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Comic contest launched for Vietnamese children

Released at: 16:11, 28/06/2019

Comic contest launched for Vietnamese children

Photo: UNICEF

Contest gives local kids the opportunity to be creative and protect the environment.

by Le Diem

UNICEF and the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority (VDMA) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the National Young Pioneer Council (NYPC) launched a comic contest on June 28 for Vietnamese children to create a superhero to fight against natural disasters and climate change.

With the theme “Saving the Earth”, the contest is open to children from 10-15 years old from around Vietnam. The contest is an opportunity for them to draw connections between the impact of natural disasters and climate change and their daily lives. By researching the topic they can also learn and reflect on how human activity impacts climate change as well as identify life-saving skills when a natural disaster occurs.

The comic contest recognizes that when asked what concerns them most, children in Vietnam point to climate change and the destruction of their environment and of the world they will inherit, according to Ms. Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam. “The contest taps into their creativity and enables them to express how climate change and natural disasters impact them, and how our lack of urgency and action as adults frustrates them,” she said at the launch ceremony.

Children are the most vulnerable to natural disasters and we need to have an appropriate approach to communicate with them, raising their awareness and teaching them necessary skills to mitigate the impact, according to Mr. Nguyen Truong Son, Vice General Director of VDMA. Children themselves are effective communicators to their families, friends, and the community about prevention and response to natural disasters.

The comic contest will run until August 28. There are ten awards on offer, from VND1.5 million to VND15 million ($64.3 to 643) and the winner will have the chance to work with a professional team to bring their superhero to life in a comic-book or in a video animation. The winner will be announced on October 13 on International Disaster Risk Reduction Day.

Children can access a lot of resources online to prepare for the contest and to develop their superhero idea. A lesson on natural disasters and climate change, a walk-through of the activity, as well as reference materials available at UNICEF’s website for children who want to enter the contest.

All children who have great ideas are invited to participate. Finalists will be selected based on their creativity and how well-developed their concept is. Artistic ability will not be judged and while the drawing is a mandatory element of the contest in order to be considered, any type of drawing, such as stick figures, or any colors including black & white is acceptable.

Climate change results in an increasing number and intensity of natural disasters, whose impact on children is more severe due to their physical and psychosocial vulnerability, their high-dependency on parents and other caregivers, and limited voice and representation. These events also lead to disruption of services essential for their development. The contest is part of efforts by UNICEF and partners to raise awareness and teach children necessary skills to respond to climate change.

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