Written by Do Ngoc Phuong Anh – Art-based Consultant, Program Designer & Facilitator – Young@Heart Vietnam – A Project by Oxfam and CSDS Vietnam
Young@Heart Viet Nam has officially completed the first stage ”Exploration Lab” marked by an exciting and warm Closing Ceremony on 16/05/2015.
The Exploration Lab consisted of three main activities namely Community Art Classes, the online competition “The Portraits of Hope” and the Debate competition for all students from different universities in Ha Noi on the topic of “Youth – Challenges and Development”. Within less than a month of operating, all these three activities has achieved amazing results which are revealed in inspiring stories told in unique ways.
In the Community Art Classes, after three weeks of training with instructors, from the almost “zero-knowledge” in the field, most students have transformed themselves to become real artists. From the “almost hopeless and impossible to create a decent graduation product” students, they have created 20 gorgeous propagandas, 10 beautiful comic books, 15 meaningful video clips made by Powerpoint and 2 plays in the improvisional style named “Facebook” and “Traffic” as graduation products which fascinated all the audience at the closing ceremony.
With its intensive tournament at different universities in Ha Noi , the Debate competition has offered the youth a great chance to express their opinion on various topics such as “We don’t use Facebook, we don’t watch TV” or “We believe in gender equality”, “We don’t accept arranged marriage” and others. A number of interesting, sharp and persuasive opinions have been demonstrated. It can be said that the debate tour has created an excellent platform for the young Vietnamese to raise their voices and expressed their ideas. These debaters have brought us the hope in a brighter future of this country.
After only 20 days for application of the competition “the Portraits of Hope”, we have received a remarkable number of stories told in various ways from all over Viet Nam. All the judges was amazed by the diversity in terms of both content and art formed used by the contestants. Seven excellent candidates was awarded. These young people are of different ages, occupations, and backgrounds, but they all share a common passion to make Viet Nam a better place by the dream of “curing 10,000 people and find the new medical treatment and introduce it to the world”, or “to equip the youth with values through dancing” or “to bring back the value of Ca Tru – the traditional art form of Viet Nam to the contemporary society of Viet Nam.”
The event ended with great laughter, warm hugs and hesitation to leave as they said “we don’t know when we can meet again”.
“This is the first time I have ever attended an event like this, I’m very impressed. The organizers are very professional, and all the participants are very talented.” – Mr. Vu An Hoa, Accountant.
“I regret that I didn’t attend this program, I heard about it but I don’t think that it could be this interesting. I really like the plays, I can’t believe that they have just learned it in three weeks, they are like professional actors and actresses, I am impressed.” – Ms. Nguyen Diep Huong, Freelancer.
We have officially launched Exploration Lab successfully in Viet Nam and we are so ready for the next stage: Innovation Lab!
Young@Heart Program is a global initiative of Oxfam which aims to ensure that youth have the capabilities to openly, freely and effectively use their energy, skills and creativity to influence structures and effect behaviors to assert their rights. Youth as active citizens hold the power to influence decision-makers, public attitudes and beliefs and increase public involvement in youth rights.
The program is currently being implemented in Vietnam by Oxfam in partnership with CSDS (Center for Sustainable Development Studies Vietnam)