There are more than 11,000 children growing up alone on the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, and Human Rights Watch estimates there are 23,000 in the country, many as young as six years old.Some of the children were poor, and came to the city hoping to find opportunity. They will often be seen selling gum or candy on the streets, or even begging in order to feed themselves. The life they found in the city is actually much worse than the life they left behind. Many go to bed hungry and hopeless. They learn not to sleep soundly, for if they do, the city's drug addicts will steal from them and beat them. Often they succumb to gang violence, child trafficking, or the drug trade. Others become forced child labor for the garment industry, often working 15-18 hour days, making only about $20 a year.
Even worse, a shocking 92% of these children have been victims of sexual assault. They are malnourished, uneducated, and have no medical care.
A Villager's Hand has partnered with Friends for Street Children in Hanoi. FFSC has seven development centers around the city, each staffed by professional teachers, social workers and volunteers, who educate the children, teach them life skills, and help them become better equipped for a future in society. Older children receive career orientation and training, as well as work opportunities, all while the centers continue to provide them with support, advice, and friendship.
It takes $100 per day to serve the current 420 children living at the centers. In order to provide for these children, local women have made items you will find in our store. The profits all go to provide for the street children in Vietnam. No children work to make these items.