Saving the Earth: Children create superhero to fight against natural disasters and climate change



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HA NOI, 28 June, 2019 – UNICEF and Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority (VDMA) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (VDMA) and the National Young Pioneer Council (NYPC) are inviting children from 10-15 years of age from across Viet Nam to participate in the new comic contest to create a superhero to fight against natural disasters and climate change.

The comic contest will run until 28 August 2019, 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 name of the winner will be announced on 13 October during the International Disaster Risk Reduction Day.

Young Vietnamese music composer Le Cat Trong Ly is partnering with UNICEF to promote the contest nationwide and to encourage children to use their creativity to help a serious cause.

“I find this project very interesting because children can learn, play and be creative at the same time. It is important for the children to understand the existing problems facing the environment and to be aware of their rights to choose and create a healthy planet and a brighter future for themselves.” said the artist Le Cat Trong Ly. “Children themselves are the sleeping superheroes, they should rise up and inspire us with their pens and endless creativity.”

The comic contest is an opportunity for children to draw connections between the impacts of natural disasters and climate change and their daily lives. By researching on the topic they can also learn and reflect on how human activity impacts climate change as well as some identifying life-saving skills when a natural disaster occurs.

“The comic contest recognizes that when asked what concerns them most –  children in Viet Nam point to climate change and the destruction of their environment, of the world that they will inherit. 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” said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam.

“Children are most vulnerable to natural disaster. We need to have an appropriate approach to communicate to them, raising their awareness and teaching them necessary skills to mitigate the impact” said Nguyen Truong Son, Vice General Director of VDMA. “Children themselves are effective communicator to their families, friends and community about prevention and response to natural disaster”

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 are available 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, e.g. stick figures, or any colors, e.g. 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, limited voice and representation. These events also lead to disruption of services essential for their development. This contest is part of the efforts by UNICEF and partners to raise awareness and teach children needed skills to response to climate change.

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