Number of North Macedonian Teachers Educated in Lions Quest Exceeds 100
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), in collaboration with UNODC and the Ministry of Education and Science of North Macedonia, successfully expanded the implementation of the Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence program in North Macedonia with the inclusion of 10 additional middle schools. In October 2018, 20 educators from these schools participated in a Lions Quest workshop held in Skopje.
Lions Quest complements the current national drug-use prevention strategy in North Macedonia, and it has been repeatedly highlighted and welcomed by local government.
Participants were trained on the program material and effective facilitation skills in order to conduct Lions Quest lessons with their students in local middle schools from November 2018 to June 2020. To date, educators from Skopje, Veles, Kumanovo, and Bitola have successfully completed training workshops, thus increasing the current number of trained teachers in the country to 104.
A representative from the Ministry of Education and Science of North Macedonia officially opened the training, presenting nationally achieved results related to drug use prevention, mainstreamed interventions, and effective policies. Lions Quest complements the current national drug-use prevention strategy in North Macedonia, and it has been repeatedly highlighted and welcomed by local government.
The Lions Quest program is an evidence-based youth intervention based on the methodological approach of developing social and emotional competences with students as a foundation to establish relevant practices that prevent and delay the onset of drug use. LCIF and UNODC initially piloted Lions Quest in North Macedonia in 2015 with 47 schools, reaching more than 1450 students across the country. The pilot program prepared 76 educators and 2 national Lions Quest trainers as a resource for continuous and sustainable implementation. Because of the positive impact of the intervention, the Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence program has been approved by both the Bureau for Education Development and the Ministry of Education and Science. For additional information, please see the UNODC web story on the event available at www.unodc.org/southeasterneurope by Milos Stojanovic and Diane Sahakian.
As part of this second phase of the project, educators will also undergo follow-up training sessions where LCIF and UNODC will 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. The next follow-up sessions are planned for April 2020, and the current project implementation cycle will wrap up in June 2020.
Ariel Dickson, is the Lions Clubs International Foundation regional specialist for Lions Quest programming in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.