Social media takes youth in Viet Nam on a ‘Love Journey’

Vietnamese musician and gender-rights advocate Pham Anh Khoa lent his support to a social media campaign, ‘Love Journey,’ that focused on healthy relationship skills among youth and encouraged them to take on the cause of gender justice. “I believe respect, trust, understanding, love, equality and non-violence are key principles of a healthy relationship. There is no place for force and violence in love. True friends listen to and respect each other’s opinions. We (both men and women) should work towards making our relationships healthy,” Pham Anh Khoa said. The campaign, which ran in Viet Nam from December – February 2012, was developed by Peace and Development Vietnam (PyD) with technical support from P4P and Demand Media, a US-based firm that provided pro bono technical advice. The campaign asked youth to submit photo essays on actions – large and small – that support healthy relationships. Ben Swanton, PyD Project Manager for the Joint Campaign for Prevention of Domestic Violence explained, “Instead of telling people to not perpetrate violence, we are focusing on encouraging positive, gender-equitable and non-violent attitudes among youth, who are still forming their ideas about gender relations and what it means to be a man and a woman. This activity will help young people to build relationship skills that they can take into adult life.” The campaign exposed more than 94,000 visitors to positive messages through the competition website. More than 1,900 young people joined the Facebook page and more than 190 young people joined the volunteers’ network for primary prevention of GBV. Over 130 teams submitted entries (photo essays) to the campaign competition. Interviews with campaign participants showed evidence of attitudinal change. The campaign also resulted in new and long-term supporters and activists added to a larger, five-year umbrella campaign on GBV prevention also conducted by PyD Vietnam. For more information, contact caroline.liou@one.un.org.

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