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					The Observer News – Second Quarter                      Number 2 Year 3




                   OPERATION SAFE SUMMER 2005

Dave Alexander
DRUG AVOIDANCE OFFICER
Grenada



       One of the featured programmes implemented by the Drug
Control Secretariat of Grenada every year is, “Operation Safe
Summer”. Operation Safe Summer is a drug and violence resistance
education and safety programme. The programme provides primary
and secondary school students with appropriate knowledge and social
skills to resist drugs and violence, and to promote their personal
safety, primarily during the summer vacation. The programme is
conducted during the period 1 June to 31 August annually. This period
of year is a critical one in our society.       Over 25,000 primary,
secondary and tertiary students are on vacation, with a significant
number of them with little or no structured supervision. Further, three
of Grenada’s largest public festivals are held over a two-week period
during the summer. This is a time when many students experiment in
and practice high-risk behaviors (drug use, unprotected sex etc).
Some students sustain physical injuries with can result in loss of limb
or life!

      Given the above scenario, the Drug Control Secretariat, in
collaboration with other social partners, commenced Operation Safe
Summer in 1998.        The programme consists of lectures, public
discussions, radio and television programmes, and training workshops,
on various aspects of high-risk behaviors. Some of the issues dealt
with in Operation Safe Summer include: road safety, water safety, fire
hazards, violence prevention, and personal safety.

      In 2003, an evaluation of Operation Safe Summer was
conducted. The findings of the evaluation exercise revealed that
approximately seventy (70) percent of the trainees had conducted
drug prevention programmes in their schools, while sixty-two (62)
percent had conducted similar programmes in the communities in
which they reside. It was observed that several of these programmes
were conducted among the senior students of the schools, due in part
to the fact that the trainees were themselves senior students.  The
research also found that the programme had adequately prepared
most of the trainees to conduct drug prevention exercises in their
schools and communities.       However, some trainees encountered
problems in planning and executing these activities.
The Observer News – Second Quarter                       Number 2 Year 3




      In 2005, the Drug Control Secretariat will conduct Operation
Safe Summer for the eight consecutive year. As part of Operation
Safe Summer 2005, the Secretariat will conduct three training
exercises: two training programmes for pre-school teachers, and one
for senior students. This training would focus on providing knowledge
and skills to pre-school teachers so that they can be better equipped
to pass on drug prevention messages to pre-school children. The focus
on the prorgamme for senior students would be design and delivery of
drug prevention messages.

      This year’s training sessions would be coordinated by the Drug
Control Secretariat, and facilitated by two volunteers from the Florida
Association of Voluntary Agencies for Caribbean Action Inc.,
(FAVA/CA). FAVA/CA has worked with Grenada in several areas,
including drug demand reduction, and has provided technical and
financial support for Operation Safe Summer from 2000 to 2005.
Operation Safe Summer 2005 would be funded by the Government of
Grenada,     and the European Union, under the Drug Demand
Reduction Project, and FAVA/CA.

				
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