ー  table of contents  ー

🔸 - 1 Project threads -

🔸 - 2 Why did I start this project -

🔸 - 3 Poverty in Vietnam -

🔸 - 4 How are we going to use the money -

🔸 - 5 Look into the future -

 

- 1 Project threads -
To release the unprivileged people in Vietnam from the economical burden

 

We are calling for 1 million JPY to help those disadvantaged women in Vietnam. The usage of the fund will be used to develop new handicraft products. That way, we believe the people there can gain a financial independence and to success the local tradition and culture.

 

Hello, My name is Yutaka Higashiyama. Before coming to Vietnam, I worked for an investment fund in Tokyo. The industry is tough and you will see lots unreasonable things happen everyday. Day by day, the desire to make more contribution to the people living in the undeveloped areas keeps growing bigger and bigger inside me. Finally, I left everything in Japan and decided to come to Vietnam.

 

In Vietnam, I can see a large number of women who have such fantastic handicraft skills but still are living in the vicious circle of poverty. It is extremely arduous for me to see such waste of talents and the fact that the people here are living in such bad conditions, so I started the project called Threads.

 

【Project Movie】

 

- 2 Why did I start this project -
an encounter with a photo-like embroidery painting

 

It all started when I was traveling in Vietnam. I found a small gallery hanging all kinds of beautiful photos with local traditional themes. However, I was surprisingly shocked to realize that all of them are embroidery paintings after I walked inside. I personally know that those kinds of paintings do not only require good embroidery skills but the talent to recognize the subtle changes of the colors also. Nonetheless, such great talent is only paid around 100 USD per month.

 

There are lots of similar cases in Vietnam. It is likely that it is caused by multiple factors such as the lack of good designs, the lack of differentiation with the machines and the marketing strategies. To tackle these current factors, my friends and I decide to carry on this project to make a change.

 

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- 3 Poverty in Vietnam-
The severe realities in Nam Sai

 

After about 2-3 hours by driving motorbike on such steep slopes and bumping roads from Sapa, there is a small humble village called Nam Sai. It is prone that Nam Sai village has the toughest living condition among the four villages we are trying to help with. Not like other big villages, we can only see few houses that are made from bamboo and mud scattered around the hill.

 

There are 66 Xa Pho minority families living in the village and 64 of them are living in poverty. Because it is located in remote area and the undeveloped infrastructure, the people here barely have the chance to go out and they have to depend on their own farming to survive everyday.  With the merely income of100 USD per month, it is undoubted that it cannot be enough for the big family (4-5 heads) to deal with their daily expenses which causes the malnutrition and starvation

 

 

Women in the village

 As the main labor of the households, women have to spend more than half of the day in the terraced fields to do farming and rest of the day to do house work and take care of the children. Whenever they have free time, they will focus on embroidering. Still, the revenue they can get from selling those handicraft products is surprisingly low. (Someone spends 6 months to make a product but sold with only 30 USD)

 

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Men in the village

Men usually spend a whole day in the rice fields. Because of the shortages of the farming techniques, the productivity is not high, thus, the rice can just be served enough to the families. When it comes to harsh weather, the situation gets worse. They sometimes don’t even have enough vegetables to eat for weeks and can only eat rice with salt. Even when they have a good yield, they cannot go to the market to sell because the bad road condition, (Only 2 families among 66 families have motor bikes)

 

 

Terrible sanitation and educational environment

Sanitation is also very bad. The houses are made from bamboo and mud so needless to say, it cannot prevent the wind and the rain, also small bugs and snakes. It gets worse in a rainy season because people there usually make fire on the ground to cook food and if it rains a lot then the floor will get muddy and people can’t find a place to make a fire. Badly, there is no toilet and bathroom, therefore, the condition gets worse in summer.

 

Medical facility

 There is a small medical station in the village that can only provide the very basic medicines. If the people get severely sickness, most of the families just can do nothing but wait. The lack of financial resource is a main factor, but we think the lack of knowledge and educatio are other significant reasons for it. Every year, some people loose their valuable life because they just do not have transportation to go to the hospital or can’t afford the hospital fee.

 

Education

Most of people in the village didn’t have the elementary education. They still hunger for skill training. For now, they cannot do any change but keep doing the simple farming work everyday. It is fact that the economy of the country is increasingly rising with such fast pace of industrialization. Needless to say, it will be more difficult for the villagers with such a limited education and skills to find stable jobs if they stay in the current skills level.

 

In the village, there are only an elementary and a middle school for the children. However, more than half of the households are living in such isolated area. Thus, the children have to travel four to five hours by foot to attend school that is one of the main obstacle to keep the children dropping from school.  Consequently, another issue is emerged that the rate of the early marriage is growing up. They start getting marriage at sixteen to eighteen. 

 

 

- 4 How are we going to use the money -
Developing customizable modern handicraft products with traditional elements.

 

The fund will be used to do the products R&D. In the development phase, several initial costs will be necessary such as sample making cost, designing cost and website cost etc. Without those costs, the new products cannot both meet the market demand and incorporate Vietnamese traditional handicraft skills which is to believed to support the people here improve their products.

 

 

 Wishes

 From the interviews we conducted with the villagers, we can see the varied conflicts between the severe realities of life and the love for the families.

 

--what do you wish for your children in the future?

I will my daughter will get a stable job such as teacher 

 

--Do you have any dream for yourself?

Except farming, I don’t know anything to improve my life. I don’t even know what I want to do.

 

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 I want my daughter to get married soon because I don’t have money. I was suffering a serious stomach disease that for sometimes I couldn’t normally go to the toilet.

 

I had a surgery once, but my health condition hasn’t fully recovered yet. These days, I can only drink some milk. I don't have money…maybe the time left for me won't be too long.

 

What I worry the most is that after I die my wife has to take care of four family members by herself. That’s why I want my daughter to get married as soon as possible.

 

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- 5 Look into the future -
From being helped to help others. Give women here a better life.

 

As the purpose of the project, those women we are supporting will acquire new skills to finish our first product line. We will fully leverage the skills in next product portfolio to improve their skills. We expect that they can finally obtain such sophisticated skills at the end of the day and become adept with such skills to continuously provide value add work.

 

Furthermore, we believe if our first project turns to be successful, there will be more women who are willing to join in our project. The greater social impacts will be recognized. That’s why the very first project is important and we really need your consideration and generous support. 

 

 

【About Return】

 

One 3D-embroidery mini purse (choice of Dragonfly, Butterfly, Crown)

 

One 3D-embroidery iphone case (choice of Dragonfly, Butterfly, Crown)

 

One leather embroidery ipad cover with 15 choices of different ethnic minority’s traditional pattern.

 

One luxury handmade wool blanket (choice of  4 colors: Milk white, light navy, purple, gray.

 

 

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