Who Are the Street Children of Hanoi?

Bread Maker

Stone Carver

Steel Fabricator

Bamboo Weaver

Sewing Machine Operator

PLAN Program Officer

Teacher

Tourist

Photo- grapher
(Click on the photos above to see more articles)
 
 

Lynn teaches girls how to use a digital camera so they can photograph their counselors and teachers at The Warm Shelter for drop-in street children.
Photographer
Hello, my name is Lynn. I shot most of the photographs for the 'Who Are the Street Children of Hanoi' article.
 
Meeting the street children in Hanoi was an eye-opening experience. Before coming to Vietnam I thought I had a general understanding of homeless children. But when I walked into the first classroom and looked at the children's faces, saw them studying, writing, being shy, laughing, poking one another, it was impossible to look at them as anything but just children. It's true that they all have incredibly difficult lives shaped by poverty, hunger and homelessness. But it was a mistake to let these circumstances define the children.
 
We met many kids and did our best to connect with them. We waved, laughed, shared tea, took many photos and asked many questions. But our short meetings only gave us a superficial glimpse at there daily lives. The gulf between us was reflected in many ways. For instance, at the end of an interview with a child it seemed natural to ask them about their dreams for the future. Every child we asked just stared at us incomprehensibly. This gulf of understanding between eager Americans and children living on the streets of Hanoi was clearly not bridged in four days.
 
So this was just a 'first glace' at the street children of Hanoi. Hopefully you've liked it as much as we did. Below are a few photos that didn't work into any of the stories. Enjoy!
 
 
 
Hanoi's infamous drug area houses a small multi-level class off an alley. Children attending school in this area are referred to as "water lilies of the mud," meaning that they grow beautifully despite their harsh surroundings. You can see water lilies growing in the river along the trash of the ill-kept neighborhood.

 
 
Advanced stone carvers at the factory and a stone carver student learning his craft at the shop.
 
 
Housed in a building donated by the police, students are eager to learn at the the multi-level class in Thuong Dinh where volunteer teachers pay close attention to students' work.
 
 

Volunteer teacher Pham Thi Huyen opens her home everyday to teach street children.
 
 

In an effort to make classroom locations easily accessible to children, a multi-level class is held outside, at the Thu Le Zoo behind a temple. Children sell postcards or beg in the zoo after classes.
 
 
Thanh, Le Quynh Lan and Nguyen Minh Nguyet visiting street children who shine shoes in Lenin Park. Mark McPeak, PLAN Vietnam's Country Director.
 
 
Links:
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