Despite their young age and modest experiences, Bui Phuong Vy and Bui Quoc Khanh, 11th graders, have created a set of games to teach children about sexual abuse prevention.
Khanh and Vy (from right to left) discuss their set of games. Photo: tuoitre.vn
Vy and Khanh are students of Luu Huu Phuoc High School in O Mon District, the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.
Vy and Khanh’s idea received much encouragement from teachers, especially Huynh Nghia Trung, a maths and information and technology teacher. Trung agreed to guide the two students.
Firstly, Vy and Khanh interviewed 132 children aged between three and 10 about skills to prevent sexual abuse. Most of them did not know what to do if they were abused.
For instance, with the question “If a stranger touches your bottom, what do you do?”, 52 children answered, “I don’t know”. A total of 45 others answered, “I will not do anything, because adults have the right to do that.” Only 25 answered, “I will shout loudly and run away.”
The two students then researched documents about children’s psychology and decided to design a set of games to help children have skills to prevent sexual abuse, allowing teachers and parents to study with the children while playing with them.
Vy and Khanh worked on the weekends and finished their project after six months.
The set has five parts including cards, puzzles, a book, a colouring book and a smartphone app. By playing games, the children learn that they should not allow anyone to touch their body including their mouth, chest, bottom, thighs or sex organs.
“To attract the children’s notice, we designed the games with colourful images,” said Vy.
The questions in the games are short and easy to understand so that children from seven years old can play.
Teacher Huynh Nghia Trung said that child sexual abuse could happen anywhere and anytime.
“The best way is equipping the children with knowledge so that they can protect themselves. Vy and Khanh’s project is humane and necessary,” he said.
After a week of using the games, about 70 per cent of the users assessed the games were good.
Nguyen Thi Truc Phuong, a mother in O Mon District, said: “The games are useful, helping the children have skills to prevent sexual abuse. Earlier we also wanted to teach our children about the issue, but did not know how to teach them.”
Nguyen Anh Thu, a fourth grader, said: “Before, I have little knowledge about the issue. After playing the games, I know much more.”
The games have lively and colourful images so they were easy to remember, she said.
Vy and Khanh’s project won second prize in the science and technology competition for the southern area in 2019.
“For us, the most valuable prize is that the games help children get necessary skills,” said Vy.