This manual describes ten seminars oriented to provide at-risk youth with the knowledge needed to improve their life skills, perceptions of life as also those of society. It profits from the capacity that sports have to create a sense of support, belonging and loyalty which in turn encourage participants to collaborate, understand and tolerate individuals from different backgrounds. By changing mentalities through education, “Line up, Live up” builds on previous UN experiences in developing and implementing an evidence-based crime, violence and drug use prevention program. The seminars are designed to be accessible and easy to put into place as there’s no need for complex or expensive equipment. It is also desirable to include youth from all genders, sexual orientations, socio-economical backgrounds and cultures in order to create from the beginning an atmosphere of tolerance and empathy.
The life skills expected to develop in attendants are:
1. Coping with stress and emotions
Letting negative/intense emotions like anger or sorrow build up inside one’s mind without acknowledging them can lead to risky and/or unhealthy behavior. Recognizing the existence of negative emotions is the first step to work out techniques to appropriately respond to them.
2. Critical thinking
It refers to the ability to process and apply knowledge previously acquired in real life situations from an objective perspective. Critical thinking contributes to the recognition of relevant factors that influence attitudes such as peer pressure or the media.
3. Decision-making and problem solving
Approaching a challenge from a strategic point of view lets the attendants assess options and consequences their actions may have. Decision making skills allow the individual to aboard in an effective manner any dilemmas presented and contributes to the improvement of problem solving abilities. This two life skills are of real importance in scenarios of mediation of conflicts and disputes without the need for violence.
4. Effective communication and relationship skills
Life in community is one of the key characteristics of human nature. Through socialization humans learn how to communicate, behave, feel and self-identify. Through childhood and adolescence, socialization is one of the most important aspect of life, then obtaining a circle of relatives which is healthy and supportive is the base for a peaceful and productive life. Effective communication skills allow individuals to immerse themselves swiftly into society and to exit communities that may have a negative impact on their lives.
5. Refusal skills
Saying no, while basic, is often difficult for children and adolescents that are trying hard to fit in to groups they believe are “popular” or “cool”. Peer and media pressure to give into prejudices or behaviors not desired in the beginning. Verbal and non-verbal tactics taught in the seminars can be used as tools to facilitate the refusal of uncomfortable propositions.
6. Self-awareness and empathy
Empathy consists in the ability that one has to feel how the other feels. Understanding the other’s positions, background and vision of life enriches the life skills of the individuals and contributes to the construction of a more tolerant way of thinking. Self-awareness contributes also to the development of empathy by recognizing one’s strengths and weaknesses, tastes and aversions, and how they can be complemented by others.
Life skills are developed in a constant manner through the modules; which are divided in the following topics: The setting of goals in life, self-control, acknowledging of strengths, respect, peers, self-protection, perceptions, group dynamics, self-help and helping others and the steps to development. This program in general should also be accompanied by complementary community-based intervention in order to target all relevant risk factors in children and adolescents’ lives.
|Projects and Programs
|United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime