Since July, the Takiwasi Center has been carrying out a drug abuse prevention project among 5th grade students of high-school of the city of Tarapoto, San Martin region.
The project entitled "Identifying specific vulnerabilities that increase risk factors of drug use and performing prevention activities among high-school students of Tarapoto, Peruvian Amazon" is implemented thanks to funds granted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) within the scope of the Youth Initiative program that aims to actively involve local youth groups in prevention activities. The objective of this grant program is to strengthen the capacity of civil society to prevent drug abuse worldwide. In this project the allies of the Takiwasi Center are the young leaders of the Interquorum Network San Martin.
The project is benefiting 15 classrooms for a total of more than 450 teenagers attending 5th grade in the following schools: Virgen Dolorosa, Santa Rosa, Avelino Cáceres Military College.
Among the activities already developed is the application of an assessment test among students in order to identify specific vulnerabilities that increase the risk factors of drug use, so to obtain useful data for successive universal prevention activities.
The test used is the ASSIST, an international standard questionnaire whose administration has been adapted to the local context. After this, each student has received psychological support and advice from the therapeutic team of the Takiwasi Center and a series of theater and body expression workshops are currently being carried out.
Among the expected results, in addition to raising awareness and empowering students with useful tools to address their personal vulnerabilities, it is proposed to sign an inter-institutional agreement between the Takiwasi Center and the schools involved in order to promote future joint activities of prevention and eventual reporting and referral of drug abuse cases. The activities will take place until the end of the school year, scheduled for mid-December.