Who Are the Street Children of Hanoi?

Bread Maker

Stone Carver

Steel Fabricator

Bamboo Weaver

Sewing Machine Operator

PLAN Program Officer



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Bread Makers: Chinh and Linh
Bread Maker
My name is Chinh. I am sixteen years old and work as a bread maker. I am originally from Ha Nam province (rural area). There are no jobs in Ha Nam and my family is poor so I came to Hanoi three years ago. Friends said it was easy to make money in Hanoi. When I arrived here, older kids from my province showed me how to make a little money shining shoes.
I don't like shining shoes. Some of my friends were going to school (PLAN & CPCC multi-grade class) so I went too. Three months ago my teacher told me about a special activity sponsored by the school. I could learn to make bread from a baker named Mr. Tunh. It would be difficult, but I would be learning a skill that would allow me to have a steady job. Also, I could live and sleep at the bakery and wouldn't have to shine shoes.
Mixing flour, kneading dough, making loaves and blowing seeds onto the loaves


Making loaves
The first day was so hard and complicated. I never thought there could be so many steps and procedures to make bread! You have to mix the flour according to the recipe and run the machine. The hardest part is kneading the bread. You must do it very quickly and there is a special trick to move your hands correctly which Mr. Tunh taught me. My hands were very sore and I still have a blister.
Also, I still needed to take classes and pay for my own meals. It was very difficult to study because it was so noisy and busy living at the bakery. I had to work very hard but I liked making bread better than living on the street.
Recently, Mr. Tunh hired me as a baker so now I get paid and eat meals with the family. Mr. And Mrs. Tunh are so kind that they are like parents to me. They help me with everything. Mrs. Tunh tells me not to smoke because it is unhealthy and not to drink or gamble.

Bread Makers including Mr. & Mrs. Tunh on the far right
Of course, I miss my family in Ha Nam. I visit home every month and am able to give them a little money. My parents were worried about me when I first came to Hanoi but don't worry anymore because Mr. And Mrs. Tunh are taking care of me.
Street Children of Hanoi articles were gathered by Lynn True and Joseph Crosetto for PLAN Knowledge Exchange with the extraordinary help of the PLAN staff in Hanoi. Email PLAN Hanoi - Planvn@netnam.org.vn, Lynn True - lynn@3rdeyesite.com and Joseph Crosetto - joe@3rdeyesite.com