One volunteer day at the stuffed animal factory for people with disabilities

On November 22, 2017

On October 21st, 11 students from the Merali, Microsoft YouthSpark, and Future Energy scholarship programs learned and participated in production, while supporting people with disabilities, at the Kym Viet stuffed animal factory in Hanoi.

Established in December 2013, the Kymviet Joint Stock Company is a production and business company that was founded by people with disabilities to create jobs for people with disabilities. KymViet’s mission is to create jobs for people with disabilities, support their livelihoods and well-being, and help them better integrate into the community. They produce sophisticated, handicraft products, that are useful and of high aesthetic value. At the factory, they combine human values and Vietnamese cultural values into one product. This contributes to the spread of traditional values to the local community and the world.

In a warehouse, the students sorted, counted, packed, and stored  the stuffed animals. Kym Viet’s factory is a 4-storey, 30m2 building located in the relaxation zone, Mo Lao.

The stuffed animals are made entirely by hand at every stage – the design, the cutting of fabric, and the stuffing. There are many types of animals, animals including elephants, chickens, goats, monkeys, cats, seahorses, and more. The stuffed animals… are made to order or designed for display at exhibitions and fairs.

Boys from the Future Energy Scholarship program classify and package the stuffed animals. This is not hard work, but it requires patience and attention to detail, because there are many different varieties of animals such as fun goats, arrogant goats, lying cats, sitting cats, baby cats, girl cats, etc…

There are many different types of cats, such as sitting cats, lying cats, father cats, and mother cats. There are also cats with different names.

The boy cat (left) has a tilted head with the eyes looking up look like eyes open while the girl cat (right) is straight, with the eyelids looking down look like eyes closed. One each of male and female with the same pattern, makes is a pair. The students are expected to distinguish and classify  them correctly.

After being sorted, the stuffed animals will be packed, labelled, and counted. Then they will be delivered to customers or displayed at the Women’s Museum and pedestrian zone around Hoan Kiem Lake…

While one group is classified the stuffed animals, another group assisted staff in cutting fabric, stuffing, putting sand into the products. The main stages of production, such as drawing, cutting fabric, and sewing are all completed by the staff here to ensure the quality and sophistication of each product.

“After be a volunteer in Kym Viet, I feel pretty tired, but very happy. The stuffed animals are really beautiful and lovely. I like this job very much, ” said Nguyen Thi Sen( a Merali scholarship recipient).

By organizing this volunteer activity, CED want to facilitate scholarship recipients in interacting with the less fortunate people in society so that they feel inspired to contribute to the community, as well as to receive more knowledge about this manufacturing process, handicraft production and business activities.

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