2 Vietnamese disabled women establish firm to help the handicapped
Nguyen Thuy Chi, head of the mature cerebral palsy club, and her fellow-worker Luu Thi Hieu, who are both disabled, share an idea of building a ‘home’ in Hanoi where those with cerebral palsy and the disabled as a whole can work and find happiness in life.
“No community develops with only donations," said Chi, deputy director of Cham Vao Xanh (Green Touch) social enterprise.
"Our point of view is that no one saves us better than ourselves.
“We need to form a ‘home’ and develop a brand to provide our products for more customers.
"We choose green as this is the color of the cerebral palsy community and symbolizes hope and happiness."
Journey in wheelchairs
To realize their idea, the two traveled to many places in their wheelchairs to seek funding and connect members to operate the enterprise.
Chi recounted that she used to come to pedestrian streets, fairs, and coffee shops to introduce handicrafts made by the disabled.
However, they realized that the products should have a more deserving position.
In October last year, Cham Vao Xanh was established. Its products are handicrafts and paintings made by the handicapped or mothers of children with cerebral palsy.
Many customers were full of admiration when seeing cute woolen bears, keychains, and colorful tintinnabula.
In addition, Cham Vao Xanh sells clean food from Da Lat.
“An advantage is that the disabled participating in the enterprise do not have to change their living environment," Chi said.
"They can stay at home and work in their leisure time without facing any inconvenience in daily life or traveling, which is extremely necessary to the disabled."
Creating values for others
After six months of operation, Cham Vao Xanh has had loyal customers from fairs, international schools, and the Japanese community in Hanoi.
However, it is not easy to operate the enterprise. Chi and her fellow-workers have divided the job into smaller tasks.
She said many disabled people have changed their lives thanks to social media.
Therefore, her enterprise has concurrently sold goods via traditional sale channels, such as fairs, stores, and pedestrian streets, while developing their brand thanks to social networks.
They have introduced the disabled’s handicrafts on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok pages and e-commerce platform Shopee.
In addition to loyal customers, Cham Vao Xanh has got new customers from other localities thanks to social media.
“We develop our brand with an aim to help the community get acquainted with the images of the disabled going outside, working, and creating values for our society,” Chi said.
She added that she would open a store to display products made by the disabled, thus opening a space for them to integrate with the community.
The two women also expect to seek investment funds to operate a project that help adults with cerebral palsy live independently, love themselves, and take part in more social activities.
Cham Vao Xanh vows to use 51 percent of its profit for the community of adults with cerebral palsy and the remaining profit to run the enterprise and pay employees’ salaries.
Having joined many training courses, including those on skills to live independently, Chi can control her own fate.
She left the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai to enter a university in Hanoi, then got a job, and became an active member of the community of people with cerebral palsy.
“I want to make my life more meaningful, firstly make myself feel happy and motivated," Chi shared.
“Once we are motivated, we can spread the positive energy to others.”