Chris Bunch 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Lions Quest Partnerships Stretch Worldwide Lions Quest is changing lives around the world, and the world has taken notice. The U.S. State Department and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have recognized that the school-based youth development program is an effective way to teach life skills related to character education, service-learning, bullying and substance abuse prevention to students around the world. The State Department gave LCIF a $150,000 grant to expand Lions Quest in five African countries: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Botswana. Lions Quest launched the expansion in Tanzania in January. Lions from the five African nations, as well as Lions from Zambia and Nigeria, met to discuss ways to involve Lions, parents, schools and government agencies with Lions Quest. African Lions learned more about the Lions Quest program and realized its potential to bring positive, meaningful change to young people. “The program focuses the students to be more committed to the real purpose of their lives,” said a Ugandan Lion. After two days of immersion in Lions Quest, Lions returned home with a purpose of their own. Lions Quest training workshops were held in each of the five countries to prepare teachers to implement the program. Lions didn’t just approach the workshops as opportunities to educate—they used them as moments to celebrate. Lions made banners, invited district leadership to give speeches and invited key community members to attend. As a result of their collective efforts, 25 workshops were completed, 750 teachers were trained and 30,000 students are now benefiting from Lions Quest. The expansion of Lions Quest in Africa has created believers like Past District Governor Abdul Majeed Khan of Tanzania. “The invention of Lions Quest is a milestone in human progress,” said Khan. Progress is still being made. New workshops are being planned, another African Lions Quest summit is in the works and the Lions Quest curriculum is being adapted to local African languages and cultures. Nigeria recently took the first step toward building its own program when it received an LCIF grant to help Lions create public awareness of Lions Quest. “The future of our country lies with the youth,” said a Ugandan Ministry of Education official. “It is therefore gratifying to know that the Lions Quest intervention in Uganda is aimed at helping the youth live their lives responsibly.” The UNODC is partnering on an initiative to help the young people of southeastern Europe live healthier and more responsible lives through Lions Quest. LCIF provided a $100,000 grant to translate, adapt and implement Lions Quest in Serbia and Montenegro in collaboration with the UNODC. The two entities will work together to implement family skills training programs to prevent drug use, HIV/AIDS, crime and delinquency among young people. The UNODC has embraced the Lions Quest curriculum, “Skills for Adolescence,” because it is an evidence-based program that has proven effective in reducing behaviors that put young people at risk. “We are enthusiastic about the possibility of aligning Lions Quest with UNODC’s Family Life Skills Program,” said Piero Bonadeo, a UNODC deputy representative, at Lions Day with the United Nations in March. “It will be the beginning of a strong, solid and fruitful relationship.”
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