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LCIF and UNODC Collaborate with Guatemalan National Drug Commission to Reduce Risky Behaviors

Ariel Dickson

LCIF and UNODC Collaborate with Guatemalan National Drug Commission to Reduce Risky Behaviors

In March 2017, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), UNODC, and the Guatemalan Executive Secretariat of the Commission against Drug Addictions and Illicit Trafficking (SECCATID) jointly launched an initiative to promote positive behaviors in youth as part of the national drug prevention strategy. Lions Quest, an evidence-based prevention program operated by LCIF, is being implemented in middle schools across Guatemala as part of this initiative.

Lions Quest aims to decrease risky behaviors by building resiliency in youth.

In August and September 2017, 43 educators from 16 schools were trained on developing social and emotional competencies in their students using Lions Quest. As part of the pilot program, trained teachers will be responsible for leading Lions Quest lessons with their students.

Lions Quest, or Leones Educando as it is called in Guatemala, aims to decrease risky behaviors by building resiliency in youth. While undergoing the program, teachers and students complete interactive activities to learn and practice a range of personal and social skills. As part of prevention education, students discuss social norms, attitudes, and expectations associated with substance use and its consequences. They also develop refusal abilities to counteract social pressures to use substances. These same personal and social skills developed in Lions Quest help students cope with all challenging life situations in a healthy way.

Lions Quest is an evidence-based and research-based social and emotional learning program. Its ongoing implementation in South Eastern Europe, Central America, and West Africa is the result of the successful cooperation between Lions Clubs International Foundation and UNODC.

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Ariel Dickson, is the Lions Clubs International Foundation regional specialist for Lions Quest programming in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.