UNESCO pilot community-based cultural activities contribute to enhancing quality of cultural infrastructures and cultural life in Quang Nam
Dien Ban, Quang Nam Province, 9 December 2016 – UNESCO Viet Nam in coordination with the Quang Nam Coordination Office for National Target Program on New Rural Development (NRD) organized the final review workshop in Dien Ban District, Quang Nam Province to conclude the 2016 partnership in “Capacity building and supporting pilot community-based cultural activities in rural development in Quang Nam Province”.
Following up to UNESCO’s support to the National Target Program in New Rural Development in 2014 under the United Nations Joint Programs, Quang Nam province was selected for piloting cultural activities in view of mainstreaming culturally appropriate approaches in the new rural development program. Within the 2016 partnership with Quang Nam Province, from April to November 2016, following a capacity building training course, 12 pilot cultural activities in 12 villages in Phu Ninh, Dien Ban and Tay Giang districts were planned, implemented and operated by the local community members with assistance of the NRD and cultural workers at local levels.
Each of these initiatives received partial funding from the project to support work hours for local team members and purchase of materials for implementation. Examples of activities include restoring and transmitting traditional Katu handicrafts (Arot, Anoonh and Porning villages in Tay Giang Districts), building low-cost children playgrounds (Uat Luy, Chau Bi villages in Dien Ban, Aro village in Tay Giang and Ky Phu village in Phu Ninh District), community libraries (Khanh Thinh village in Phu Ninh), books cafes (Cam Khe village in Phu Ninh), green, clean and lighted roads (Xuan Diem village in Dien Ban) and green fences (Khanh Tho village in Phu Ninh).
Opening the final review workshop, Ms. Susan Vize, Representative and Head of UNESCO Office in Viet Nam a.i acknowledged the commitment of Viet Nam’s government and Quang Nam People’s Committee in joining hands with UNESCO to explore and pilot culturally appropriate and participatory alternatives to conventional approaches in implementing the new rural development program.
Taking the Xuan Diem village green road and Uat Luy low-cost children playground in Dien Ban districts as successful examples visited in the morning field trip, Ms. Vize remarked that the goals and objectives of the NRD program will be further achieved not only by the provision of infrastructures and establishment of cultural institutions, but also by strengthening the ownership of the concerned communities and their participation in the creation, enactment and enjoyment of cultural activities within such institutions. More importantly, such activities shall bring about the community with a sense of shared identity and make their living spaces worth more.
In acknowledging the contributions and achievements made to the NRD program, eight villages and one individual received honorary awards from the project. On the same occasion, the UNESCO Office in Viet Nam received an honorary certificate offered by the Quang Nam’s People’s Committee in recognition of UNESCO’s contribution to the New Rural Development program.
In the documentary film conducted by the Quang Nam Television and Radio, Mr. Le Muon, Director of the Quang Nam NRD Coordination Office stated that: “Despite the short-term support with a limited budget from UNESCO, the project has successfully achieved its goal by enhancing the capacity of staff at district, commune and especially village levels. The fundamental thing that we have learned from the program, in order to apply for the second phase of NRD program in 2016-2020, is to promote the potentials, the capacity and the ownership of the local communities in a participatory manner. The province will make efforts to upscale this approach with a community-dependent approach, without totally relying on the province’s funding.”
In concluding the workshop, Mr. Le Van Thanh, Vice Chairperson of Quang Nam People’s Committee, voiced similar sentiments by affirming that “These successful community-based activities shall be replicated in other localities in the province so that local people are motivated to come to cultural houses and participate in activities”.
The workshop took place with the attendance of 70 participants, including directors of Quang Nam provincial departments in agriculture and rural development, culture, sports and tourism, ethnic minority, district focal points for NRD program and local team members, including community members, and project participants from the twelve pilot villages in Phu Ninh, Dien Ban and Tay Giang districts. The workshop also invited the participation of focal points from the NRD Coordination Offices in Da Nang City and Quang Ngai Province.
For further information, please contact Mr. Nguyen Duc Tang, UNESCO National Program Officer in Culture, at nd.tang(at)unesco.org
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