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January 17th 2009
Published: January 15th 2009
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How it all Started … News from January 2009… It is with great excitement that I write this blog. It has been a long held dream of mine and many of the disabled women that Lifestart Foundation helps, to open the first not for profit shop in Hoi An. In December 2008 I was fortunate to be in a position to rent a fabulous shop and work space for the women. A small group of local women living w... Read Full Entry

Photos are below
Photos: 33, Displayed: 21



To ensure the women's work was of the highest standard each stage of making was lovingly critiqued by Sherry.

Hanh is pictured crotcheting scarves at home. She is a paraplegic and finds it difficult to sit for prolonged periods of time. Each scarf takes several days to make.

Tam is pictured learning to make Mosiac note cards.

Nguyen started out making all of the card designs and envelopes and was also part of the quality control group. She now makes some of the most difficult cards and also the sock creatures. She has also passed on her skills by training many new workshop members

Helen and Sue are Lifestart Foundation supporters from Melbourne, Australia. They are pictured here at their market stall where they sold potted plants and home-made goodies. All proceeds from their market days go directly to helping the womens group in Hoi An. All the money they raised was paying for the rent on the Viettown shop.

Karen's eldest son, Tu, helped transfer the ladies in and out of their wheelchairs and three wheel motor bikes everyday when the workshop started. Now all but one are able to transfer themselves.

A keen English student and Lifestart Foundation Jobstart recipient. Miss Dung managed the orginal Viettown workshop shop.

15th January 2009

Fantastic progress
Wow! How fast you and the girls have moved since I saw you last summer. The products are beautiful and know you will have a great success!
15th January 2009

Congratulations Karen (and Sherry) for creating something so wonderful for these women. I was privileged to be able to meet them on a Lifestart fund raising cycle tour of Vitenam in November 2008. They are such a lovely bunch of happy ladies and their smiles said it all. To see the difference Lifestart has made to each of their lives was a wonderful experience. I hope one day to be able to get back to Hoi An to help. I urge anyone who reads this comment to help support Lifestart. The work they do is inspiring.
17th January 2009

On my recent trip to VN before Xmas 2008, I visited the workshop with my two children. It was heartening to see the ladies in a cheerful, supportive environment, putting in their best effort to strive for self-sufficiency. Lara & Wesley had the tasks of choosing the cards to support these women. They democratically spread the support around and chose a card from each of the ladies in the group. I am sure other visitors will be willing the lend their small (or big) support. Congrats Karen, I hope this will take off further with your planned “marketing” plan. Sherry, I am so impressed with your artful touch and more so with your brilliant way of applying and translating art into productive, concrete, delightful products which will help the women fulfilling their dream of becoming financially self-sufficient.
19th January 2009

Very proud of you mum! You're an inspiration. Jx
22nd January 2009

Fantastic work
Wow, what fantastic work. Can't wait to purchase on line. Jay
31st March 2009

What beautiful items. Just wondering which market Helen and Sue are at in Melbourne? Love reading your blog
31st March 2009

Learning and Working
Very impressive. Great works.
7th June 2009

What a beautiful shop!
This is our visit to Ho An and we made our way to the Lifestart Foundation shop as soon as we could. It was lovely to meet some of those beautiful inspiring women and to purchase some of their work. I'll be doing what I can to encourage others to visit. Everyone involved with this project is to be congratulated on the wonderful work you're doing. Peace and love. Michelle
2nd December 2009

The peace dove cards look so beautiful, I wonder, can I purchase them online? I would love to give them as gifts!
3rd January 2010

Hi Karen and the Lifestart Foundation team, COngratulation for the successful results (income earning capability) for all those women. So very inspiring. This Christmas I must say that I was unusually very classy. I wore a white skirt with a white top. THey are all about 28 years old. On my shoulder I wore the beautiful red silk bag made by Miss Lieu. My people had seen my skirt and top 1000 times before but wow they all made comments on the silk bag! Are diaries and nice notebook dear in Vietnam,? how about putting designs on these? We can buy them for presents and people will keep them for a year. About the bamboo vases such a good idea! Light and unbreakable! Would lacquer red or blue or black possible? Recycling plastic bottles. Wow I enjoy the cards, the sock doll (Miss Molly dolly is well,) and the bookmarks. Very best wishes, Tam

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