According to a study undertaken by ChildFund during 2006-2009, children in Luc Binh were at high risk of child violence, abuse, child labour and early marriage due to a lack of awareness about child rights and child protection. In addition, children had few opportunities to contribute their thoughts and ideas on issues of importance to them, or to take part in the decision-making processes in their community.
Diem is 14 years old. She joined the village child club supported by ChildFund in June 2015. Now, she comes often to the club at the weekends to play ping pong, volleyball or music instruments.
“I like to play gourd lute (a kind of Tay ethnic music instrument) the most. It helps me not only to relax but also to understand more about traditional culture,” shares Diem.
ChildFund has implemented child protection projects in Bach Thong district since 2006. The main objective is to raise awareness among the communities on child rights and child protection issues. After learning about child rights, child protection and team management skills, Diem and her core group conducted many education sessions about about child rights for other child club members.
Diem enjoying a lesson about gourd lute
“I like to participate in the child club activities very much. It helps me widen my knowledge about my rights and encourages me and my friends to realise them,” shares Kim Anh. “Before, I rarely shared my ideas with other people. Now I have learnt that if I raise my ideas and share them with my friends, parents and teachers, we can understand more about each other.”
ChildFund has also been working to improve the child protection system at both district and village levels to ensure a safe and supportive environment for local children.
Tam is the commune child protection officer. Her responsibilities are to collect and verify information about child abuse, devise and implement protection plans, facilitate victim support, and evaluate risk prevention arrangements. She has been trained on child rights and child protection in line with Vietnamese laws as well as child-friendly communication, case management and adolescence legal aid.
Tam, Diem and Kim Anh participated in the Bach Thong district children’s forums organised by the local government authorities.
“The forums were good opportunities for my friends and me to talk to local officials about issues facing children.” says Diem. “Through this activity, we can contribute to the local socioeconomic development planning process.”