Tehran, 2 August 2017- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the Drug Control Headquarters (DCHQ) of the Islamic Republic of Iran conducted 3 consecutive training workshops for experts from 8 NGOs on drug prevention among Iranian and Afghan youth and women at risk from 25 to 2 August 2017. Aimed at re-instigating pilots among these at risk populations, this 7-day training workshop was conducted with the gracious financial support of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The opening ceremony on 25 July 2017, participated by the First Secretary of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Tehran, Ms Dorota Magdalena Berezicki, sought to bring experts and institutions from the drug remand reduction fields together. The timely activity, aspiring drug prevention among youth and women by Non-Governmental Organisations, was welcomed by both Drug Control Headquarters as and UNODC Iran.
On the notes of the opening ceremony, Mr. Mohammad Birjandi, Director General of the Civil Society Organisations and Public Participation Department of DCHQ announced that DCHQ will welcome any opportunity for advanced involvement of NGOs as vanguards for tackling the issue of drugs in the field by raising awareness and empowering at risk populations through scientific-oriented approaches. Furthermore, the representative of the donor country, Ms. Berezicki also mentioned: “The issue of combating the use of illicit drugs is very important to my Government. I am very happy that we are able to work with UNODC on this workshop, because I think that it is very important to give the NGOs the tools that will enable them to fulfil their work”.
Initially conducted to increase the capacity of the selected NGOs for piloting the two earlier translated and developed training packages for the two at risk populations in the coming months, the main goal of the training was to acquaint those in the field with the intricate contents, the psychological theories base of the packages together with methods and approaches that have proved to be the most effective.
The issue of drug use is a critical concern amongst developing countries. Islamic Republic of Iran, located in one of the main conduits of the transit of illegal drugs, is especially hit by the issue of drugs. Iranian and Afghan youth and women, particularly spouses of drug users and youth in street and labour market, are ever more prone to use of illicit drugs. This workshop was organized by sub-programme 3 of UNODC Country Partnership Programme for Iran, “IRN/Z78- Drug Use Prevention, Treatment, Rehabilitation, and HIV Care”, and aimed at reducing the demand for drugs, mitigating the public health and social consequences of drug abuse, and protecting women, children, families and communities from drug addiction and HIV. The seven selected NGOs shall implement the mentioned drug prevention pilots in Tehran, Shahriyar, Mashhad and Bushehr funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.
The first three days of the training envisaged to familiarize the participants with the principles of drug prevention and reviewed, together with the participants, facilitation and other training techniques. Moreover, it imparted an overview of the contents and the methodologies applied in the training packages. In the next four days, the participating NGO experts had the opportunity to practice the delivery of training according to the selected training packages. This was thought simply as a simulation of what participants are about to face as trainers for the upcoming months in the field. It rendered the opportunity to practice the methods and demonstrate how the experts are qualified in a supporting teaching environment. A few good intricacies, noted in the workshop, made the trainers more comfortable with the envisaged tasks under the pilots with the hopes of achieving drug prevention goals in the implementation in the upcoming months. “I found the training very practical and now feel much more confident for leading youth and women drug prevention training groups in my centre,” said one of the participants at the end of the training.