Công dân tích cực - Đào tạo tháng 12 năm 2013
Công dân tích cực - Đào tạo tháng 12 năm 2013

Active Citizens

Locally Engaged and Globally Connected

What is the ‘Active Citizens’ programme?

Active Citizens is a non-profit programme that promotes community cohesion and improvement through civic engagement or volunteering in around 38 countries. Run by the British Council and partner organisations, it aims to increase the contribution of community leaders towards achieving sustainable development both locally and globally. It also encourages peer-to-peer relations across cultural, geographic and political boundaries via a lively online social network of participants, as well as occasional international exchange visits. 

How is ‘Active Citizens’ delivered in Vietnam?

The Vietnam Active Citizens Project is implemented throughout the country in partnership with the Youth International Cooperation Development Centre (CYDECO) of Ho Chi Minh Central Communist Youth Union. In 2013, we have developed a national network of facilitators, who have been trained on a globally standardised curriculum developed by the British Council. The facilitators are equipped with skills in leadership, communication, citizenship, volunteering, Social Action Project delivery, fund raising, partnerships and network building. More importantly, the facilitators have been introduced to a new way of thinking and working as Active Citizens. It is expected that the facilitators, on return to their communities will be empowered to cascade the training as well as to work with others in local communities, to implement effective initiatives addressing local needs and challenges.  

What has the programme achieved so far? Read the four blogs from participants who attended our most recent training in December 2013 below to find out.

Ha Phuong Hoa - Hanoi

There are three things in life that, once gone, never come back: “Time, Words and Opportunity" However, I do not regret the days spent participating in the Active citizens workshop since it has left me with many new experiences and has made me become more mature. Honestly, I was pretty surprised when I first met the other participants - not only did they come from Hanoi as I did but they also came from various other regions of the country: from Lao Cai, Dien Bien to Lam Dong, Tra Vinh, Ca Mau... Most of them were grown up with pretty defined personalities and work experience, giving this programme more a sense of reality than other student programmes that I have participated in before.

On four consecutive days, together with Tristan, Gam, Nga and Hieu we shared a lot of ideas about the programs, the participants and got a better understanding of the way that everyone globally and locally connects. The open conversation went on as all participants had a chance to express their opinions without fear, and all the status, nationality, age gaps that were there before faded. The way that this workshop approached participants reminded me of the Benjamin Franklin saying: "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn". It was refreshing and totally different from the same old sitting-listening-writing cycle approach. Moreover, all the “lecturers” were warm and friendly, not only did they give guidance during sessions, after the end of each days they also enthusiastically took part in after class activities where everybody got closer.

I, and probably other delegates, all felt surprised at the questions that the lectures suggested we ask ourselves, such as: Who am I? What do I want? What am I interested in? Clearly these are very simple, important yet really difficult questions for each individual to answer. But just by thinking about them, each person can identify themselves more clearly, be clearer on the purpose of their lives, of what they are doing, in time, it could lead to a turning point in their lives. And to achieve our vision, we’ll build skills and knowledge as Active Citizens with a journey on the “Active Citizen river”. See more...

Ngo Thi Kim Tien - Bac Ninh

This morning, there was a new officer assigned to my school’s department, which I am in charge of. In the meeting, he looked at me and asked “Do we have to travel a lot when working here or not?”.  I said with a smile “Working for the Youth Union means your life is journeys. Once you start traveling, you will realise that you have chances to go not because you are forced to go”. He asked me more “Then what is the most impressive trip to you”. That moment, I immediately thought about Vietnam Active Citizens, an unforgettable workshop.

The workshop ended almost one month ago. I still remember that Hanoi welcomed me with cold wind,  but I felt excited as if I knew that there a beautiful and meaningful time would begin. I remembered the warm feelings as I walked into the main hall, there were many new faces a part from friends who I met at the first workshop in Bac Ninh Province. Ms Gam came over, shook my hand and asked “Such a long time I have not seen you. How are you?”. From that moment, I felt like I had found my family again. Active Citizens brought to me friendliness and honest feelings. See more ...

Nguyen Tien Hiep - Hanoi

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. See more ...

Vu Tra My - Hanoi

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. See more ...

See also