There were 1,879 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 403,320 in the last 365 days.

'Listen First' to Help Children Grow, says UNODC

Two slovenian children, a boy and a girl, together with the animated Super Skills Hero Handy

The Science of Skills, Super Skills promotes social and emotional skills development as an effective tool in drug use prevention

The 3D animated Super Skills Team  holding hands in a circle

Two African boys are looking happy and well on the beach

Positive parenting and kind, active and respectful listening to children is key to ensuring their safe, healthy development

On World Children's Day, UNODC highlights the importance of positive parenting and listening to children through its 'Listen First' initiative.

When a child is heard, they can express themselves and heal. But unfortunately, people often don't listen to children.”
— Lucy Yinda, Founder, Wema Centre, Kenya
VIENNA, AUSTRIA, November 18, 2022 / -- World Children's Day takes place on 20 November each year, commemorating the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and raising awareness about children's rights worldwide.

On this day, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and its Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section, through its 'Listen First' initiative, highlight the importance of positive parenting and kind, active and respectful listening to children to ensure their safe, healthy development. This approach also forms the basis of effective, evidence-based methods for substance use prevention.

Social and emotional skill development is another crucial area to invest in, particularly for primary-aged children. Developing compassion, empathy, gratitude, respect, problem-solving, and relationship and self-management skills are essential for children's development and can prevent mental health problems, substance use, and other risky behaviors.

'Listen First' has been helping families and children since 2016 and consists of fun educational materials aimed at parents, educators, health and prevention professionals, and policymakers.

The latest 'Listen First' material, 'Super Skills, The Science of Skills,' emphasizes these social and emotional skills and targets primary-age children, particularly the most vulnerable, and those working with them. In this entertaining 3D animated video series, a team of Super-Heroes in the magical community Skilltown teaches children about essential life skills such as goal setting, decision making, collaboration, motivation, curiosity, confidence, compassion, and empathy. In addition, the video "Take Care" features the importance of self-care and nutrition.

Governments and organizations are using the materials as part of their substance use prevention approaches, with professionals working with children and youth endorsing the initiative worldwide.

One is Lucy Yinda, founder of the Wema Centre and a major force in helping the most vulnerable children off the streets in Mombasa, Kenya. The organization provides a range of services, including rescue, safe shelter, rehabilitation, psychosocial support, health and education services, and skills development for children connected to the streets. Wema Centre has extended assistance to more than 10,000 children connected to the streets in Kenya.

Nutrition, affection, and self-care are crucial when helping the most vulnerable children off the streets, according to Lucy Yinda whose work has been recognized with several major awards: "These children have nothing. They have no access to shelter, food, medical care, or education. They are marginalized at the worst level. Many are addicted to glue or other substances. While sending many children to rehabilitation and always working with professionals, we have also been able to help many simply by providing them with good nutrition, personal attention, and love from their caregivers. And by listening to their stories and understanding them."

She concludes by emphasizing the importance of active listening, effective communication, and materials such as 'Listen First': "Communication is key in changing these children by allowing them to think about their lives and even overcome drug abuse. One thing we have learned is that all children want to talk. Unfortunately, people often don't listen to children. That's why I'm so impressed with 'Listen First.' When a child is heard, they can express themselves and heal themselves."

'Listen First' is available in English, Spanish, French, Finnish, Norwegian, Kiswahili, Arabic, and more languages on the website:

Organizations or governments interested in using 'Listen First' are encouraged to get in touch.

Jenny Roston Lundstrom
email us here
Visit us on social media:

Super Skills: Take Care