This profile was prepared when Piroska Horvath was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Piroska's program represents a unique approach to drug abuse prevention in central Europe. It attracts young people with an accessible sports club that is open after school and in the evening, when they are likely to use alcohol and drugs. The well-equipped athletic center and structured sports program initially draw them in, but sports account for only a small part of the program's long-term impact. By working closely with volunteer counselors, both peers and adults, participants form lasting relationships and emerge as confident, productive citizens, and community leaders. Young people organize sports competitions as well as cultural programs, and exchange with other centers across the country. Piroska's program has been successful throughout Hungary, as she has established a network of clubs in both urban and rural settings.