FOTO RUEDA DE PRENSANavalmoral de la Mata, 14 January 2016.- The European Academy of Yuste Foundation and Navalmoral Town Council have launched the seventh competition for secondary schools in Extremadura to prevent drug abuse in teenagers’ leisure and free time, titled “Young people speak: from local to European strategy”.

During the presentation, Carmen Núñez, General Manager of Social Policy, Child and Family of the Government of Extremadura and a member of the Board of Trustees of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation, explained that “several new features have been incorporated this year with respect to previous ones in order to give the project a more European dimension”. In this regard, she highlighted the collaboration of the European Commission, which has provided promotional material on European integration and the functioning of the institutions, which has been distributed around the six selected schools. This information will be supplemented by a videoconference between each school and the representative of the Foundation in Brussels and a talk on European prevention policies, to be given by the delegates of the Foundation for Help Against Drug Addiction in Extremadura. Another new feature will be a talk given by a technical expert from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction in Lisbon, which will be held in May.

Moreover, the Foundation is striving to improve in the future the competition prizes so the winning school learn more about the European institutions, and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addictions.

The competition, which has run for seven years without interruption, has achieved the participation of 42 secondary schools in the region, directly involving more than 1,000 pupils and a further 1,500 indirectly.

This year the schools from Cáceres which will take part are La Vera Alta in Villanueva de la Vera, Albalat in Navalmoral de la Mata and Al-Qazeres in the city of Cáceres itself. The schools from the province of Badajoz are Virgen de Gracia in Oliva de la Frontera, Fuente de Roniel in Fuente del Maestre and Albarregas in Mérida.

The competition is aimed at pupils in their fourth year of secondary education, who have to make an oral presentation of their work to the other schools in their province. The main objective is to seek “the involvement of young people by means of a participatory and direct dynamic, given that the pupils themselves, together with their tutors, perform the work enabling them to really understand the harmful effects of drug abuse”.

As for Raquel Medina, the Mayoress of Navalmoral de la Mata, she looked back on the history of the competition, underlining the importance of the fact that transmitting the message among equals “achieves better results, increasing the skills and competencies of young people in rejecting the consumption of drugs”.

The semi-final for the province of Cáceres will be held on 4 March in Navalmoral de la Mata and the one for Badajoz will take place on 11 March in Mérida, while the final will be held in May in Navalmoral de la Mata.

Support from the Foundation

This program was created as a municipal project in 2006 and began to develop at a regional level as a result of the cooperation of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation, which provided its support to this undertaking with initiatives for the development of the area around Yuste, such as the Route of Emperor Charles V and the Entrepreneurial Program for Tobacco Growers.