The Life Education Centres (L.E.C.) is a world Organisation that offers education programmes for the prevention of addictive forming substances. The L.E.C. was established in Australia in 1979 and today Mobile Units are in operation in 15 countries in all 5 continents.
In Cyprus, the idea for establishing L.E.C. and operating Mobile Education Units was initiated by members of the Round Table Club; the effort was embraced by the sister clubs Ladies’ Circle and 41Club. With the cooperation of the Antinarcotics Society it was decided to organise functions in the whole of Cyprus for raising the necessary amount of money for the purchase of 2 Units. Under the slogan «Inspire the child for life» the first big function was organised, which resulted in raising a respectable amount and the purchasing of the first 2 ‘‘Mentor’’ Mobile Units that were handed over to the Ministry of Education and Culture.
On the 18th of February 1997, the registration procedure of «Life Education Centres» was completed with the participation of representatives of Round Table, Ladies’ Circle, 41Club, Tangent Club, the Pancyprian Antinarcotics Society, as well as the Ministry of Education and Culture.
In the same year, the implementation of ‘Mentor’’ Programme was initiated in Secondary Education (taught in Grade A of Gymnasia) and in 1998 in Elementary Education (taught in all Grades).
The continuous securing of resources and the economic strengthening of the ‘‘Mentor’’ programme are the main work of the clubs Round Table, Ladies’ Circle, Tangent Club as well as of the Pancyprian Antinarcotics Society. This effort is decisively strengthened by the contribution of the Ministry of Education and Culture that undertakes everything that has to do with the implementation of the programme in schools and with the cooperation of L.E.C. proceeds with expanding the programme on an island wide basis.
Today the Cyprus L.E.C have 10 ‘‘Mentor’’ Mobile Units operating on a daily basis in the Elementary and Secondary Education schools. It is noted that the cost of each unit costs approximately €52,000.
The “Mentor” Life Education Mobile Units are mobile classrooms manned by specialist instructors and they are incorporated in the programs of Health Education of the Ministry of Education and Culture. By visiting every school in turn they offer scientific training programs to children between 6 to 14 years of age, teaching them to face positively their own selves and their body, helping them to acquire the necessary means so as to maintain the proper attitude towards everyday challenges that put to test their bodily, social and mental health, such as addiction to narcotics, smoking, alcohol and other addictive substances.
This aim is pursued by three prevention strategies:
- a) imparting knowledge and information,
- b) acquiring of skills and
- c) boosting the self-esteem of the children.
The Life Education Unit Technology places the teacher as well as the pupil in a new environment: A classroom without seats where everybody sits on the carpet, all being equal, a ceiling with luminous stars, audio visual aids, electric models for the various systems and functions of the human body, with games, Harold the giraffe and others. All these lead to the active participation of the pupils in the program and they constitute a positive and unforgettable experience for them.
"Mentor" programmes have a graded sequence, which follows the mental and sentimental development of children and they deal with subjects that are related with the age that they are addressed to.
- Looking after our body (Grade A)
- Hygienic nutrition (Grade B)
- Control of sentiments (Grade C)
- Personality (Grade D)
- Unique (Grade E)
- Health – Friends – Addictive substances (Grade F)
- Taking Decisions for older pupils
An ambitious aim of the Cyprus L.E.C is for the "Mentor" programme to be implemented thoroughly in all schools, a need which, as shown by the fast use of addictive substances in the island, is becoming all the more pressing.
Round Table Cyprus is also eager to help other associations in Round Table International to implement similar programs in their countries. For more information on the Life Education Cyprus please contact the undersigned.