Child Clubs: developing role models in rural Vietnam
Seventeen-year-old Tam is in her last year of high school, and has had the privilege of being the Head of her local Child Club in rural Vietnam over the last few years. Having first joined the Club in 2006, she has worked together with 30 other members to organise activities for children in her village.
“We consider child club members and leaders active role models within the community. Tam plays a key part in developing the club in the area. She is a perfect example of a proactive, skillful and confident youth who has her voice heard and makes choices on her own” says Lam, the village General Secretary.
As the Head of the Club, Tam is in charge of planning and preparing the content of every meeting €“ all year round. As part of her role, she also attends leadership training sessions supported by ChildFund.
Children who are members of the club learn about their rights in an interactive and interesting way; with training sessions covering areas such as child abuse, risk, and injury prevention. Annual refresher training also provides club leaders with updated knowledge on child-focused issues, which they can then pass on to their fellow peers.
Child-to-child communications activities have also been introduced by ChildFund, to every Child Club. This means that children can set up and conduct all club activities by themselves.
“Participating in club activities means we have a space to share our thoughts with our peers. Tam is very enthusiastic about leading the club. She is the one who motivated me and my friends to learn about child injury prevention, what our parents can do at home to protect us, and what we can do to be free from child abuse and exploitation,” says Hoa, a member of the Child Club.
Since child protection projects have been implemented in Tam’s village, there have been fewer cases of child labour and early marriage in the area.
“In recent years, we have not heard of any early marriages taking place. The youth in my community, especially the girls, now know a lot more about their rights and what they can do to have a better life in comparison to their parents. We try to learn more about the world outside where we live. Thanks to the Child Club, we now have a platform to facilitate children`s learning effectively”, says Tam.