World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) has recently collaborated with World Vision Singapore to host the international youth conference, titled “Youth for Change Conference: YFCC”, to provide a ground which helps tighten the relationships between the international youth and “It Takes A World”, the worldwide campaign World Vision International has implemented from 2017 to 2021 to end violence against children. This event has engaged more than 80 youth representatives from 12 countries, namely, Thailand, Australia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Cambodia.
Anita Chaplin, a youth representative from Australia, said that this conference has opened up her worldview about the problem of violence against children in other countries.
“In Australia, if we come across the similar problem, we may freely talk to the authorities and get the policy changed quite quickly. But in some other countries it is not like that due to the limitations of the country’s administration. I think this conference was amazing. It was such as awesome experience to see what work World Vision in other areas of the world does. I’ve also leant a lot from other experts, for example about violence in digital age against children, such as how Facebook has been exploited to commit child abuse. I never thought about how we may partner with businesses to raise awareness of this issue. Young people like us may soon partner with Facebook to end violence against children.”
Sai Woon Serth, a youth representative from Myanmar, also revealed what he’s received from the conference: "I’d heard about the ending violence against children campaign but didn’t see how I could be part of it. Having an opportunity to join this meeting has made me better realise my roles in this matter. In Myanmar, I’ve conducted a campaign to end public indecency or sexual abuse, targeting youth and older age groups, but overlooking children. Therefore, it was a good thing for me to bring back what I’ve gained from the conference to build upon what I’ve been doing. An example of the problems is child labour, as some children must work to help provide for their families. With our provision of education, knowledge, or awareness building of these issues, the problems will be declining.”
Shermaine Lee, a youth representative from Singapore, said that she would definitely build upon what she’s learnt from the meeting, as she’s asserted that knowledge without actions would make this conference pointless.
“Although the problems of violence against children or human trafficking in Singapore is rare, I have personal interest in these social issues. Speaking on behalf of the new generation of Singaporeans, many of us may not realise the gravity of poverty and difficulties. This conference has enabled me to pass on the knowledge to my peers when I go back to my country, about how we can make changes through awareness building, for example, on child trafficking or ending violence against children. First of all, these must start with us. So, when I go back, I’ll tell my friends about the experience I’ve got from this conference. This little seed of knowledge will be spreading to grow within many others’ hearts who will be contributing to this matter.”
Last but not least, Natthaphol Phoomdam, or “Toey”, a WVFT youth from Nakhon Si Thammarat province, shared the experience he’s gained and revealed how he’s prepared to further apply it in his hometown:
“Besides gaining the knowledge and experiences, having an opportunity to visit WVFT work in Aranyaprathet district, Sa Kaeo province enables my learning about the local people’s way of life, especially their management of human trafficking and violence against children problems. The community I’ve visited has in place core leaders and child protection network, which includes children, parents, schools, and the community, which have collaborated with WVFT. Should any kid in the community faces any form of violence, the relevant agencies will be promptly informed. For the time being, I’ll apply the ideas of how to end human trafficking in business enterprises, resulted by group brainstorming in the workshop, to run the awareness building campaign in my community.”