Hanoi, May 31, 2021 – The department of child affairs – Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD) and Children’s Rights Governance network (CRG) held an online seminar. “Protecting and taking care of children during the Covid-19 pandemic” with the support of Save the Children. This is the event kicking off Action Month for Children 2021.
As a custom, every June – Action Month for Children to promote the movement of people to care, educate and protect children; propagating, disseminating and mobilizing agencies, organizations, educational institutions, families and individuals to implement policies, programs, plans and projects, build works and mobilize resources for children.
In 2021, in the context of the whole country joining hands to fight the epidemic, Action Month for Children is launched with the theme “Joining hands to ensure the implementation of children’s rights, protecting children during natural disasters and epidemics.” Action month focuses on communication activities to raise awareness of child rights, protecting and taking care of children during the pandemic; supporting children affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The talk show was broadcast live on the MSD Vietnam fan page, the national helpline for children and Spreading Love.
(Ms. Nguyen Thi Nga – Deputy Head of the Department of Child Affairs (middle)
Ms. Nguyen Thi Nga – Deputy director of the department of child affairs emphasized: “In 2021, with the context of the pandemic, we need to pay special attention to the implementation of child rights and child protection during natural disasters and epidemics. This year, the main theme is centered around the issues of protecting children in quarantine areas, guiding parents to accompany their children during the epidemic, using the internet safely, preventing accidents and injuries – drowning, and issues of taking care of children’s physical and mental health, promoting children’s right to participate in the family, etc.”
(Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh – Executive Director of MSD)
Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh, Director of MSD Institute shared, “Action Month for Children takes place in the context of the pandemic, which is definitely a disadvantage for children who cannot enjoy the summer properly by playing outside, going camping, traveling, etc. Many families wonder and worry about how can their children spend a safe summer from COVID; how their children can avoid accidents or injuries or spend all their time on television, electronics, etc. We hope that the campaign’s innovative online channels such as livestream with experts, epidemic prevention guidelines, parent and babysitters’ challenges, will contribute to supporting parents to accompany their children to overcome the pandemic. The time of social distancing is difficult, but it is also an opportunity to connect with family.”
The talk show was attended by the following speakers:
– Ms. Nguyen Thi Nga – Deputy Director of the Department of Child Affairs, Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.
– Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh – Director of Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD)
– Meritorious artist Xuan Bac
– Ms. Le Thi Tuyet Lan – Principal of Xuan Phuong Primary School, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi.
– Ms. Nguyen Ha Thanh – Psychologist
Since the end of April, the wave of COVID-19 has returned with complicated actions. Children are required to stay at home to ensure safety and avoid the risk of infection. Especially, at the same time, many children at a very young age are positive for COVID-19, or become F1, F2 and have to live in quarantine areas or areas where social distancing is being implemented. Under the coordination of Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh – Director of MSD, the speakers shared and discussed the realities and experiences of children living in quarantine and distancing areas, and the physical and mental impacts on children, and provide useful tips to take care of and protect children during the epidemic.
(Ms. Le Thi Tuyet Lan – Principal of Xuan Phuong Primary school)
Ms. Le Thi Tuyet Lan – who actively volunteered to isolate with students at Xuan Phuong Primary School to take care of the lives of all students, parents, and school staff on the days before the New Year shared: “In the early days of isolation, the arrangement of children’s meals and testing procedures made me and all my colleagues as well as students’ parents very nervous, so no one couldn’t pay much attention to the student’s mentality. Most of the students are sad, some are homesick, remember their parents and burst into tears, and the teachers and other parents have to comfort them. I always try to suppress my feelings despite loving them so much. Now recalling the things that teachers and students of Xuan Phuong Primary School have gone through, they are nothing compared to children in epidemic areas and remote border areas who are being quarantined because of the epidemic. It hurts me to think about the epidemic. Hopefully, we will soon win over the Covid epidemic; children can go to school; parents can work safely. Children’s education takes a long time. During this time, the safety of your children comes first. Parents should not worry too much that their children do not have enough time to take the exam until the end of the school year. When the epidemic is under control, and the children return to school, the teachers will guide them to review their knowledge.”
As a father of 3 mischievous children who had to take an early summer vacation and only have indoor activities, and are unable to go to school or participate in outdoor activities such as camping or sports, Meritorious Artist Xuan Bac brought exciting stories and experiences when accompanying his children. He said: “Isolation is not only a challenge for children but also a challenge for adults. As much as adults find it difficult, children may find it much more difficult. It is adults who have to be optimistic to have a positive impact on their children. Parents should spend quality time with their children! By playing with children with full attention, parents will see the development of their children, and children will not feel bored. I am not against letting children have access to television, phones, and the Internet because, in the age of technology, it is also a way of learning, playing and entertaining, but parents should not let their children use phones as a way to take care of themselves so that they don’t disturb. New things are worth exploring for children, and parents need to direct their children to new and rewarding things.”
(Meritorious Artist Xuan Bac)
(Ms. Nguyen Ha Thanh – Psychologist)
From the perspective of a child psychologist and consultant, expert Nguyen Ha Thanh gave some advice to take care of children’s mental health: “When being inside for too long, children can also experience long-term stress that leads to psychological problems. No matter how hard we try, we still face a lot of problems. Parents should talk with their children about their feelings in a clever way, in accordance with the child’s ability to understand, so that the children can learn to care for and take care of their parents and family. I agree that parents need to spend time playing with their children wholeheartedly, like 5-10 minutes a day is great. In terms of communication, I see that there are still quite a few pandemic communication programs for children. Children are currently absent from school a lot, so there should be more child-friendly and closer communication programs so that they are aware of what they need to do and understand their responsibilities. This will minimize psychological stress, and unexpected things come to them.”
Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh sent the message: “Children are subjects that need special attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. We all join hands to prevent and control the epidemic, but we also do not forget to take action for the sake of our children’s development and best interests. It is necessary to protect children, but it is also equally important to accompany them in daily activities, keep a positive spirit, listen to and encourage their ideas and initiatives, and guide them to physical and mental resistance through the pandemic”. Ms. Linh advised parents “Children also need to be aware of and participate in disease prevention and control, let them know, be updated, and prepare for situations that are likely to occur. Parents can discuss with their children the scenario of isolation, social distancing or even being isolated, to have positive mental solutions for all possible situations.”
On the side of state agencies, Ms. Nguyen Thi Nga emphasized: The Department of Child Affairs and related parties are continuing to make efforts to protect and take care of children in quarantine areas and social distancing areas. In particular, she said: “The motto of the department of child affairs is ‘No child in need of support is not supported during this period. The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs have also directed localities to pay special attention to children. For children who are F0, F1, functional units will have specific plans to provide financial support for children in concentrated isolation areas. During Action Month for children, the department of child affairs also produces programs to offer policies and programs to support children. In addition, families can also call the national helpline for children 111 for advice and support when facing difficulties in taking care of children during this period.
Watch the show here: