Non smoking campaigns
In the Mekong delta there are many canals and rivers, as many as roads! Boat races are a tradition. On the 30th May boat races are organized between Ánh Dương (the Mekong Plus partner) and the local authorities as a promotion of this simple message. Teams from neighboring regions come to join the race.
The 30th May is WHO's non smoking day. Thiên Chí, together with the local authorities, organizes races to make extra publicity for this simple message, but a difficult campaign. Some do the race, many more just join for the fun. Every year thousands join this event. It attracts the local media, TV.
If few women smoke, it is very common for men. The expenses are huge, for example the money spent on cigarettes could probably cover the costs of building an extra class roon... every day in every district! This is a long term campaign, the impact is probably uncertain... but it must be done!
In Belgium Mekong Plus joins the 20 Km de Brussels race, to echo the events in Vietnam. We are yet to organize similar events in Cambodia.
When people come to attend a training they come with their brain more than their heart. They get information, advices... but it is far from certain this will translate into changes in attitudes. The trainers are sometimes frustrated: is it that the training was not clear?
In fact usually people change attitudes not only with their brain, but because they like to, they have been convinced with their heart.
Mekong Plus has accumulated a long experience with action theatre. The actors are peasants, students... contests are organized generating a lot of enthusiasm from the public.
The topics are many: alcoholism, hygiene, road safety, savings, new agricultural techniques, the treatment of tuberculosis ...
Shows take place during a training, in schools, at a women's meeting. Each time about 100 people or more attend. The cost of one show varies. The public is very much involved, gets excited, jumps on stage, cries and sings...