and families. The grantee will be training family facilitators who will conduct parental skills training programmes for the families in the communities. Monthly follow-up sessions are planned to support sustainability, and individual/group counselling are also in their plans.
ACCIONA, Transformando Caminos para Ser y Hacer A.C., from Mexico seeks to strengthen protective factors and mitigate risk factors of substance use by focusing on 3 populations: family, teachers, and youth. Teachers will be trained on identifying characteristics of risky behaviour related to substance use, as well as psychosocial skills needed for classroom management. Parents will be trained to strengthen preventive strategies at the family level, such as assertive listening, and communication management skills. Young people will participate in workshops to learn risk and protective factors, characteristics of substance use and its consequences, and the importance of development of skills and self-realization to promote healthy personal and family behaviours and lifestyles.
In Podgorica, Montenegro, CAZAS is implementing the ‘Youth Empowerment for Resilience!’ project to empower youth aged 12 to 15 with skills and knowledge to become resilient on both personal and environmental risk factors of substance use. The grantee will conduct skills-building programmes for youths and support youth-led actions in schools and empower youth in their roles as youth advocates for drug use prevention.
SANCA Lowveld is implementing its project ‘Children against Drug abuse (CADA)’ in the Ehlanzeni district in South Africa. It will target primary school children aged 9 to 11 years old in local schools, and include life skills sessions and actively engage students in executing outreach activities within their schools and communities. In addition, workshops will also be held for parents and teachers on child development and needs, parenting, substance use and role-modelling.
UNODC is pleased to support these 6 projects within the context of the DAPC Grants programme, and welcomes the new partners from around the world. Further updates on these projects will be provided through the UNODC PTRS social media channels(Twitter @UNODC_PTRS) and on the Youth Action website.