Promoting children’s participation to enhance local development

Web.HCYU.21/4/2020. In the afternoon of April 21st, Mr. Le Quoc Phong, Alternate Member of the Party Central Committee, First Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) Central Committee had a meeting with Ms. Rana Flowers, Chief Representative of the United Nations Children's Fund in Vietnam (UNICEF Viet Nam).

Welcoming Ms. Rana Flowers to visit and work at the HCYU Central Committee, First Secretary Le Quoc Phong said: In recent years, UNICEF Viet Nam has always effectively supported and coordinated with HCYU Central Committee in performing the assigned tasks, especially in the work of protecting, caring and educating children, representing children's voices and aspirations.

Mr. Le Quoc Phong presented the souvenir logo to Ms. Rana Flowers
Mr. Le Quoc Phong presented the souvenir logo to Ms. Rana Flowers

Having expected to work with HCYU Central Committee for a long time, Ms. Rana Flowers, Chief Representative of UNICEF Viet Nam said that UNICEF’s activities in 2019 were effective. However, some of them need to be more strengthened, such as youths’ participation, to fully promote ideas, solutions and innovation of the youth. She believed this was an important time for both sides to have further discussion to strengthen the cooperation between UNICEF and HCYU Central Committee in the following years.

“We need to coordinate to identify the needs of young people at different ages, in order to strengthen traditional education activities, propaganda of clean water, health… for the group of children who are about to reach the maturity age, teenagers and juveniles”, Ms. Rana Flowers suggested.

Ms. Rana Flowers also said that HCYU Central Committee and UNICEF Viet Nam have had a long and effective cooperation. Since the 1990s, both sides have coordinated to implement projects which promote children’s rights to participate in children’s issues, notably the Children’s Reporters Club model. The cooperation of the two sides is even more important when the world is in crisis, especially when Covid-19 pandemic has damaged most countries’ economy and evidence shows that there has been an increase in the rate of working children, children dropping out of school, children suffering from violence and abuse, and especially children not receiving medical care. 

Representatives of the two agencies took photos
Representatives of the two agencies took photos

In this situation, Ms. Rana Flowers suggested that UNICEF would coordinate with HCYU Central Committee to convey the messages which mobilize youths to prepare for a safe return to school; ensure children’s safety on the Internet at the time of online teaching and learning; train technology skills; propagandize the domestic violence affecting the psychology of women and children; promote children’s participation rights and collect children’s opinions and aspirations. 

Expressing gratitude and acknowledging the suggestions of Ms. Rana Flowers, Mr. Le Quoc Phong said that those topics are of interest to HCYU Central Committee and have already been implemented at the first stages. 

Currently, HCYU Central Committee is building children’s playgrounds, focusing on disadvantaged areas over a 5-year period with 11,000 playgrounds, and promoting activities that stimulate children’s creativity. The HCYU also has several activities helping children be inclined to the good, kindness and have awareness of being a good citizen, such as launching the movement "Thousands of good acts" and spreading daily meaningful stories. 

Mr. Le Quoc Phong agreed with the ideas of the Chief Representative of UNICEF Viet Nam on strengthening and promoting children's participation in issues that stimulate the development of every local where they are living, as in the future the children will operate and enjoy the products they make.

“With its responsibilities, HCYU Central Committee is implementing several solutions, coordinating with other functional units to protect children from violence, abuse… HCYU Central Committee is always willing to coordinate with UNICEF to do anything that is beneficial for Vietnamese children”, Mr. Le Quoc Phong emphasized.