RoK artist Choi Siwon (centre, first row) at an event of UNICEF in Vietnam. Photo: UNICEF Vietnam
Worldwide, some 150 million students, half of all students 13 to 15 years of age, report having experienced peer-to-peer violence in and around school. In a recent U-Report survey on violence is schools in Vietnam, 38% of the child respondents said they witnessed bullying in the past 12 months.
It’s Siwon’s third visit to Vietnam and this time he will be accompanied by celebrity actor Jaemin Park. As part of the campaign, the artists will join school children in Da Nang on October 2 to discuss issues related to violence against children, including bullying. They will also attend the for every child, music concert with performances from children in an effort to promote the positive role of music learning at school.
At the UNICEF Youth Talk, Choi Siwon and Jaemin Park will listen to school children from Da Nang hear how bullying is affecting them and what form of support they need from their peers, caregivers, teachers, school personnel, and the community to feel safe. The aim of the YouthTalk is also to inspire young people across Vietnam to speak up about bullying and to find solutions together.
“Bullying is so common that it's viewed as almost "normal", but it should never be. Bullying will eventually end if we all decide to stop it. Children should speak out and take action to support each other to end bullying”, said Choi Siwon.
On the same day in Da Nang, the for every child, music concert will bring together 50 children performing on stage, including children with disabilities, to highlight how music provides opportunities for children to find their talent and to grow their ability to express themselves in different ways. UNICEF Vietnam and SM Entertainment are working together on a three-year project named Growing with Music to promote music education for early childhood education and at other levels of education.
“Bullying in schools undermines children’s confidence, their self-esteem, their education, their long-term mental health – and where we fail to stop bullying, we condone violence and we fail to give children the negotiation and conflict resolution skills that are so important for their future. And sadly, in this connected on-line, social media busy world, bullying has moved from the playground to an ever-present threat, following the victim into their home, into safe spaces – leaving children under attack feeling incredibly isolated and alone. With the kick-off of the Stop Bullying campaign, UNICEF seeks to hold schools accountable for creating a zero tolerance to violence approach, where we encourage all children to stand together, to spread kindness not abuse, to take actions that promote support and caring in their schools”, said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to Vietnam.
"Bullying in schools undermines children’s confidence, their self-esteem, their education, their long-term mental health – and where we fail to stop bullying, we condone violence and we fail to give children the negotiation and conflict resolution skills that are so important for their future," said Flowers./.