STAR POWER: Choi Siwon, a member of South Korean boy band Super Junior, is seen at another UNICEF campaign in Việt Nam last year. — Photo courtesy of UNICEF
HÀ NỘI — Choi Siwon, a member of South Korean boy band Super Junior, will join UNICEF’s campaign #StopBullying to raise awareness of bullying among young people and to engage with developing solutions for the problem.
This is Choi’s third visit to Việt Nam and this time he will be accompanied by actor and celeb Park Jae-min.
As part of the campaign, the artists will join school children in Đà Nẵng City on October 2 to discuss issues related to violence against children, including bullying. They will also attend a music concert with performances by children in an effort to promote the positive role of music at school.
The 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 Việt Nam and SM Entertainment (RoK) 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.
At the UNICEF Youth Talk, they will listen to school children from Đà Nẵng City speaking about how bullying is affecting them and what form of support they need from their peers, caregivers, teachers, school staff and the community to feel safe. The aim of the Youth Talk is also to inspire young people across Việt Nam 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.
With the start of the #StopBullying campaign, UNICEF seeks to hold schools accountable for creating a zero tolerance to violence approach, where all children are encouraged to stand together, to spread kindness, not abuse, to take actions that promote support and caring in their schools, according to Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to Việt Nam.
“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,” she said.
Other Vietnamese celebrities and influencers will also lend their voices to the campaign.
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 Việt Nam, 38 per cent of the child respondents said they witnessed bullying in the past 12 months. — VNS