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Poseidon at Götaplatsen, a public square near the Forum’s venue (Elite Park Avenue Hotel), in Gothenburg, Sweden.

More than 50 Countries and 250 Communities hear eight D.A.R.E. Youth Advocacy Leaders present projects.

The World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD), a global multilateral community of non-governmental organizations and individuals, held its 6th Annual World Forum Against Drugs in Gothenberg, Sweden on May 14 & 15. The Forum was conducted in conjunction with the European Communities Against Drugs 25th Annual Forum. Together, more than 250 communities and 50 countries participated from around the world.

The events involved in-depth discussions of best practices and strategies for implementing the updated international standards of prevention. For the first time in its history, the organization invited youth to participate in the proceedings and provide their unique challenges and perspectives on drug prevention.

D.A.R.E. America President and CEO Francisco Pegueros, representing D.A.R.E. America/International, a member of the WFAD, joined eight D.A.R.E. Youth Advocacy Board members and presented the positive impact of the advocacy training they had received during the past year, and the individual public advocacy projects each member developed. One such video PSA project presented by YAB member Danielle Littrell was a finalist in a national competition and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tMsrpKYUUs&feature=youtu.be.

Mr. Pegueros, New Jersey D.A.R.E. YAB member Julia Manning, and D.A.R.E. YABs were joined on stage by Thuraya Ismail, Executive Director, Mentor Arabia Foundation, Lebanon, and Immaculate Nanziri, Senior Social Worker, Uganda Youth Development Link, to present on the topic of “Prevention in a Changing World.”

In response to the presentation, Christogonus C. Ibe, Executive Director/Founder, African Youths Initiative on Crime Prevention, Lagos, Nigeria, commented, “I wish to commend you on the great job you are doing through your D.A.R.E programme which has really restored hope and sanity in many homes and communities in America and other countries in the world. I must confess that the presentation of your students was the greatest point of my participation in the conference considering the impact they are making in their different communities.”

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program is the oldest and most comprehensive drug prevention curricula in the world taught in thousands of schools throughout America’s 50 states and its territories, as well as in 50+ other countries reaching more than 1.5 million students annually.

The World Federation Against Drugs works for a drug-free world. Members share a common concern that illicit drug use is undercutting traditional values and threatening the existence of stable families, communities, and government institutions throughout the world. The ECAD is a network of European cities and municipalities. It currently counts as its members over 250 cities in over 20 countries throughout Europe, Turkey and Russia.