World Children’s Day Campaign 2022: Viet Nam as One Team, For Every Child
UNICEF Viet Nam’s World Children’s Day 2022 campaign invites everyone to be part of #OneTeam to get childhood back on track.
Amid nonstop cheering sounds and hundreds of children’s eyes on the field, the soccer ball rolled and bounced on the floor, dribbled and passed among girl and boy players from two teams as they competed in a gripping match during the World Children’s Day (WCD) celebration in Da Nang City this November. Since early morning, almost five hundred children from schools, social protection and inclusive education resource centres for persons with disabilities across the city had gathered to participate in the event, organized by the Da Nang People’s Committee and UNICEF Viet Nam.
“I really like today! I enjoyed the soccer match and the song performances the most,” some children exclaimed at the end.
As Viet Nam sprung back from the COVID-19 pandemic, only now could an extended in-person WCD event take place. Celebrated across every continent, 20 November annually marks the historic adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, when world leaders came together and made a promise to protect and fulfil the rights of every child.
“It’s about children’s rights. It’s about ensuring that every child, in every corner of every country, can grow into the best person they can be,” said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam, during her opening remarks.
She expressed enormous gratitude towards the Da Nang People’s Committee, Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), Da Nang Department of Foreign Affairs (DOFA), Da Nang Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISA), Da Nang Department of Education and Training (DOET), Da Nang Youth Union, partner organizations, and popular singers Ho Trung Dung, Hamlet Truong and Hong Minh who made the event possible.
“One Team for Every Child!” the crowd’s voices constantly echoed across the room. Children from all backgrounds, including children with disabilities, participated. The joint celebration inspired with lively musical performances, inclusive games and sport, children’s speech and memorable moments, especially when a soccer ball - a symbol of commitment for every child - was signed.
“The annual celebration of WCD is a wonderful occasion to call for global attention on children and take collective actions for children, by children,” said Ngo Thi Kim Yen, Vice Chairperson of the Da Nang People’s Committee, underscoring the city’s strong commitment to becoming a child-friendly city and creating a better life for every child.
Under dancing lights on the main stage, in harmony, children from the Da Nang Children’s Cultural Palace, Da Nang Inclusive Education Resource Centre and Nguyen Dinh Chieu School held hands and sang along to One Love and Viet Nam Oi. Singers Ho Trung Dung and Hamlet Truong, who travelled to the city for the occasion, were joined by Da Nang-based songstress Hong Minh, winner of the Voice Kids Viet Nam 2015 to lift the whole room with their stage presence and soaring vocals.
As this year’s event coincided with the kick-off of the Men’s Football World Cup, WCD showcased the compelling power of sports in fostering healthy well-being and development of children and adolescents. With the spirit of one team for every child, it sought to call on everyone to do everything we can to get childhood back on track as Viet Nam still grapples with the far-reaching impacts of the pandemic and global threats such as the climate crisis.
“With such a meaningful purpose of the WCD, I really hope that our leaders will continue to provide us with resources and support so that we can experience the simple joys of childhood. Only with those experiences, can we be equipped to develop to our full potentials,” shared Vo Le Thuc Anh, representative of the children in Da Nang.
Football without Limits initiative
Beyond this celebration in Da Nang, across Viet Nam, UNICEF’s WCD campaign kickstarted in early November. Soccer balls and engaging resources on the essential role of sport in children’s healthy and development have been shared with thousands of schools and beyond. At schools where this supply had reached, students were surprised, then rejoiced at the sight of the soccer balls and posters when they opened the blue boxes, smiles spreading across their faces (watch the video!).
“Football helps increase my creativity and solidarity. It helps me relax after intensive lessons at school as well as external pressure,” students from Nguyen Du High School said.
This activity is part of the Football without Limits initiative, an ongoing collaboration between UNICEF, MOET’s Physical Education Department, and the National School Sports Association. Eleven provincial Departments of Education and Training (DOETs) have already taken part in the initiative to promote the practice of sport among children and adolescents. Football without Limits highlights that sport is more than just physical fitness. It promotes children’s well-being and helps develop essential skills for the future, including communication, teamwork, resilience, and leadership, for children to thrive.
The eleven provinces which joined the initiative are Lao Cai, Nghe An, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Ninh Thuan, Binh Dinh, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Lam Dong, Dak Lak and Vinh Long.
Footballers, celebrities and the private sector join hands with UNICEF
Footballers, celebrities and the private sector teamed up with UNICEF as #OneTeam. With support from Viet Nam Football Federation, players and coach of the national football teams, such as Nguyen Tien Linh, Nguyen Thanh Chung, Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, Doan Thi Kim Chi, Ho Tan Tai and Que Ngoc Hai, shared their personal sport stories and inspiring messages inviting everyone to join the campaign.
Dentsu Redder supported UNICEF Viet Nam with developing the concept of the campaign and its roll-out strategy. Other businesses in Viet Nam, including VinGroup’s Landmark 81 Tower, the Global City by Masterise Homes in Ho Chi Minh City, TNR Tower of TNG Holdings Viet Nam and VP Bank Building in Hanoi, took part in the chorus of support by lighting up blue for children, along with the Green One UN House in Hanoi and the Dragon Bridge in Da Nang City. The boys’ football team in Ho Chi Minh City and the San Chi ethnic girls’ football team in Quang Ninh also stood in solidarity. Internationally, UNICEF Spanish Goodwill Ambassador Sergio Ramos sent his message to emphasize the One Team spirit and promote the power of sport for children’s well-being and development.
At the same time, the UNICEF NextGen network in Viet Nam leveraged their resources to support the campaign. Several companies, including American Code Lab, Inspire Hub, WeWork, Dreamplex, Shopee, and Vietcetera, celebrated WCD with UNICEF through various initiatives: from hosting children's takeover activities at their offices, wearing blue to work, spreading awareness about the campaign, elevating adolescents’ stories on their online platforms, to providing generous scholarships to young people in special circumstances.
Youth Advocates call on everyone to be part of One Team
Five youth advocates, with unique stories and different advocacy journeys on mental health, disability, inclusive education, gender equality, ethnic diversity, were invited to the UNICEF Viet Nam office in Hanoi to accompany staff in an array of areas, from child protection to climate change. They joined professional activities, voiced their opinions on children’s issues, created content for UNICEF’s social media, and most importantly, had fun while calling on everyone to join the one team for children.
From the government to businesses, from artists to football players, from individuals to the public, all have united with the hope, commitment and dream of bringing childhood back on track and creating a better future for children in Viet Nam. The activities around World Children’s Day campaign are not the end; they are only the start of a collective movement to bring equal opportunities to every child, so they can grow up with full potentials, just the way fair play is the cornerstone of sports.
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