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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Nguyen cutting steel bars
Steel Fabricator
My name is Nguyen. I am 16 years old and have had my first job as a steel fabricator for one month.
I come from Quang Binh province (rural province in central Vietnam) and have five brothers and sisters still living at home. I return home to visit every three or four months.
I came to Hanoi two years ago and was very lucky. On my first day here I found a PLAN counseling center and started taking classes. Seven months ago, I started working in a shop, sponsored by PLAN, to learn basic steel fabrication skills. I learned to cut, bend, grind and weld steel. After six months PLAN found me this job, working as an assistant for Mr. Vinh.

Nguyen and Mr. Vinh in front of shop
I learn a great deal everyday working with Mr. Vinh. The most difficult thing we make is sliding steel security grates. These must be constructed very accurately. Mr. Vinh also teaches me the proper way to behave and helps me make good decisions in my life.
I live at Compassion House (shelter for street children). I like school and am very good at math. I want to go on to get a higher education but right now I need to spend all my time working and learning with Mr. Vinh.
I work seven days a week. I just received my first paycheck. My salary is 450,000 VND per month (30 USD). I am very excited and plan to buy a bicycle and trousers. I hope to continue learning and improving my skills so I will always be able to find work.