My 2013 has passed with many changes in life resulting from the knowledge and experiences I got. During the year, one of many great opportunities I had was being chosen to participate in Active Citizens workshop on December in Vietnam, organised by Youth International Cooperation Development Centre (CYDECO) of Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union in partnership with British Council Vietnam.
During a week participating in the programme, I was able to get new knowledge and many useful skills by experiencing new approaches to learning; at the same time I had the chance to make friends with other students in the class – active youth from across the whole country. I think the difference between Active Citizens compared to other workshops and training programmes is that instead of using the traditional “one-way” approach to study – teacher says and students listen - this workshop used a new and increasingly popular “interactive” approach between facilitators and students, allowing the exchange of information from all members. Thus, the knowledge and information each member gets is not only from the lectures and facilitators but also from the sharing of information between members – the Vietnamese active citizens community. This approach not only helps us to have greater knowledge but also improves soft skills needed such as team-working, communications, presentation,etc. to take part in different activities and work afterwards.
I believe that not only for me but for all of us the Active Citizens programme in Vietnam brought many benefis to Vietnamese youth, people who are enthusiastic and caring about community values and the sustainable development of the society. These benefits can be shared directly between participants of the programme or indirectly with youth in the society. Active Citizens created a chance for us to share our ideas and real-life experiences, as well as applying the knowledge and skills learnt to plan and achieve our own goals, contributing to the achievement of the primary objectives of society. With the experience and plans worked out, participants of the programme are able to present them to other people who share the same interest, and therefore inspire the whole community.
As for me, after participating in the programme, I not only achieved my initial goal, which is to improve my knowledge and skills for studying and working, but the programme also helped me to put a dream, an idea of mine, which I used to only lock in my mind, into practice: a project on educating students in culture and traditional Vietnamese art. During the workshop, my idea developed and was planned in detail, supported by other members and last but not least, the assistance of the British Council and CYDECO. My project will soon be implemented and I believe that although it is small scale, it will make an important contribution to the achievement of the vision of an active citizen: “Globally connected, locally engaged” for a sustainable developing future.
Photo caption: Vu Tra My in the middle