HO CHI MINH CITY, September 30, 2015:

More than 400 people will attend Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City from on October 4, 2015 to take part in environmental event “Live Simple”, which is organized by the Center of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE) together with 350.org Vietnam and Thang Long Youth Club (YDA Vietnam).

This is the main event under the campaign of the same name that is aiming to educate the Vietnamese community, especially young people, about how to protect the environment through simple actions.

“Live Simple” is also one of the main activities organised to celebrate the national visit of His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa – a spiritual leader of the Drukpa Buddhist Lineage and a well-known activist. The occasion marks the Great Prayer Festival, a source of inspiration for all Vietnamese people during which the country prays for national security and peace.

The event will see five corners of the pagoda dedicated to actions people can take to help protect the environment. In each area; “Climate”, “Planting”, “Recycle”, “Organic” and “Solar”, visitors can learn about climate change and the environment in an easy, engaging and understandable way. Highlights include a “coal” meal in the “Climate” corner; decorative gift shrubs in the “Planting” corner; a workshop on how to transform old clothes into fashionable bags at the “Recycle” corner; organic soap making at the “Organic” corner; and see solar-powered widgets at the “Solar” corner. In addition, the first 400 visitors to the event will receive a T-shirt, while those that interact with all four corners will be given an environmentally friendly bag as a souvenir.

The program aims to provide tips on how to “Live Simple” and be environmentally friendly. Through events like these we hope we can inspire communities to gradually improve their behaviors and minimize their impact on the environment.

Alongside interactive activities at each corner, there will be musical performances and exchanges from artists supporting the event, including singer Ha Okio and 5 Dong Ke band. The artists will promote their own “Simple” ways of life, including their participation in environmental activities.

After finishing the activities at the corners, the attendants will have the opportunity to see His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, hear his tips on how to live happily, including the important benefits of environmental protection, and learn how to apply living simply to their lives.

He said: “Simplifying our lives and expecting less can bring us all increased comfort and freedom. If we learn how to apply balance and how to “know enough” to enjoy and treasure life (Everyday Enlightenment), there will be no need to scramble or create unnecessary tension.”

This is a youth interaction activity marking His Holiness’s visit to Vietnam, during which the nation will pray for national security and peace. We hope the event will encourage people to practice the good deeds of His Holiness and the Drukpa Lineage Sangha.

Vietnamese celebrities have lined up to support the “Live Simple” campaign, including Ha Okio, Mai Khoi, May Thi Truong, Hoang Quyen, Tue Nhat Tang, Mieu Thuy Trac and Phuong Mai. Each joined in a photoshoot promoting the “simple lifestyle”, which included messages of support from the community.

The messages and actions the artists want to convey include saving electricity by turning off lights; reducing greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation by going vegetarian and planting trees; not littering and minimizing the use of plastic bags; using air conditioners effectively; not wasting food and reducing Co@ emissions by bicycling.

An online competition called “Live Simple with Vietnamese celebrities” has also been launched to support the photoshoot. Participants are invited to take photos to show their way of living simply, with the best chosen for inclusion in the main campaign. The contest will take place from September 30 to October 3, 2015 and will include awards such as vouchers for well-known vegetarian restaurants.

“Live Simple” is inspired by the humanistic view that His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa once shared: “We all come from nature and are part of nature. We need to understand that all species live in the same house and we must respect other species, preserve nature and live in harmony with the environment.

“Happiness comes from the understanding that the protection of the external environment can only come from one’s own awareness and action. Nature and humanity are one.”

The “Live Simple” campaign hopes to inspire young people to adopt a way of living that is friendly and respectful to the environment, simplifying their individual needs and reducing their impact on the environment through easy actions.

For more information, please visit CHANGE’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CHANGEvn or YDA Vietnam’s website www.ydavietnam.org

Please contact:
Tung Tran Nguyen (Mr.)
MarCom Manager – CHANGE
Mobile: (+84) 904 454147
Email: tungtran@changevn.org

Nhu Thi Cam Ho (Ms.)
Project Manager – CHANGE
Mobile: (+84) 126 9876 335
Email: nhuho@changevn.org

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* Editors’ note

CHANGE
Full name: Center of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment – a Vietnamese NGO under Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), receiving official sponsorship from 350.org Vietnam with the mission of building programs and mobilising resources to raise awareness, change behaviors and develop community capacity to solve climate change and other environmental issues.

350.org movement
350.org is a global movement on climate change initiated in 2007 with the participation of millions of people from 188 countries. The name of the movement refers to the number 350ppm (per million), which is the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) it is thought can exist safely in the atmosphere. 350.org’s activities aim toward an ultimate goal: to lower the amount of CO2 from the current 402ppm level to 350ppm to avoid the most serious consequences of climate change.

Images of 350.org’s global community mobilization campaigns: https://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/sets/

So far, the 350.org movement in Vietnam (www.350.org.vn, www.facebook.com/vietnam350) has attracted more than 10,000 volunteers from 20 provinces and cities across the country.

Images of 350.org Vietnam’s campaigns and projects over the past 4 years: https://www.facebook.com/vietnam350/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums

Thang Long Youth Club (YDA Việt Nam)
Thang Long Youth Club (YDA Vietnam) is a group of young volunteers from Mandala Tay Thien (Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc), who wish to contribute to positive and sustainable community development through practical actions such as environmental protection, education, aid and volunteering. The activities are inspired by the good deeds of His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual leader of the Drukpa Lineage and a well-known activist.

For more information, visit www.ydavietnam.org and www.daibaothapmandalataythien.org

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