D.A.R.E. Honors Bahrain Minister of Interior, His Excellency Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, for His Work to Improve the Prospects of the Nation’s Young People, in New York on November 28. Accepting the honor on behalf of Shaikh Rashid was His Excellency Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Khalifa, the Bahraini Ambassador to the United States.
NEW YORK (November 28, 2018)—Building on their partnership that began in 2011, the Kingdom of Bahrain and D.A.R.E. International are working together to create curricula to give Bahrain’s young people the knowledge and skills they need to avoid being persuaded by extremism. This new program will build on the one that has brought anti-violence and anti-addiction education to more than 80,000 elementary and secondary students in Bahrain so far. D.A.R.E. is a comprehensive drug-use prevention education program taught in thousands of K-12 schools throughout the United States and in 50+ other nations.
The current program is taught by a team of nearly 150 trained officers who will also present the new anti-extremism lessons. The new initiative will be developed and launched in 2019 under the auspices of His Excellency Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister of the Interior, as an extension of the country’s anti-drug strategy. The original, ongoing anti-violence and anti-addiction education programs was introduced by His Excellency Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Khalifa, the Bahraini Ambassador to the United States of America, who was then the Governor of the Southern Province, the largest governate in the Kingdom. These educational programs were conducted as a partnership between the Kingdom of Bahrain and D.A.R.E., in conjunction with the regional office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The Kingdom of Bahrain is the only country in the region to have undertaken these initial programs and the only one to be commencing education to prevent extremism among young people and the adults they will become.
“In Bahrain, where the D.A.R.E. program is known as ‘Ma’an,’ young people are taught by professional law enforcement officers. Ma’an incorporates Arabic and Islamic values around making students mentally stronger, preparing them to resist addictive substances and violent responses to challenging situations in life,” explained Shaikh Abdullah. “So it is fitting that we are expanding Ma’an to include lessons that will keep young people from becoming beguiled by extremist views, by improving their cognitive, social and emotional skills.”
The current Ma’an lessons go beyond anti-violence and anti-addiction education and address cyberbullying and safe use of the Internet, helping them treat each other well and avoid revealing personal information to criminals. “In 2019, we will develop and carry out the new initiative with D.A.R.E. International that will expand students’ skills—and give them the tools needed to avoid radicalization and extremism through improved decision-making,” Shaikh Abdulla added.
As is the case with D.A.R.E. International programs in more than 50 countries, Ma’an first trains uniformed community police officers in delivering highly age-specific lessons to students. The officers then use carefully developed curricula to reach students in classrooms, engaging them with examples and with skills-building exercises.
“We are thrilled to be helping young people in the Kingdom of Bahrain gain the crucial skills that will help them face the difficulties that are part of modern life everywhere,” said Frank Pegueros, D.A.R.E. America President & CEO. “Young people who can stand up to negative peer and other social pressures have a much better chance not only of avoiding harmful substances but also staying away from negative attitudes that create alienation and hardship. Ma’an, the D.A.R.E. program in the Kingdom of Bahrain, will expand to become an important part of the country’s efforts to stem extremism and hate-speak there. The development of new anti-extremism lessons will also benefit students around the world, including the United States.”
On November 28, the Board of Directors of D.A.R.E. International hosted a luncheon at the Metropolitan Club in New York to honor Shaikh Rashid, “for his devotion to the future of the youth of Bahrain through commitment to the nationwide implementation of the D.A.R.E. program.” Accepting the honor on behalf of Shaikh Rashid was His Excellency Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Khalifa, the Bahraini Ambassador to the United States.
Watch the video below about the work Bahrain has been doing to improve the decision making skills of its young people in partnership with D.A.R.E.
Launched in 1983, D.A.R.E. is a comprehensive K-12 education program taught in thousands of schools throughout America, as well as in 50+ other countries. D.A.R.E.’s official mission today is teaching students good decision-making skills to help them to lead safe and healthy lives.
D.A.R.E. education programs are a collaborative effort of the essential components of a community – students, parents, schools, law enforcement, and community leaders. D.A.R.E. places specially trained law enforcement officers in classrooms who deliver science and evidence-based curricula that teach students good decision-making skills that will help them lead safe and healthy lives. While D.A.R.E. curricula address drugs, it also focuses on violence, bullying, internet safety, and other high-risk circumstances that could be a part of the daily life of students.
For information on D.A.R.E. education programs, visit www.dare.org/education