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To have a dream and to have a voice

Tinh dreams of a bigger secondary school with enough space for all children to attend.

Tinh dreams of a bigger secondary school with enough space for all children to attend.

One of the most genuine ways to show your respect for someone else is to listen to what they have to say. To have a voice and to be heard can even help people achieve their dreams. You just have to listen.

That’s why Plan helps children learn about their rights and take an active role in their community development. We involve children in all of our work, so they can help voice their opinions, identify problems, and implement solutions.

Living in isolation, but not without a voice

Nestled high in the mountains in Vietnam is the rural community of Hoang Su Phi. With the support of hundreds of Canadian donors, Plan began working in the isolated community back in 2010. One of the crucial issues Plan addressed in the community is the involvement of children in the community’s development.

To ensure their participation, Plan began organizing local youth groups and committees so they have a hands-on role in their projects. These groups also promote child rights and participation in day-to-day activities and events in the community.

Taking part and shining bright

For the first time, 500 students from Hoang Su Phi and a neighbouring community came together to participate in a day-long event to celebrate youth. The purpose of the event was to allow students to share their hopes for their community.

Anchoring the day’s festivities was a drawing competition aptly titled: I have a dream. Every child from kindergarten to grade nine took part, expressing their priorities and vision for Hoang Su Phi through their art. Their masterpieces got everyone talking about critical issues, like child protection, girls’ rights and education.

A standout student takes stage

Tinh presents her award-winning pictures at the event.

Tinh presents her award-winning pictures at the event.

Tinh, a tiny grade nine student from Hoang Su Phi, stole the show. Tinh’s drawings symbolized the dreams she has for her communities’ education system. When she got up to speak about her artwork, she captured the attention of all 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,” explains Tinh. “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.”

Everyone is impressed with Tinh, including her teacher, Nga. When she began teaching Tinh in grade seven, she was extremely shy and she never dared to speak in front of a crowd. But much has changed since Tinh joined the Plan-supported youth group.

“She has matured so much – she’s like a real teacher now,” says Nga, who beamed as she spoke about her promising student. “She’s still small for her age, but she has a big dream and the confidence to pursue it.”

Thanks to your support, Tinh is on her way to making her dreams come true!

You can help change the lives of children and their families.

Child participation
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