More than 30 Hanoi secondary school teachers gathered on November 3 to exchange knowledge and discuss techniques on how to incorporate the issue of dog- and cat-meat consumption into their daily lessons.
The training event was part of a joint effort between Hanoi Department of Education and Training, in particular in Dong Da district, Soi Dog International Foundation, and 'Social and Behavior Change Science' firm, Intelligentmedia.
Even though the trade and consumption of dog and cat meat has existed for generations, young Vietnamese people are showing increasing support for the abolition of the practice. Cruelty and the risk of new diseases emerging are considered the most important reasons driving this opposition.
Empowering Vietnamese youth, especially secondary school students, as key agents of change is at the heart of maintaining that momentum, and teachers are better than most at showing the way.
Rahul Sehgal, director of International Advocacy, Soi Dog International Foundation said, “No one can deny the important role young people will have in the society of the future. By providing them with enlightening facts, information, and skills, we hope that they can push positive social change, including the halting of dog- and cat-meat consumption.”
The training focused on providing teachers with multiple types of knowledge, including the general background of the trade and techniques to improve the teacher's personal awareness and approach to follow-up actions.
Trinh Dan Ly, head of Dong Da Department of Education and Training, said, “As places of teaching, learning, and personal development, we hope schools can provide our young talent with sufficient knowledge and skills to solve ongoing personal and social issues. The dog- and cat-meat trade is controversial, and that needs to be addressed through education."
The event ended with interactive and exciting situational training. Participants were divided into groups and demonstrated how they integrated the issue with their students as experts shared their opinions and advice.
Bui Thi Duyen, social and behaviour change director of Intelligentmedia said, “It is critical to explain to teachers and students why behavioural changes towards the consumption of dog and cat meat need to be made. Their engagement helps facilitate change in their family members, friends, and others in their social sphere."
Under the leadership of Hanoi Department of Education and Training, participants reached a consensus on a joint action plan for the dissemination of messaging to phase out the consumption of dog and cat meat. The goal is to see a notable reduction in the number of people who begin consuming the meat in the future, as well as creating more barriers for existing practitioners.
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