Life skills shape the behavior of youth by giving them the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about alcohol and other drugs and associated risks. This very innovative and high quality programme reaches the vulnerable youth of the Chadian society. Life skills lessons are taught through Peer Education, which is based on role modelling and the ability of young people to become leaders and agents of change through empowerment and support.
Chad has the highest per capita consumption of alcohol in the world if abstainers are excluded. Total per capita consumption (drinkers only) per year amounts to 33.9 litres of pure alcohol (WHO 2014). Youth face exclusion, violence and higher risk for sexual behaviour that contributes to the spread of disease. Lack of policies and laws regulating alcohol production, sale and availability and the lack of national rules governing the alcohol market is a further obstacle to development.
The life skills program is designed to increase its impact and, in particular, put gender-based violence on the agenda. The lessons and motor taxi programme for out of school youth use innovative methods for teaching the skills and knowledge young people need to live a healthy life. Peer educators and trainers engage students in a holistic approach to cultivate skills like communication, decision-making, self-confidence and teamwork through sports, social activities and community engagement.
The long-term impact of preventing substance abuse among youth mitigates the negative economic, health and social consequences on society. Teaching the ability to make informed decisions empowers youth to be strong leaders and role models within their community. IBC actively supports Blue Cross Chad in advocating for better alcohol policies at the national level.