Koreans offer up solutions in Vietnam

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Koreans offer up solutions in Vietnam

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At Lac Vien Secondary School on Aug. 5, 44 Korean and Vietnamese students debated child rights issues in Vietnam. They presented their own solutions through a song, a play and a video. [KIM HO]

A group of Korean students are working to solve the problems of children their own age who live in another part of the world.

Lac Vien Secondary School in Ngo Quyen, Hai Phong, Vietnam, recently greeted 22 students under a World Vision program named “Our Voices to the World.” These students, ages 12 to 18, were educated through the World Vision Child Rights Program to meet up with 22 Vietnamese students and debate local child rights problems from Aug. 2 to Aug. 6.

Gathered in three groups, they brainstormed ideas, looking over the UN Sustainable Development Goals to select the most pressing problems that face Vietnamese children today. They identified waste problems, gender inequality and the lack of sports facilities. To address these issues, they discussed recycling programs, the elimination of wage disparities, ways of encouraging men and women to do housework together and the construction of more sports facilities to keep children from playing on busy streets.

The students created a child rights policy proposal, and on Aug. 5, handed it over to officials from the Education Office. The proposal was written in both Korean and Vietnamese. Along with the proposal, each group created a song, a play or a video to expose the reality of each problem. One group sang to the melody of “Let It Be” by the Beatles with lyrics about the poor living conditions in Vietnam, focusing in particular on the problem of improper garbage disposal. There was also a play demonstrating the unequal status of men and women, while the last group created a video about the lack of sports facilities. “We got a chance to think over our own problems,” said Heo Tae-hyeon, 17, one of the Korean participants of the program, “instead of leaving them up to grown-ups.”

Pham Thi Bam, the chairwoman of the Ministry of Gender Equality of the district of Ngo Quyen, received the policy proposal and said, “I will deliver the proposal to relevant departments and work for the betterment of child rights in Vietnam.”

BY KIM HO [shon.jihye@joongang.co.kr]

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