LCIF and UNODC Expand Lions Quest Implementation in Montenegro
In collaboration with the Ministry of Education of Montenegro, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and UNODC expanded the implementation of the Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence program with the inclusion of 11 additional elementary schools from the coastal region of Montenegro in October 2018. The expansion process commenced with the organization of a training for educators, including 23 teachers, pedagogues, and psychologists, who were nominated by the Ministry. The professional development workshop prepared teachers to lead program implementation in their schools and relevant instructional techniques.
To date, 20% of all Montenegrin schoolchildren have enrolled in Lions Quest.
Lions Quest is an evidence-based intervention owned and operated by Lions Clubs International Foundation. It is based on the methodological approach of developing social and emotional competences with students as a foundation to establish relevant practices to prevent and delay the onset of drug use.
In Montenegro, Lions Quest was first piloted in 2015 in 17 middle schools with 1,475 students. Following the positive results of the initial pilot, additional middle schools from Kotor, Bijela, Bar, Tivat, Ulcinj, Budva, Herceg Novi and Prcanj got involved in the expansion project in 2018. In this cycle, LCIF and UNODC are investigating the effectiveness of a varied implementation modality in which teachers conduct the program across two academic years instead of one. The outcomes will be systematically measured in order to further inform best practices worldwide.
As part of the project, trained educators undergo follow-up training sessions where LCIF and UNODC continue to collect data and assessments about the project. Educators also have an opportunity to discuss issues related to social and emotional learning and hot topics facing youth today such as social media. The next follow-up sessions are planned for April 2020, and the current implementation cycle will wrap up in June 2020. For additional information, please see the UNODC web story on the event available at www.unodc.org/southeasterneurope by Milos Stojanovic and Diane Sahakian.
LCIF and UNODC began collaborating on Lions Quest in South Eastern Europe in 2014. So far, Lions Quest has been implemented in five countries in the region: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. To date, 20% of all Montenegrin schoolchildren have enrolled in Lions Quest.
Ariel Dickson, is the Lions Clubs International Foundation regional specialist for Lions Quest programming in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.