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New breath to the participatory planning workshop in Ninh Thuan

May 4th, 2015 by Posted in Quản trị Giáo dục/ Education Governance

Writen by Nguyen Thi Hoai Linh, Program intern – Education Governance, Oxfam Vietnam during her first field trip to Ninh Thuan

On 9th and 10th of April 2015, Oxfam staff came to Ninh Thuan to take part in My rights, My voice annual planning workshop for the final year of “Promoting social accountability in Education sector in Vietnam” project. This year, we had really special participants: children and the youth, both bringing new breath to the workshop.

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Children were actively participating in the discussion

Photo credit: Pham Thi Hong Net/Oxfam

Youth is the new component incorporated into the project with the utmost goal which is to promote the children’s rights to education and participation. Oxfam partners with Live & Learn for environment and community (or Live & Learn for short) who will carry out youth-related activities to empower youth to raise their voices and amplify children’s voices in Ninh Thuan.

At the very beginning of the workshop, the adult participants including parents, teachers, school principals, local authorities and project management board were pretty doubtful of the “immature” young participants. However, those young people very soon spread the dynamic and energetic atmosphere to every other participant, took the lead in facilitating team building activities and brought peals of laughter from the crowd.

More importantly, Live & Learn brought along many youth’s initiatives which had already been executed and gained a lot of success in many provinces throughout Vietnam. The initiatives were introduced to the workshop so that the participants had more options of which activities were to be implemented in the final year of the project. Live & Learn did not fail the expectation of everyone in delivering very interesting and feasible initiatives such as: Story telling through drawing, Little Greenagers and Vietnamese Dream Volunteers, etc. Especially “Little Greenagers” project caught the attention of a lot of the audience when the initiative helped raise the awareness of the students about environment protection through small actions like recycling used papers, putting rubbish into the rubbish bins and using baskets instead of plastic bags, etc. The idea was simple and could easily be implemented in any school.

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“Little Greenagers” initiative presentation

Photo credit: Pham Thi Hong Net/Oxfam

As for the children, it was also their first time partitipating in My Rights, My Voice planning workshop. After a few moments of shyness at the beginning of the workshop, the children caught the flow and became very active. They had their own discussion about the activities to be executed in the final year 2015.  Then just like any other groups, they stood up and presented in front of all the adults. Clearly and concisely, they shared their thoughts on the current issues at their schools and suggested solutions. For example, Thuy reported the inefficiency of the mailbox “What I want to say” when the problems were not appropriately addressed but happened again and again. Mai expressed her concern about family violence and peer violence that often happened outside school and would love to have teachers’ mobile phone to seek for support from them in such case of emergency.

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One of the students was presenting their ideas

Photo credit: Nguyen Thi Hoai Linh/Oxfam

Children, especially the ethnic minority are the target of the project whose activities over the past three years all aim at promoting and responding to child rights and empowering the children. Looking at them confidently presenting their ideas and actively participating in the discussion, the parents, teachers and other participants could not be happier as they realized that they were making the positive changes to the new generation of the province and the country. They had witnessed the improvements in the children from the moment the project just entered their school three years ago and hence truly felt the impact that the project had made. It would be the inspiration for them to carry on their work to achieve even better results in the very final journey of the project.

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