The Consolidated Youth for Peace & Development (COYPED) a registered non-for profit youth led organization operating in Liberia since 2008 has being awarded a grant from the European Union, ECOWAS and the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crimes to prevent alcohol and drug abuse in Liberia.
UNODC, in collaboration with The ECOWAS Commission, is implementing a regional project to “Support the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking, related organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa” from January 2015 – November 2018). This project is fully funded by the EU. The overall objective of this project is to contribute to a reduction of drug abuse, illicit drug trafficking and related organized crime in West Africa through the implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan.
In Liberia, COYPED will implement a twenty months project (January 2017-August 2018). The project is a peer education engagement to prevent substance use among young people in Liberia. The primary goal of the project is to equip young people able to develop, adopt and sustain healthy attitudes and behaviours towards a drug free Liberia targeting Montserrado, Bong, Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties. Twenty peer educators will be trained within each of the following counties: Bong, Nimba and Grand Bassa respectively, while forty peer educators will be trained within Montserrado due to size of its population.
The project will also adopt a youth to youth approach by training peer educators as prevention ambassadors who will work with youths and students in target schools and communities as mentors in the establishment of the alcohol and drug prevention clubs for effective awareness and sensitization campaigns. These clubs will be manage by organized community based youth organizations and students. 10,000 youths will directly benefit as the result of the implementation of this project, while approximately 250,000 people of all ages and gender will indirectly benefit from the project through mass media engagement and ICT.
Programs will also be developed that target youth and adolescent involved with harmful substance used. These programs will basically focus on awareness creation, training and peer counselling so as to discourage and minimize drug abuse among substance users. The project will also encourage and involve families and communities in the development and implementation of community based prevention strategies in the Project selected counties to ensure that the project is sustained.
An analysis of relevant stakeholders will be carryout to establish strategic partnership with institution such as UNODC-Liberia office, Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth & Sports, and CBOs for the successful implementation of the project in the selected counties.
The project will be implemented under the title “Peer Education Program for Alcohol & Drug Prevention among young people in Liberia”