There are many ways to explain how a relationship starts. People pick their own reasons and I choose “fate” which brought me the opportunity to take part in the Active Citizens training workshop held in Hanoi last December.
When I received information about the programme, I felt curious. I searched for more details of previous trainings, and I was extremely excited and convinced by the professional manner and information from interviewers.
During the three-day workshop, I made friends with many young people from the dynamic youth union officers from Ca Mau, Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh city, Lam Dong, Lang Son, Dien Bien and Hanoi. We had friendly facilitators including Ms Gam, Ms Nga, Mr Trung, Mr Hieu, etc. And all of us were on the same Active Citizens boat.
The workshop was planned from the content to the organising. Through the lively activities, we eliminated our prejudice, opened to others and accepted the many different perspectives of each issue. The concepts included Expectation tree, I and We, The Blind Men,… activities came to us naturally and they brought valuable lessons about building and developing community.
There was no lecturing, no true or false and a number of methodologies were used. The most interesting part of the workshop was their activities’ proactive approach and variety. Issues which were raised during the workshop were important to Youth Union officers as well as young people who are building and developing social communities. Lessons about trust, sustainable development and case studies of locals inspired ideas to promote community.
Vietnam is still a developing country with the average income approximately US$2000 – it is a young society with the ambition to develop. Workshops like Active Citizens are really meaningful. Currently I am working on community development projects which are related to youth and I hope that more young people can have the chance to access quality workshops like Active Citizens. It would be worthy preparation for the young to maximize their available sources and enhance society effectively.
When the workshop ended, each of us returned to our local area to work and study. However, there are still thoughts, learned lessons, changes in thinking, creativity in planning for developing society and new friends.
We will keep in touch and together support our projects with lessons learned from the workshop…
During the workshop, there were some initiatives that were counselled and applied into reality by the facilitators from the Communist Youth Union and British Council. Projects like developing an Active Citizens programme in Vietnam, bring folk tales and proverbs into schools, youth camps… and help us believe in positive changes for society.
I used to work closely with YVS (Youth’s View, Voice and Vision in Society), an organisation which raises youth’s awareness through basic skills of thinking, discussing and debating; I realise that Active Citizens created optimistic changes for the organisation in terms of content and way it can develop.
I would like to say thank you to the Communist Youth Union, the British Council and the beloved facilitators who are really enthusiastic and hold such a useful workshop.
Photo caption: Hiep (second from left to right) is in a group discussion.