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Preparation of the employees with trainings and awareness campaigns

Abstract

Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) abuse and addiction are serious problems among Lebanese youth. Peer education on ATOD abuse in several settings has been found to be an effective way of prevention. This paper describes a collaborative project which trained 30 young activists to lead awareness campaigns in the Lebanon about ATOD abuse and healthy alternatives for relieving stress. The project was initiated by the Armenian Relief Cross in Lebanon (ARCL), funded by the Oxfam Canadian Fund for Social Development and implemented in collaboration with stakeholders in the Armenian community and Oum El Nour organization. Following training, the activists offered awareness sessions to a total audience of 5200:1250 secondary students, 50 university students, 1050 scouts, 300 working adolescents, 50 policemen and 2500 parents. Workshop objectives were met and awareness campaigns evaluated positively by the activists, parents of young people, ARCL and other stakeholders: leaders of Armenian institutions dealing with adolescents and the mayor of Bourj Hammoud. Resource constraints precluded seeking feedback from the young people who participated. Collaboration was deemed to have enhanced the capacity of ARCL, Oum El Nour, and the stakeholders in training young trainees to offer awareness campaigns. The author recommends continuing the project; offering another workshop to support the trainees and building in ways to evaluate the impact of the awareness campaigns on knowledge, attitude and behaviors of the young people taking part. To this effect, evaluation of the impact of the awareness campaigns is already started among school students with the use of control/comparison group design.