How I work on GLOBAL DIGNITY in Vietnam

Posted on September 13, 2011 by


Written by Stoney Chenal

I met His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon and Professor Pekka Himanen in the recent trip to Switzerland. They provided an inspiring talk about Global Dignity, how fascinating it is to see close links between what they have been doing with Global Dignity since 2005, and what I conceptualize for Vietnam Youth to Debate. We all use sharing platforms to bring young people together in small-scaled groups by talking about what matter to them.

Then I signed up to facilitate Global Dignity in Vietnam. Of course, that was not for impressing anyone. My aim is not primarily to follow an international campaign or ceremony day of certain thing, but to test different platforms in my country context, with my youth networks at home and to apply to enhance what established. The work attracts my passion and priority as always, and this is how I learn by doing it:

  • It is challenging to explain and facilitate the complex concept of ‘dignity’ in local language. I am able to do it in English, but that would limit the number of beneficiaries and its positive impacts. This is what I am trying at the same time: conducting in English for youngsters who are able to communicate in another language to test the idea, and designing the platform of simpler concept in Vietnamese. I work with others who are specialized in language, philosophy and argumentation to break this down. To do things with the diversity, we facilitators and platform designers should compromise the expectation and level of understanding to conceptualize more simply and effectively.
  • Even the international Global Dignity provides a very good package of teaching tools and notes for facilitators, I don’t accept those at once. By inviting friends and youth followers who willing to help testing the format, I keep asking questions of relevance, applicability and adaptation. To ensure people are working beyond the same principles is good enough, our job as community leaders is to work on the context.
  • I want to raise the concept and stories about Dignity not only among school-based groups, but also for different interacting environments of young adults or adults whose hearts are young. Because dignity can be enhanced by each of us and our belonged communities through the choices we make every day and the way we use resources. Everybody is involved somehow. To realize how dignity guide our actions, we can promote the dignity-centred leadership and dialogues on positive changes. The middle class and middle age in our society is actually leading in economic, politic, social, environmental and cultural movements. We are placed in the center of our own development.
  • To train and share works among the local pool of facilitators is important work to be achieved. In my reach of networking, it is not difficult for me to gather ones. But how to ensure their commitment afterward, is my remain question.
  • A critical point of this designed platform, is lacking of follow-up process. Youth need mentoring and coaching to fulfill tasks reaching their potential. Ideally, that should be done with local facilitators’ resources.

A high-school girl was writing a letter to herself about dignity. By the fall lake 🙂

To make you clearer about the concept and what happening here, I attached hereby a beautiful writing by a 17-year-old girl at our 1st Global Dignity session. I asked them to write themselves a letter, about what they going to do about Dignity, that had been identified by their words before.

Dear self,

You’ve already known what dignity is and that you need it. Then, it’s time you go for bringing to your life and making it real. Well, I want you to make a commitment, as life’s usually full of what would distract you from fulfilling your wish. And so, now here’s what I promise myself to do in the very following year, just to develop my dignity (so as to be as a happy person as I can). I want myself to be a grateful person. I want to always hold a gratitude for whatever life is going to give me. At anytime, even when life gets hard and my mood goes down, I will not put my troubles on other people. I’ll try to keep smiling to people, talking gently and listening attentively. That’s hard for me at the moment, so I have a good reason to try.

I hope you, myself, this time next year will be content with what you’ve already done.