With the younger group, we started with an ice breaker, to get the kids to know each other, followed by the Chicken Dance to loosen up the atmosphere. They were seated and presented with the first presentation 'Prevention of sex abuse in children", presented by Psychologist Le Thi Linh Trang. With the younger children, the OBV psychology team wanted to portray 3 very important points:
- Introduction of 'private parts' on a person's body
Generally a sensitive and embarrassing topic to talk about in the traditional Vietnamese family, this is an area that must be taught to children that no one must look at or touch, unless they are permitted. Only in special cases such as a doctor, a nurse, or your parents. However, the doctors and nurses must be in uniform and in working environments and explain to the child what they are doing and why, and receive the child's permission before touching private parts.
- How to protect yourself
Avoid walking alone down dark and empty streets, especially late at night; yell loudly for help and run away if a stranger approaches you and attempts to get you alone.
- SPEAK OUT
If anything happens to you, keeping it a secret will only cause sadness, anxiety and fear. Speak out, tell your parents everything, or tell your teachers or other trusted adult and ask for help, as no one will blame you for being touched by someone you have not given permission to.
For the older group, our team of psychologists got them to work in groups and were given a scenario to analyze, and work together to come up with the best possible solution. The groups were also asked to role play a scenario, and answer questions as well as encouraged to ask questions they may have never had a chance to ask before.
The purpose of these exercises was to take steps forward in recognizing 'predators'. These 4 steps included: identification, screening, execute, action. With each step, the participants were given and taught ways to slowly understand that a predator can be ANYONE, can make themselves present ANYWHERE, ANY TIME and "the best security guard you have is YOURSELF". Our OBV staff helped to answer any difficult questions, and put the kids through quizzes to reinforce everything that they had learnt.
The youth group leaders presented our staff with a small gift as their token of appreciation for the work that OBV is doing to help improve community living.
Translated by Jacqueline Huynh. The orginal version in Vietnamese entitled "Truyền Thông Phòng Chống Xâm Hại Tình Dục Trẻ Em Tại Gx Thái Thiện"