Stories of Hope in Vietnam – Trades of Hope

by | Artisans, Stories of Hope

Read Time: 5 min.

Creating Social Change in Vietnam

In recent decades, Vietnam has made commendable strides in improving social and economic conditions for women and families rising out of poverty. But there are still many women and children in areas of extreme poverty in Vietnam who continue to live with the lingering stigma created by centuries of discrimination against women.

A lack of education – especially for girls – makes children growing up in poverty even more vulnerable to homelessness and exploitation. Children whose families can’t afford to pay the fees for their children to attend quality schools often struggle – when they become adults – to find employment that provides enough income to support a family with basic essentials. In addition to women, persons with disabilities and homeless individuals also face cultural discrimination that hinders them from securing safe, dignified housing and employment.

Trades of Hope is partnering with Artisan communities in Vietnam who are providing life-changing opportunities for women, persons with disabilities, and homeless persons to rise.

Crocheting – Fair Trade Stuffed Animals for Kids

This inspiring Artisan community in Vietnam is passionate about providing fair-trade jobs that empower women and people with difficult livelihoods to pursue their dreams. They encourage local villagers who are overcoming disabilities, homelessness, and extreme poverty to not simply become factory workers, but true artists! Together these Artisans share a passion to inspire all children to dream good dreams! They celebrate their traditional Vietnamese Artisan traditions by creating and promoting play that bonds families together.

Tran Thi Ha’s Story of Hope in Vietnam

When I was a small kid, I did not have a chance to go to school. My beloved mother taught me crocheting. I really admire her and want to become an Artisan like her. In my community, there are not many jobs for the housewives like us. Trades of Hope and my Artisan community helped me get a financially stable job to support my family.

This work is my only income, helping me to make ends meet for my whole family. I do not have to worry much about my children’s school fees anymore.

(Each adorable and cuddly stuffed animal from Vietnam is stuffed full of fun by vision-impaired Artisans.)
“If my children love something, I can buy it for them instead of just looking regretfully. Now, I’m more confident in my life and have many more friends. Every day, to work is a joy!”
– Tran Thi Ha, Artisan in Vietnam

Sewing – Eco-friendly Upcycled Rice Bags

In Vietnam, opportunities for single mothers and ethnic minorities are limited. This Artisan community specializes in sewing ethically made designs using eco-friendly materials, like upcycled rice bags, to help create jobs that allow women to work from home or in small local workshops, instead of dangerous factories. Every purchase of their eco-friendly bags helps fund clean water projects, health insurance, and teachers’ wages!

Artisans in Vietnam blend beauty with environmental responsibility by creating the lining of their ethically made bags from upcycled acrylic rice bags.

Thai Thi Thu Phuong’s Story of Hope in Vietnam

I’m a single mom. I have two children and I live with my mother. I was taught sewing by social workers in a program provided by this Artisan community to help poor families. I have been working here for many years and I have a good income. I’m more confident. 

My favorite memory as an Artisan was the first time that I had money from working hard! Without my work, life would be really difficult. I could not find another job at my age and with my low education.

“Because of my work as an Artisan, my children can go to school. They have a better education – more than me! I dream that my children can have a good life.”
– Thai Thi Thu Phuong, Artisan in Vietnam

Ngo Truong Lien’s Story of Hope in Vietnam

I taught myself to sew. I was introduced to this Artisan community by another Artisan and was trained in every bag-making technique. I’ve been working in this workshop for many years. My favorite memory as an Artisan is the first item I made. It looked so nice and I was so proud of myself and what I could do! Since becoming an Artisan, I’m more confident and I have a good income. I have good health and happy life!

I’m happy with my work. I can work at home. Without my work, life would be terrible. I’m getting older and I have no good chance of finding work in this industry. I’m single and I live with my sisters. 

“When I have work, I am happy and healthy. I feel free and significant!”
– Ngo Truong Lien, Artisan in Vietnam

Thi Huynh Lien’s Story of Hope in Vietnam

Thi Huynh Lien is grateful to be able to work from home in Vietnam. Sewing fair-trade fashion accessories has helped her earn enough income to provide for her family’s needs.

Thi Huynh Lien eagerly shares her sewing techniques and knowledge with other women in her community, including how to work with unique materials like the upcycled rice bags she uses to create the lining of our ethically made cosmetic bags.

Thi Huynh Lien is passionate about helping more women in Vietnam become skilled Artisans so their families can have a better life too.

Handcrafted Ceramics

Thi Hien’s Story of Hope in Vietnam

I want to work doing anything related to drawing and painting. I studied drawing at a training facility of painters in a local Artisan village. My instructor is a very good teacher and a very skillful artist. We were instructed on how to hold a pen, how to get ink, how to shape, and how to calculate scale. Now, I’m a very skilled painter, and I will stick with this drawing until I get old! I love my work! I’m proud of the products I make!

Without my work as an Artisan, life would be very difficult. My work brings me a good chance to have a stable salary and good working conditions. I can do what I love! I can save more money. I dream a happy life. I dream that our children will graduate from university and have good life.

“With monthly savings, soon I will pay off our debt and have more money to take care of our whole family – for a better life.”
– Thi Hien, Artisan in Vietnam

Would you like to see NEW designs from these ceramic Artisans in Vietnam?

We’d love to hear your ideas! Share your wish list from these ceramic Artisans in Vietnam in the comments below!

Trades of Hope is partnering in Vietnam to empower families out of poverty and human trafficking.
Every purchase of our ceramic products from Vietnam helps empower a woman out of poverty.
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Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communications Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan advocacy.


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Trades of Hope is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that helps women around the world escape poverty and trafficking through our fair trade designs. Learn how you can partner with Artisans around the world here.