In Vietnam, community-based extra-curricular activities – including children’s clubs – are conducted during school holidays by Youth Union, a local youth organization, at village and communal levels, with support from Aide et Action.
This initiative aims at building physical health as well as life skills for children during their summer holidays. In 2019, our activities included an art club focusing on recovering the traditional songs of ethnic Muong and Dao groups, and a football club. Children joining the clubs have opportunities to enjoy fun activities, interact with one another and learn about their culture. Such extra-curricular activities are strongly supported by parents and local authorities which ensures they have maximum impact.
Sport and art for development
To mark the end of the holiday, we worked along the Youth Union to organize a performance contest at inter-communal level for children from Vay Nua and Tien Phong communes. The contest consisted of two parts: football matches in the morning and art (singing and dancing) performances in the afternoon. In total, six teams competed and the event attracted almost 200 children, 120 parents, 25 local authority officials and teachers from the two communes.
From the cheering to the preparation that went into the contest, a huge proportion of the community got involved. Most importantly, the children who participated had a ball – even in the hot summer weather. Dinh Yen Chi, from Na Mat village, said: “I like participating in summer activities very much because I can learn our traditional dances. I am very happy that my team got the first prize today.”
The contest also had an interesting Questions-for-Audience part which integrated communication and education on child rights and gender equality. Many parents participated in this part. Ban Van Minh, a parent from Vay Nua commune said:
Today, I learned that adults are not allowed to impose all their opinions on children because this may unintentionally violate child rights and prevent children from practicing their rights at home or at schoool.
Xa Van Si, a parent in Vay Nua commune also added: “I knew about Aide et Action’s project but did not fully know what is involved. Today, I can see the activities directly and I am happy to see that they are very practical and useful for our children.”
In addition to summer activities, the project in cooperation with Youth Unions of Doan Ket, Tien Phong and Vay Nua communes organised a Mid-Autumn Festival (15 August – Lunar Calendar) for children. This Festival involved 650 children, more than 300 parents, and 20 local authority officials. Here, children had the opportunity to play games and parents again had opportunities to participate in communication sessions on child rights, gender equality, and child nutrition. Speaking about the festival, student Ly Van Hanh said: “I loved playing Tug of war, Blind man’s buff, and answering the Q&A session.”
This year, we will continue to collaborate with Youth Unions to implement these activities and engage more duty bearers to promote child rights, gender equality, and quality education all while providing fun and educational opportunities for the children we work with.