Groundbreaking exhibition created for and by Vietnamese youth opens



loveHa Noi, 1 November 2013 - Vietnamese adolescents and young people aged 10-29 make up nearly 40 per cent of the Viet Nam’s total population. Yet, studies show that one third of Vietnamese young people continue to face barriers when trying to access reproductive health information and services. According a survey conducted in 2010, there is a very high need for contraception among unmarried young people.

Joint effort
To promote Vietnamese youth and adolescents' awareness and knowledge on gender, love, sex and safe sex, an exhibition entitled "As We Grow Up" was launched today at the Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology in Ha Noi. The exhibition is a joint effort between the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU), the Vietnamese Museum of Ethnology (VME) and the UN Viet Nam (with UNESCO as the leading agency in collaboration with 5 other UN agencies). The exhibition will run for six months, from November 2013 to April 2014.

For the first time an exhibition in Viet Nam is based active involvement of young people throughout the preparation process, from planning, designing, creating contents, collecting information to developing interactive activities and games. It is the first of its kind that employs this peer-to-peer approach. This group, including 15 students, was established and participated in the preparation process of the exhibition in 2012. In addition, there are other 60 young volunteers to participate in facilitating interactive activities, organizing educational games, providing consultation and answering questions from visitors during the exhibition.

Real stories
And there’s more: each exhibit is brought to life by real stories and experiences shared by Vietnamese youth and adolescents, their parents and teachers. It also features some in-depth discussion via “Window of Love offline” on related-sexual and reproductive health issues.

Take out the stigma
"All Vietnamese children and young people should have access to comprehensive and age-appropriate sexuality education from an early age," emphasized Ms. Katherine Muller-Marin, UNESCO Representative in Viet Nam. "Teachers and parents should be open to communicate with children and young people about sexual matters to ensure that young people receive accurate sexuality-related information" added Ms. Muller-Marin.

Addressing the launching ceremony of the exhibition, the leader of the Ministry of Education and Training said: "This exhibition will open the dialogue and deliver critical information on healthy sexuality in a non-judgmental and youth-friendly style so that young people can be equipped to handle life’s most serious decision and towards a healthy lifestyle".

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