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Getting children involved

In Hoang Su Phi, children are at the heart of everything we do. But we don't just work on their behalf. We actively engage young people in decision-making, listening to what they have to say so that improvement in their community means direct improvements in their life.

In that spirit, the people of Hoang Su Phi held a festival in September that brought 2,000 children together from all the nearby villages. Through music and art, children had the opportunity to share their concerns and express their hopes and dreams for their community and their future.

We know that when we engage children, we empower the most enthusiastic members of the community to help bring about positive change. A recent clean-up initiative is a case in point, with local school kids leading the charge in keeping the school yards clean and encouraging everyone else to use the new incinerator.

"I'm proud that I can now make contribution to the environment of my community," says Hoai, a local grade 4 student.

While we may take garbage removal for granted, the issue of garbage collection and disposal had been a talking point in the community for some time. During a community meeting, the decision was made to invest in a new incinerator to process waste from the schools, health centres, local government offices and nearby households. As part of this project, local people were educated to regularly collect waste and dispose of it at the site.

"The garbage incinerator not only processes the waste and keeps the environment clean, it also improves the awareness of the people. I think this is the right way to tackle the problem," says Hoan, an environment officer.


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