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2009 Russian Students Say "No" to Drugs

Russian Students Say No to Drugs

StudentsFrom 26 March, 2009, the VSL_McKinnon Russian-speaking students are taking part in the ground-breaking project “Russian Youth Say No to Drugs” delivered by the Russian Ethnic Representative Council in Victoria (RERC). Funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health, Russian Community Crime Prevention and by the Attorney General’s Department, the project aims at reducing and preventing illicit drug use among Russian-speaking youth in Victoria. The Area Manager of VSL at McKinnon Center, Ms Venetia Kefalianos, and Area Supervisor, Ms Diana Hatch, welcomed the unique opportunity for VSL students to say no to drugs. Thanks to the mutual cooperation and partnership between the VSL team and the  RERC project officers, the students received substantial training and mastered tools that can be applied towards drug-related issues. 

dummyTwo parts of the Project - informative and interactive - were blended and assimilated into the VCE program. During March-April, students absorbed information on the topic concerning drug use consequences. Apart from listening and comprehending, watching the documentary film has had the strongest impact on them. The following discussion on how to protect yourself from drugs has turned into a practical workshop. The workshop offered a range of activities aiming at how to minimize antisocial behaviors amongst Russian youth, how to recognize the problem, and how to help those who need a firm stand against drugs.

dummyYear 12 student Kostja mentioned that he was impressed by the depth of information presented by the Russian Ethnic Representative Council project officers, Ms Julia Melnik and Ms Elena Belikova, who have organized several thematic seminars and practical workshops. They also encouraged students to take part in the Annual Social Essay Competition on the topic undertaken during March–April and sponsored by the RERC. He submitted his essay on the topic “Russian Students Say No to Drugs” and is eager to receive the results in the middle of May.

dummyVSL Russian teacher, Dr Irina Vasilenko, underlined the significance of the training offered by the RERC. She said, “The significance of the outcomes of this Project is far reaching. The students were not only fully informed about drug-taking consequences, but also equipped with strategies encouraging young people to strengthen themselves against any drugs. Those students who attended these classes and went through the workshop activities will never consider experimenting with drugs However, we should not underestimate the importance of the fact that students were encouraged to see a practical side of studying Russian via social links provided by the Russian community”. Dr Irina Vasilenko is inviting all VCE teachers to explore more opportunities for engaging in a language learning process with life-learning programs offered by ethnic communities in native languages.