Activities to Support Vietnamese Youth in Post-pandemic Sustainable Development Goals

The seminar with the theme "The young and sustainable development goals towards post Covid-19 pandemic recovery" was held on the morning of September 29.

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Activities to Support Vietnamese Youth in Post-pandemic Sustainable Development Goals
Delegates attending the seminar “The young and sustainable development goals towards post Covid-19 pandemic recovery”.

The seminar was organized by the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organizations in collaboration with the Vietnam-Southeast Asia Friendship Association (VAFA); University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) under Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City; ActionAid International Vietnam (AAV); Aid for social protection program foundation Vietnam (AFV).

The seminar attracted nearly 200 students from ASEAN countries studying at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City.

Speaking at the seminar, Agustaviano Sofjan, consul general of Indonesia in Ho Chi Minh City said: “As the ASEAN Chair in 2023, one of Indonesia’s set goals is to strengthen and promote the role and responsibility of ASEAN citizens, especially young citizens, in realizing sustainable development goals”.

At the seminar, the delegates listened to the results of interdisciplinary research, and consulted on policies on young people in South Vietnam participating in social work during and after the pandemic. They also mentioned the barriers that Vietnamese young people have to overcome to integrate more into the world from the ASEAN door.

More than 82% of young people in South Vietnam voluntarily participated in social work during and after the pandemic. However, most of them are trained in theory, lack many skills to work with vulnerable groups.

That shows a high demand for skills training courses for young people doing social work. The delegates also suggested some experiences of countries in the region that Vietnam can learn and apply in enhancing the role of youth in sustainable development goals.

“This is a good opportunity for Vietnamese students to interact with experts in the field of sustainable development, scientific research on social work and regional youth integration.

We hope that after this talk, they will understand more about the necessary and sufficient factors to integrate into the world. They will also contribute to the development of the region with the economic and climate crisis tending to become more complicated,” Prof. Phan Thi Hong Xuan, president of the Vietnam-Southeast Asia Friendship Association in HCM City said.

Activities to Support Vietnamese Youth in Post-pandemic Sustainable Development Goals
Vietnamese doing social work. Illustration. Photo: baocamau

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed young people around the world to challenges. However, it also provides an opportunity to tap into creativity, innovation and commitment to address emerging issues in a comprehensive and effective manner.

The results of the 2019 Population and Housing Census showed that Vietnam recorded 20.4 million teenagers aged 10-24 years old, accounting for 21% of the total population.

This is a great opportunity for young Vietnamese to have a stronger and more important role in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals in Vietnam, ASEAN and the whole world.

At the seminar, the signing ceremony of the cooperation agreement between University of Social Sciences and Humanities, (Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City), ActionAid and AFV took place.

According to the cooperation agreement, the parties are identified as reliable partners in training, and capacity building activities; research activities and organizing seminars on: Youth and sustainable development goals, environmental protection, disaster risk prevention and reduction, gender equality, quality improvement and accessibility to quality public services; and gender sensitivity.

To encourage young people to be more creative in sustainable development initiatives, the parties agreed to establish the fund “Youth Ambassador Award for Sustainable Development”. The fund is dedicated to individual or collective initiatives of students/youth to address specific issues, such as: environmental protection, sustainable development and adaptation to climate change. This is an award held nationwide and started at USSH of Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City.

The project has supported 13.902 youngsters and juveniles in Vietnam to become global citizens, positively participating in realizing SDGs in climate change and environment in Vietnam.

Rosie Nguyen