VietAbroader Community Grant 2013 ICHA Vietnam 2013 – Thu Pham
ICHA VIETNAM 2013 Ái chà! I challenge. I change.
Background The age of criminals in Vietnam has been getting lower, with the number of murderers are highest between the ages of 18-30 (41%) (The Criminology and Crime Prevention Research Center). Moreover, the severity of crimes has been increasing, and other acts of violence and ignorance among youths are abundant. People are being killed every day, and so are the social and moral values, as more young people are chasing after fleeting material pleasures, forgetting about their family, their ambitious dreams, and the community that they are part of. This so-called “moral depravity” is a threat to the daily life in Vietnam nowadays as well as the country’s future. The Vietnamese youth were not born violent or ignorant. ICHA believes the root cause is that young people have little support and few opportunities to get involved in community service, travelling, or projects of their interest to gain better understanding about themselves and others. ICHA strives to provide Vietnamese youth with the opportunity to look at themselves and the world differently through its summer project. II.
Objectives To educate and motivate nine selected participants to understand more about Vietnam and its values, be inspired to follow their own passion, and be motivated to make a difference for others To prepare participants to implement long-term projects to create a ripple effect, spreading the three ideas to other Vietnamese youths
Project Setting and Target Population The project is a collaborative effort among like-minded Vietnamese students in United States, Singapore, Japan, and Vietnam, who strive to share with young people in Vietnam the opportunities to learn and grow through new experiences. The project is honored to have psychologist Nguyen Hoang Khac Hieu as project advisor. Nguyen Hoang Khac Hieu is a Psychology instructor at HCMC University of Pedagogy, recently featured on prominent newspaper for his projects for youth, gaining reputation and popularity among Vietnamese students and parents. Our target audience is Vietnamese youths of ages 15-25, the future leaders of Vietnam. The project in summer 2013 starts off with nine selected participants, who are willing to travel, to learn, and to change themselves and their community. The group will be as diverse as possible, including those from different socioeconomic backgrounds, those who have been active outside the classroom and those who have not, so that participants will not only learn and share from each other but will also make impacts on different youth groups in the future. IV.
Methodology Travelling is the best way to open one’s eyes, while meeting with people and living their experiences are the best way to open one’s heart. Thus, the project’s main component is a trip across Vietnam to find answers for three questions. (1) “Where do I come from?” – learning about Vietnam and its society in the past and present (2) “Who am I?” – being inspired to follow one’s own passion, and (3) “Why am I in this world?” – being motivated to make impacts on others’ lives The second component is intensive training workshops on organizing and leadership skills to prepare participants for their implement of long-term projects. Three-week-trip across Vietnam, July 2013 Destinations: places that represent and reflect different aspects of life in Vietnam Ha Noi: Vietnam’s capital Yen Bai: a northern mountainous province Da Nang: the largest city and the commercial and educational center of Central Vietnam Quang Nam: a province in Central Vietnam famous for Vietnamese cinnamon Phan Rang: a city on the central coast of Vietnam and a center for the maintenance of Cham culture Dong Thap: a province in the Mekong Delta region and the 3rd largest rice paddy in the country Ho Chi Minh City: the largest, most populated city, and the economic center of Vietnam
VietAbroader Community Grant 2013 ICHA Vietnam 2013 – Thu Pham
Three questions to be answered (1) “Where do I come from?” Participants will be guided by local people to explore and learn about the land, history, cultures, and people in the most honest way. (2) “Who am I?” Participants will attend talks by distinguished young people, who know their origins, dare to go against the crowd to follow their passion, and want to make positive impacts on the society. Confirmed guest speakers: Nguyen Hoang Khac Hieu, Toan Shinoda, Win Diep, Chung Chi Cong. (3) “Why am I in this world?” “Be a(n) ___ for a day”: Participants will take part in daily activities of local people, such as farming, planting, selling lottery tickets, or cleaning the street, to better understand the life of people from various parts of Vietnam and the hardship of poor people working for honest money Other activities Participants will film their entire trip, including landscapes, people, and activities they will take part in Every evening, participants will reflect about their experience in both speaking and writing The team will share highlights on ICHA Facebook page and publish weekly notes reporting the journey One-week workshop, HCMC, August 2013 Morning: Participants will attend intensive workshops on how to implement projects, learning skills such as organizing plans, fundraising, advertising, and securing good resources, as well as how to be an inspiring leader and a good teammate. Afternoon: Participants will work on long-term projects that spread the three ideas to the Vietnamese youth, applying the skills they have just learned in the morning. During this time, participants will also edit the video of the trip. V.
Evaluation Daily reflections from participants during the trip and their feedback by the end of the project Likes on ICHA Facebook page (https://facebook.com/icha.vietnam) – the project’s main channel to reach out to all Vietnamese youths – March 30 to May 24: 1,732 Likes; Expected by August: 4,000 Likes Ten highlights about the trip shared by participants on Facebook page in various forms, such as writing, photography, drawing, and video clip One post-trip video uploaded on YouTube and screened at high schools and universities to convey the three ideas while appealing everyone to join ICHA and make a difference Three long-term projects through which participants recreate their experiences for other Vietnamese youths
Sustainability and Long-term Impacts Nine participants will team up into groups of three to run three projects by themselves: one to organize short trips across Vietnam, especially to the communities visited; one to hold talks with inspiring young people; one to hold activities that foster love and understanding. The groups shall also come up with new activities to transmit the three ideas effectively. The participants will receive mentoring on their plans and will implement the projects throughout the 20132014 school year, and will be also in charge of organizing ICHA in the following summer. Most importantly, ICHA will make the biggest impacts on the society because every participant will become a change agent, who will have influence on his or her own circles of friends, spreading the effect to different groups of Vietnamese youths. ICHA is not a summer project only; it is a network that connects the participants, other like-minded youths, as well as the organizations and communities we are building relationships with; it is a community where Vietnamese youths across Vietnam and abroad come together for a gradual, promising change. This goal clearly and strongly aligns with the objective of the VietAbroader Community Grant. VII.
Relevant Experience As an intern for the Community Service Office at King’s Academy, Jordan, Head of Funding for VietAbroader, and Co-Chair of Vietnamese Student Association at Mount Holyoke College, I have had considerable experience in organizing projects with, and for, young people. Most importantly, my experience at VietAbroader has allowed me to know and befriend many talented and passionate Vietnamese youth, some of whom have eagerly agreed to join and support this project. I thirst for social changes and feel the urge to empower other Vietnamese youths through ICHA Vietnam 2013. Support from the VietAbroader Community Grant will make this all possible.