UN and Sweden held 7 Day Challenge in Vietnam

In April the Embassy of Sweden in Hanoi together with the United Nations (UN) in Vietnam and Live&Learn arranged an initiative called the ‘7 Day Challenge’.

The 7 Day Challenge was part of the organisors’ efforts to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN, Agenda 2030 and an important event to mark the upcoming Earth Day 22 April 2018 (theme: End Plastic Pollution). The campaign received significant support from the Swedish Institute, the Swedish Alumni Vietnam Network, the Vietnam Green Generation Network and various universities, schools and mass organisations throughout the country.

The campaign challenged as many Vietnamese as possible to live, eat and move smart during seven days. The Challenge starts respectively on 10 April, 17 April and 24 April lasting for a week each and aimed to inspire local people to adopt a smarter way of living.

“The purpose of this challenge is to encourage awareness about lifestyle choices and their effect on the environment. To live sustainably and smart can start with you and me! It would be as simple as refrain from using plastic products if you an alternative. Please be part of the solutions and the change, choose a practical change in your daily lives now,” Swedish Ambassador Pereric Pereric Högberg said upon its launch.

“Air pollution continues to cause severe health problems for Vietnam’s growing urban population. We can and must reverse this phenomenon by sharing cars or using public transportation,” the UN Resident Coordinator Mr Kamal Malhotra gave as examples of actions individual can take in the 7 Day Challenge.

The call-to-action challenge invited committed individuals around the world to practice sustainable urban lifestyles that will potentially improve their quality of life. It involved seven days of practical sustainable solutions focusing on three categories: Live Smart, Move Smart and Eat Smart that the participants communicate in their social media channels (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.).

Attending the Launch, Ass.Prof Hồ Kim Thanh, Chairwoman of Labor Union at Hanoi Medical University said: “Lifestyle changing towards eating fresh vegetable, increasing physical activities and breath fresh air is the best medicine to prevent and cure many diseases. Definitely, we will join The 7 Day Challenge and promote it at Hanoi Medical University. Healthy lifestyle is most sustainable way of life”.

Meanwhile Ms. Hương, Vice President of the Swedish Alumni Vietnam Network, said: “We choose lifestyles, eating and traveling ways that ensure a sustainable future for all of us. Join hundreds of us, who have studied and worked in Sweden, to take part in a 7-day challenge. We are committed to positive and green lifestyles so that each individual will make a change and improve the quality of life for individuals and the community”.

Everybody was encouraged to join the campaign to gain new knowledge, insights, and make new contacts, while at the same time reducing your carbon footprint: Students, entrepreneurs, change-makers, influencers, people interested in sustainable lifestyle, staff etc.

As a Swedish concept, The 7 Day Challenge has been successfully carried out also in Indonesia among other countries, and with more expected to join.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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