Reaching out to children and youth: a policeman as a friend not a foe
Vilnius Police Club, Lithuania
“After Vilnius Police Club for Children and Youth had been selected as one of the best projects (together with the other ten) by the Pompidou Centre in Strasbourg and had won the Swedish Royal award Mentor for innovation, we were strongly encouraged by foreign partners to join the EAD”, said Tatjana Cerniavskiene, coordinator of the project “I create my future myself” at the Vilnius Police Club for Children and Youth. The Club was set up in 2001, and along with the project “I create my future myself”, it aims for early prevention of drug addiction and criminality. “Thanks to our approach of reaching out to the soul of each young individual by listening, talking, explaining and advising, we have been able to make it clear to many young people, what comes next if they start doing drugs and alcohol or criminal activities. We hope our Centre has become a place for young people at risk to come and just be and also find themselves”, she added.
“Thanks to the EAD, we had more opportunities, information and areas for improvement, as well as the possibility of sharing our unique experience in promoting the preventive role of the police in fighting the abuse of drugs among youth”, Cerniavskiene said. One important aim of the European Action on Drugs was to stimulate the exchange of best practices between European civil society actors active in the drugs field.