Mai Handicrafts aims to find work for neglected families by selling Vietnamese Handicraft products to local and export markets, to customers that care about a fair wage & working conditions. Mai is an income generating and educational project for disadvantaged families and their members, particularly women and children.
Mai works not only to provide viable employment and/or effective training but also aims to promote self-reliance among disadvantaged families and ethnic minority communities in Southern Vietnam.
Other than the necessary re-investing cost, the profits from sales of these handicrafts are used to fund various social work activities. In the development context, Mai is exploring a model of social development in which social service should lead to economic self-reliance.
Making baskets for Traidcraft has helped Vietnamese weaver, Chut, to buy food for her family.
A member of the Tan Hiep village basket group, she collects material from the group every three days so she can weave baskets at home where she also looks after five-year-old Lanh and her two other children.
"I sometimes bring my son when I come to collect work but not always," she said. "My husband usually looks after the children on the day I come to the group."
"I have been weaving for about 13 years. My husband works in the field and we have our own land. I use the money I earn to buy food for our family. We live together as a family which includes my mother and sister and we share everything together."
Sometimes we can save extra money
"If I work here for one day I can buy enough food for five people. My husband’s money is used for the children to go to school and sometimes we can save extra money."
"We have bought a motorcycle as transport to deliver the crops to the buyer, to carry it to market. We also do that for our neighbours."
"I want to thank the people who buy the baskets. When they buy it means we have work. For making the baskets I try to make them very nice so people can enjoy using them."