Hope Center in Vietnam offers handicraft products to the market
Hope Center Group Picture April 2011
Hope Center offers Industrial Sewing courses
The Hope Center started twelve years ago with it's first vocational training to hearing disabled students teaching industrial sewing and garment manufacture. Many of these first students are now working at reputable tailors and CMT manufactures in Hue. A true success story.
Five years ago the Directors of the Hope Center decided to start a handicraft production division. Although strictly speaking all workers at the Center also have to attend the sewing classes as a foundation course so that they are able to help out the uniform making division should the work load require this.
The sewing course is offered twice a year for six months each course. A special teacher takes this course. Disabled and disadvantaged people have to be handled carefully.
Disadvantaged and disabled people need extra nurturing
Disabled people grow up having to endure teasing and cruelty by teachers, their peers and members of the general community. They are often not supported in the regular schooling system and find themselves struggling to complete their education or let alone be able to further their education by attending University.
Disadvantaged people on the other hand could most often quite easily cope with the regular school education but due to circumstances beyond their control they find that they are unable to attend school. In many cases the family cannot afford to send them rather requiring them to earn a living to provide support for all members.
Disadvantaged people in Vietnam also have a further hurdle to jump over. There is a highly regulated certification system at schools. If a student should loose their papers or not complete a class and thus forfeit the certificate it is almost impossible to return to school at a later stage.
By the time these people arrive at the Hope Center they tend to have lost all confidence in their own abilities. Not only do they lack in self-belief but they also struggle to communicate as they have missed out on many years of formal education.
Teaching disabled and disadvantaged people requires much patience and requires the teacher to provide encouragement as the number one element of the teaching process.
Once new members have successfully completed the sewing course they are already much more self-confident and able to work within the group and communicate well whether by sign language or gesture. They are immediately offered employment and being able to earn ones own living is a huge boost to ones self-belief.
Group of hearing disabled artisans at Hope Center
Handicraft production at Hope Center, Vietnam
Those workers who are interested in moving to the handicraft production team are readily encouraged to take this up as a career move. In particular the deaf members make excellent team members as their unconditional focus on their work makes them exceptionally accurate and thorough workers. These are definite qualities that benefit the handicraft production process.
At the moment the product range is heavily in favour of recycled wire products. The reason for this is that a Canadian wholesaler has generated a fair amount of demand for these lovely products.
But the group of artisans are starting to plan for a greater selection of good quality products and meetings will be held every week to brain storm possible products and trends that could be followed.
The main excitement for new product development has been encouraged by the new shop that will be set up in the near future. The only thing stopping the opening is the lack of funds. But a fund raising campaign will be starting in the next week.
The Hope Center and its artisans and garment manufacturer deserve all the success they can achieve. Hard work and perseverance will pay off for them.