Youth, an app against alcoholism

The new device, to prevent alcohol abuse, was presented by the Salesians in Valladolid

The Confederation of Don Bosco Youth centres in Spain, in the framework of it commitment against the use of drugs among minors, has developed an app – “Pasaporte 0%” – aimed at preventing the use of narcotic drugs and alcohol consumption among minors and youths. The device was presented during the Second Youth Forum, in Valladoid, attended by over 30 volunteers from Spanish youth organizations. The app is the result of contributions from adolescents and youths, parents, youth animators and healthcare workers, along with experts in education, information technology and pedagogy scholars, whose insights are the basis of a study on the prototype carried out in March and April 2014. On the basis of the opinions of experts and youths, the Confederation planned a device to decrease social pressure for alcohol consumption among young people. Virtual passport. A “fun” app was created whereby the players are asked to face various “missions” enabling them to accumulate stamps to complete a virtual passport – “Pasaporte 0%”. The app, planned for group use, especially in non-formal education environments (youth centres, leisure organizations, etc…), will prompt the “players” to reflect on the positive aspects of the surrounding environment and enjoy their free time in a healthy way. The app’s philosophy is to make users understand that “it’s not necessary to consume alcohol to enjoy oneself, we can have 100% fun with 0% risk”. During the development of the app young people from different areas of Spain shared their views on what leads them to alcohol consumption and on the possible solutions to the serious problem of alcoholism. Most of them agreed that “peer pressure” is the most relevant aspect that triggers the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Equally relevant was the contribution of professional organizations such as OLGA (Plataforma de Organizaciones de Infancia, Platform of youth organizations) for which Pasaporte 0% “is a fun application that challenges young people and transforms them into more original people, more active when it comes to face social pressures to consume alcohol”. Concha, who is a physician, mother of adolescents, underlined that “it’s fundamental that the app was developed thanks to the ideas of young people”. Experts’ contribution. To create the prototype of the app the Don Bosco Confederation has availed itself of “Quiero salvar el mundo haciendo marketing” (I want to save the world through marketing) and Linked teams, that took on the challenge of transforming the proposals and the ideas suggested in laboratories into a tool. Jaime, coordinator of the project for Linked teams, said: “We have worked with Quiero salvar el mundo haciendo marketing to develop the ideas of the Don Bosco Confederation workshop for a technical project, though innovative proposals”. “With young people’s contribution we started to imagine procedures for the development of an app. We examined several of them and we chose the three most user-friendly ones. We then selected the most complete of the three, that became the basis of our app”, said Esther Fernández, director of the Social Technology of Quiero salvar el mundo haciendo marketing. This activity has had financial support of the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs, which in its Action Plan on Drugs 2013-2016 has among its objectives to delay the age of onset and reduce the consumption of alcohol among young people. A tool for youth animators. The app, which can be downloaded from Google Play, is addressed to the educating community, in particular to youth animators dedicating their free time to education initiatives. The app will be accompanied by didactic materials to support its use in non-formal educational environments. The Don Bosco youth centres Confederation is a non-profit association established in 1991 that brings together 9 regional federations with 126 youth centres of the Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Auxiliary. The Confederation involves 66thousand youths, recipients of various programs and initiatives, followed by over 3500 volunteer workers.

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