On April 21st 2016, the Boys and Girls Plus project organized the roundtable “Public health issues and creative approaches to engage young people”, an opportunity to kick start a discussion on the potential and the perspectives of prevention programmes that use creative content and approaches to communicate and engage younger generations.
The event took place at the European Parliament in Brussels.
The roundtable report is available here.
Boys and Girls Plus is an initiative funded by the European Union. It is based on the webseries Boys and Girls and its main aim is to raise awareness about drug abuse related-risks among European teenagers.
To accomplish this objective, the Boys and Girls Plus programme based its pedagogical principles on the life skills model as a strategy to manage the social influences in drugs use, which has shown promising results from the research undertaken by Gilbert Botvin. The programme is based on three pillars: improving Information, promoting the development of healthy attitudes and developing Life-Skills.
Boys and Girls Plus aim is to offer an evaluated health promotion programme to educators in different educational settings. The collaboration between experts in different areas (educational programmes creators, training experts, researchers and practitioners) allowed the development of a flexible and comprehensive intervention programme.
The programme is composed of 6 units (45 to 135 minutes). Each unit is independent. Each unit includes 4 activities. Activities 1 and 2 are compulsory activities of each unit. Activities 3 and 4 are electives as you may want to work in more depth on that unit: Activities 3 include group discussion and activities with less personal disclosure by participants (third person examples). Activities 4 are focused on personal reflection and analysis of motivations and feelings of participants.
The programme has an interactive methodology in which the conversation is the main tool. Through dialogue young people will develop their own script/language about their attitudes towards life that will help them resist peer pressure. More about the methodology can be read directly inside the manual, available at the link that you will find in the end of this page.
The Boys and Girls Plus manual is currently available in 7 languages: English, Spanish, Czech, Slovenian, Greek, German, Danish.
It will be soon available also in French and Dutch.
At the following link you will have the possibility to download the manual, the evaluation questionnaires and the episodes of the webseries:
The Boys and Girls Plus team is very pleased to have PRONOI, from Greece, as official collaborating partner of this innovative European drug prevention project for youngsters.
PRONOI Prevention Centre for Addiction and Psychosocial Health Promotion of the Municipality of Kifissia (Athens-Greece) has been involved in the implementation of the Boys and Girls Plus Project since November 2014. Although, they weren’t part of the initial team of the project they are very excited to take part in the programme. So far they have translated and adapted the manual and the related tools (training guide and the questionnaires) in Greek, they have piloted the evaluation questionnaires for students, and they also conducted a successful workshop for trainers in the end of February.
The pilot workshop for trainers (aka training of trainers) was held with the collaboration of the Health Education Officer of Secondary Education-Ministry of Education, Ms. Evaggelia Fryda. In total 17 educators from school from 12 schools of Northern Athens (Kifissia, Chalandri, Marousi etc) were trained in the programme including teachers junior high schools (greek gymnasion) and senior high schools (greek Lykeion). Also, 2 teachers attended from a special school for students with hearing disabilities.
In addition, the programme has been submitted to the Institute of Educational Policy and received the official approval from the Ministry of Education for the pilot implementation in a school setting.
Some of their teachers have started the implementation of the programme and have been giving a very positive feedback. The participating teachers were really excited and enthusiastic about the programme and pointed out that what they really liked is that although it is well structured, it has some degree of flexibility allowing different packages of intensity of implementation. Also, they pointed out that through the webseries teens have the opportunity to reflect upon other important issues of their age apart from drug use, such as sexual health, interpersonal relationships, eating disorders, cyber safety, etc.
The health psychologist Sotiria Makaroni says: “We feel very privileged to have been part of this programme as we feel that is innovative, fresh, and modern and will help greek teens, educators, and prevention professionals to work on issues regarding drug use and prevention in a more effective way. Also, the fact that this programme addresses the age group of senior high school students and those attending professional schools is very crucial as it is an age group neglected in terms of programme implementation.” Mrs. Makaroni is the coordinator of the programme in Greece. She also works together with the social worker Vassiliki Alexaki to facilitate the training of trainers.
“Every school or non-formal learning environment can be part of the pilot implementation of this program,” Oihana Rementeria explains. Ohihana is the project coordinator of the Boys and Girls Plus project in Spain. Boys and Girls Plus is a prevention programme targeted to teenagers between 13 and 19 years applicable in different educational environments.
“The first projct step was to check which drug prevention programmes were available in Europe, not to repeat something that already exists or does not work,” explains Oihana.
After that first review, the project developed a set of educational tools and created a manual for educators with 6 teaching units based on a webseries hosted on You Tube.
You can find the original post in Spanish here, on the “vida solidaria” blog.
What is the quality of school susbstance abuse prevention programmes? How we provide support to educators? How much are we investing in prevention? These are some of the big issues that public institutions and education organizations have to currently face. In this article Edex, a partner of the Boys and Girls Plus project, goes through these issues presenting some of their projects implemented over the last decades.
The article starts reporting worrying data about alcohol consumption in the Basque country: half of the school population between 14 and 15 years consume alcohol; between 1992 and 2012, the population aged 15-18 sober during weekends was reduced from 81.3% to 47.6%; and about 1/3 of adolescents aged 15-18 consume alcohol to excess on weekends.
Read more here, on the blog “vida solidaria”.
The spanish township of Portugalete has been chosen by EDEX Foundation as a partner for the piloting phase of the Boys & Girls project. The government of the city is interested in innovative and participatory approaches for addiction prevention.
One of the local initiatives, Kolokon.com, has been listed in the “Mapping of Social Media based drug prevention program in Europe” that the B&G+ partnership published in August. Kolokon.com provides young internet users with information about most frequently used drugs and reliable information about sexuality.
The collaboration between EDEX Foundation and the City of Portugalete will not require any economic involvement for the municipality. Rather, the town will benefit from taking part of the innovative educational project that will train local teachers and raise awareness among youngsters about healthy lifestyles.
Currently the partners involved in the project are developing the educational tools that are going to be ready in late 2014. Then, in spring 2015, the piloting phase will start with selected partners across 8 European Countries. The B&G+ partnership aims to involve 200 hundreds teachers and 4000 students.
If you are interested in participating in the pilot phase contact us!