At Plan, children are at the heart of everything we do. That not only means putting their interests first, but also ensuring that they have a direct voice in their community’s plan for development. We do this by helping young people organize local youth groups and committees so they can have a hands-on role in projects, and by promoting child rights and participation in regular activities and events throughout the community.
Last month, for the first time ever, over 500 students from two neighbouring villages came together for a day of celebration, games and song focussed on their hopes for their community.
Anchoring the day’s festivities was the “I have a dream” drawing competition, to which every child, from kindergarten to grade 9, contributed artwork that expressed their priorities and vision for Hoang Su Phi. These creative pieces got everyone talking about critical issues, such as child protection, girls’ rights, education, clean water, and climate change.
Hoang Xa Tinh, who’s just finishing her grade 9 year, was one of those students, and her drawing on the theme of education captured the hearts and minds of the judges, winning her first prize in the competition.
“In the picture I drew, I’m a literature teacher of my village’s secondary school,” said Tinh, smiling. “But instead of the two-storey building we have now, our school has four floors with enough space for everyone and a huge yard where students can have fun and play games.”
Her teacher Nga beamed with pride.
“I’m so happy to see Tinh today,” she said. “I started teaching her in grade seven and at that time, she was so small and shy that she never dared talk in front of a crowd. But as you can see, she has matured so much – she’s like a real teacher now. She’s still small for her age, but she has a big dream and the confidence to pursue it.”
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