The Lebanese youths have been adversely affected by the abuse of tobacco, alcohol and other harmful drugs. As a result, preventive and rehabilitative measures based on peer education have been put in place in order to curb the menace. Hence, a training program involving thirty young activists was put in place courtesy of the funding secured from the Oxfam pharmaceutical company. This program aimed at increasing the awareness on the need to stop abusing alcohol and other related drugs.
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One of the messages passed across in this collaborative training program was that there other stress relieving ways apart from abusing harmful drugs. The program also aimed at offering alternative ways of dealing with stress-related factors that proved to be troublesome to the young population aged below 30 years.
The key participating agent in this training program was the Armenian Relief Cross. In addition, other local stakeholders were also incorporated in the program with the aim of boosting the drugs awareness campaign.
The awareness and training program managed to reach out for 5,200 trainees. Majority of the audience were secondary school students. The latter accounted for 1,250 participants. Although the youth were the key target in this program, the stakeholders also found it necessary to include parents, security officers, and scouts from all age groups. According to Arevian (2010), the objectives of the training program were met as anticipated.
However, it may not be possible that the workshop objectives were fully met in a single training program and awareness campaign. It is without doubt that this drug awareness campaign was a step or initiative in the right direction. if all the set objectives are to be met, then additional resources such as time and monetary funding would be needed. Besides, the success of the program could only be feasible after a series of continuous awareness campaigns.
As a matter of fact, Arevian (2010) notes that lack of adequate resources could not permit the process of obtaining feedback from the youth who participated in the training program. Nonetheless, the capacity of all the stakeholders who took part in the training initiative was largely boosted by their high level of cooperation and goodwill towards the program. Hence, the objectives in terms of support from stakeholders were clearly attained.
The program had quite a number of strengths and weaknesses. For instance, one of the strengths of the training and drugs awareness campaigns was that it received holistic support and collaboration from various stakeholders. The lead agencies came out in large numbers to offer the technical and moral support.
On the same breath, it was quite easy to recruit youthful participants who were to offer training during the program. Parents, policemen, scouts, working adolescents and other professionals also gave a major boost to the awareness campaign.
On the other hand, the funding obtained from Oxfam was not adequate in facilitating the entire training and feedback program. This monetary support served the most basic function of initiative the awareness campaign.
On the overall, this program could be deemed to be effective bearing in mind that it managed to reach out for over 5000 trainees. In addition, the collaborative support received from both local and international stakeholders strengthened the effectiveness of the project. Hence, I would not hesitate to implement this kind of project in my line of work especially when funding is available.
Arevian, M. (2010). Training trainees, young activists, to conduct awareness campaigns about prevention of substance abuse among Lebanese/Armenian young people. Journal of Inter-professional Care 24(2): 173–182.