Interactive drama project contributes to preventing child abuse

Wednesday, 2018-10-31 16:42:19
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A programme of interactive drama on child abuse in Cao Bang province's Quang Uyen district
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NDO – LifeArt Vietnam, a social organisation, has co-ordinated with several primary schools in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang, to create dramatic plays on child sexual abuse prevention, in which students directly join in as actors and actresses.

The idea of organising volunteer programmes with interactive dramas which help children improve their knowledge and skills on preventing sexual abuse was formed in 2017. Three programmes have been held in October in Dong Da, Nhu Lang and Lung Luong Primary Schools in Quang Uyen district. They featured the participation of around 350 students.

A hypothetical scenario was set up by teachers from the Life Art and students were invited to replace the characters to show-off their own solutions. Following, they evaluated their experience by themselves.

Principal of Nhu Lang Primary School, Phan Thi Quyen, said that students directly participate in and analyse situations of risk of sexual abuse, which parents and teachers rarely mention. They are able to improve their skills of protecting themselves. The programme is a highly effective, useful and practical playground for children, she noted.

LifeArt was established in 2010. Practical community-based classes for both adults and children have been launched by the centre, in co-ordination with social groups, organisations and schools.

According to the centre’s Director Dang Minh Thu, the scenarios were inspired by real stories in society. The programmes help students raise their awareness of protecting personal body parts and learn ways to escape from people who commit unsafe behaviour with them. Most importantly, the interactive dramas offer great opportunities for them to talk openly about this topic and experience solutions that they come up with.

Interactive drama is not a strange form of communication in the educational environment in Vietnam. Since the 2000-2008 period, thousands of students in Hanoi and Nghe An province have taken part in interactive dramatic plays through a project on reproductive health education launched by the World Population Foundation, the Vietnam Stage Artists Association and David Glass Theatre (London, the UK).

Joining interactive plays, students can initiatively handle the situations and learn defensive skills instead of passively receiving knowledge. It is the hope that such programmes will be launched more widely and attract the participation of more people, contributing to the fight against child sexual abuse.