UNICEF, MOLISA, and businesses accelerate parenting agenda impacting Vietnamese future generations

19:08 | 11/12/2021 Society

On December 10th 2021, in an effort to step up the parenting agenda in Viet Nam, UNICEF joins the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and businesses to launch a partnership to expand the Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) Holistic Parenting Project that will promote nurturing care for Vietnamese children. 

MOLISA Vice Minister Nguyen Thi Ha highly appreciates and thanks the contributions of UNICEF, Generali, and other agencies, organizations and businesses in protecting, caring for and educating Vietnamese children

The partnership gathers forces together from MOLISA, The Human Safety Net, a global foundation powered by Generali, and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). As businesses across Viet Nam seek to do more for their workers, looking for means to attract workers back to their factories, there is clearly an important role for the business sector – advancing supportive programmes for their workers, providing parenting programmes as well as ensuring that they support early childhood development by upholding children’s rights through corporate family-friendly policies and programmes.

"Being a parent is the most important job in the world. It’s also the toughest job and the most rewarding. Parenting is too important to be left to chance. Reliable information, skills and tools support parents and caregivers, to enjoy their role and to give children a brilliant start in life on the road to them reaching their full potential," said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to Viet Nam. “UNICEF has been an organization driven by the power of collaboration. Today we witness a partnership that speaks volumes about the importance of mobilization of public and social resources and responsibilities to give the support needed to parents in Viet Nam.”

UNICEF Representative to Viet Nam Rana Flowers appreciates the importance of coordinating resources between international organizations, the Government and the business sector to develop parenting skills for parents

In the scale-up period 2021-2024, the project will rely on over 1 million euros support from The Human Safety Net. In addition to that, the global Foundation has already planned recurring non-financial support activities. Activated since 2019, the project has been implemented in 27 communes of three provinces of Gia Lai, Dien Bien and Kon Tum and selected factories in and around Ho Chi Minh city by UNICEF, MOLISA and VCCI. With a vision to 2024, the partners renew their pledge to expand the project to 15 provinces/cities and 40 more companies together with wider and mobile access via digital learning platforms.

Viet Nam is a leading country in realizing international commitment to children’s rights. The Prime Minister’s Decision 1437/QD-TTg demonstrates the national effort to promote early childhood development ensuring physical, cognitive, emotional development and equitable access to supporting services for children under eight. MOLISA echoes the message of putting parents at the center of society’s attention, “Parenting is a key pillar to advancing the early development of children and has been spotlighted as more critical than ever in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mme. Nguyen Thi Ha, MOLISA Vice Minister. “It reminds us of the important role parents play in time of crisis. The provision of quality parenting and family support is critical to achieving the best possible development for all children. The cooperation significantly contributes to strengthening our mandate to promote children’s rights in Viet Nam and the extension of the Government’s programme on early childhood development.”

Italian Ambassador to Viet Nam Antonio Alessandro shares his pride when an Italian business like Generali actively contributes to the comprehensive development of Vietnamese children

“We have been working with UNICEF in Vietnam since 2019 on two highly successful pilot projects of the Nurturing Infants Children and Environments (NICE) parenting programme. The NICE model provides nurturing care for children between the ages of 0-6 years old, encompassing good health, nutrition, safety, early learning and responsive caregiving, all with the aim of ensuring children can survive and thrive in life. This perfectly fits within The Human Safety Net For Families programme, which is implemented in 23 countries world-wide and tries to identify proven and replicable models like this to scale,” said Emma Ursich, Executive Officer of The Human Safety Net. “We’re delighted that this will enable UNICEF to roll out the programme to reach even more parents and children all across the country, especially among ethnic minorities and urban migrant communities.”

As parents and caregivers are the main providers of the care, nutrition, stimulation and protection that every child needs for their healthy development, the collaboration aims to build networks of support in the communities and in factories for parents, providing them the knowledge and skills to give nurturing care and build positive parent-child relationships. This will also help reduce violence against children by learning through play, reinforcing positive and managing difficult behaviours, creating structure and routines, talking about COVID-19, and managing stress and conflict. Same time, family-friendly policies, such as paid parental leave, breastfeeding support, childcare and child grants, giving parents the time and resources they need to build their babies’ brains, are also promoted as best practices.

“Promoting early childhood development and supporting Vietnamese families is key to Generali Vietnam’s community agenda with Sinh Con, Sinh Cha parenting programme being our flagship CSR initiative. As a member of The Human Safety Net, we are pleased to be able to work alongside with partners with great expertise like UNICEF,” said Tina Nguyen, CEO of Generali Vietnam. “This project will enable Generali Vietnam and UNICEF to leverage our own core strengths, networks, resources and experience in IECD to create synergies in extending the reach and impacts of our parenting programs. Key collaboration areas include contributing Sinh Con, Sinh Cha’s parenting materials to enrich IECD Holistic Parenting Project’s content pool as well as expanding and deepening the parenting training in provinces with mutual resources across the country.”

Generali and The Human Safety Net in collaboration with UNICEF, the MOLISA, and the VCCI launched a partnership to expand the Integrated Early Childhood Development Holistic Parenting Project

“I am proud to see a major Italian company such as Generali standing close to children in Vietnam and contributing to the development of an inclusive and social sensitive corporate culture,” said H.E. Italian Ambassador to Viet Nam, Antonio Alessandro. “My congratulations to MOLISA, UNICEF and Generali for these achievements.”

Nguyen Quang Vinh, Secretary General of the VCCI, a major leading entity in mobilizing the private sector in Viet Nam added, “When embracing corporate responsibility to respect and commitment to support children’s rights, businesses gain long-term returns through sustainable investment that generate a positive change in their entire community.”

“The parenting project is a valuable initiative that supports working parents and their children. Businesses equally benefit from enhanced brand reputation and increased employees’ satisfaction and retention. VCCI will continue to support UNICEF and the Government in scaling up this life-changing endeavor.”