Who Are the Street Children of Hanoi?

Bread Maker

Stone Carver

Steel Fabricator

Bamboo Weaver

Sewing Machine Operator

PLAN Program Officer



Photo- grapher
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Bamboo weavers at a craft fair
Bamboo Weaver
My name is Hanh and I started learning to weave bamboo two months ago. I am 13 years old.
My teachers are very nice and kind. We learn by doing. We start by making bamboo rope and weaving this into the foundation of the basket and the cover. Older sisters (fellow students) help with the difficult parts.
Teachers at my school told me about the bamboo weaving class and I wanted to join so I could make money to help my mother.

Hanh's home
I live with my mother in a houseboat on the Red River. The boat is not very nice. It is a small, low, wood shack built on top of oil drums so it will float. In the dry season it is tied to the shore of an island in the middle of the Red River. In the wet season everything is flooded and we have to work hard to keep the boat secured. The water moves very fast and we are always afraid we will be swept away.
There is no electricity or running water in the houseboat. It is a five kilometers walk down a dirt path and over a bridge to get to the market and school. It is very difficult but we don't have any place else to live. We have friends and neighbors who live on houseboats next to ours. We all help each other to survive.
Life on the river

  My mother makes money by collecting rubbish. I have a 16-year-old brother but my mother sent him to Ho Chi Minh city to live with our uncle and find a job.
Going to school is my favorite thing to do. I like math, vocabulary and singing. I love bamboo weaving and hope to keep improving my skills and become a real expert. I want to make enough money to get a better home.

To get to the city, Hanh must walk 2 km through the cornfield and then 1 km on this bridge.