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Thi is learning about child protection

Thi is a confident young girl, passionate about child protection and keeping herself and her peers safe from violence. Unfortunately, in her community physical abuse as punishment is common. 

“I have witnessed many acts of violence where I live. In the past, when I saw someone abusing children, I sometimes told my mother. Sometimes I didn’t do anything, or I just ignored it,” said Thi*.

ChildFund Vietnam worked with children and young people in the Hoa Binh Province to help them learn about child protection risks and how they can stay safe from different types of abuse. In one village a group of 30 young people are taking charge. 

“I found out about the group about a year ago and I wanted to join because some of my friends were going to join too. I also wanted to learn more about how to protect myself and how to share this knowledge in front of a crowd. I could also play games about child protection that were extremely useful,” said Thi. 

The group gathers once a month to learn about the risks of child abuse, can seek help when needed, and promote support among children. Thi likes to play – so learning about child protection through fun activities is exciting for her. 

Together, Thi and her friends often come up with creative skits to perform at school assemblies and share what they have learned.

At the meetings, the youth take part in a wide range of activities including information sessions about child-protection, how to identify an unsafe situation at home and how to recognise different types of abuse and how to report it.

The group are guided by social workers and child protection workers from their communities. These meetings are an opportunity for children and young people to report any cases of physical abuse that they’ve seen or heard about. When a report is made, a child protection worker can plan a home visit and work together with the family to eliminate violence in the home.

“When joining the group, I learned to recognise different types of child abuse. Before, when I was scolded by my parents and teachers, I thought it was because I was at fault. During those times, I felt very sad and blamed myself. But after I joined the group, I realised that it’s not just hitting that counts as child abuse,” said Thi. 

Thi is proud to be part of a group that is leading child protection initiatives in her community. Together, they can build a safer, healthier environment for themselves and their peers. She feels empowered with the knowledge to respond appropriately to incidents of physical abuse.

“If I encounter a case of child violence at school, I will notify the homeroom teacher and the school administration. In the community, I would report to a child protection worker, the commune chairman, the village head, the police, and the commune’s Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs officer. I can also call the national child helpline 111 to report the case,” said Thi.

Youth groups are vital to building safer communities for children and young people around Vietnam. Learn more about how ChildFund Vietnam works with communities and partners to build safer communities. 

*Names have been changed to protect identities.

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