Mekong+ has produced an extraordinary cyclo to promote its bamboo project.
Combining her passion for social development, and a love of beautifully handmade quilts, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) dentist Thanh Truong worked with NGO Mekong Plus to form Mekong Quilts in 2001. The main aim: creating sustainable employment for under-privileged women in remote and rural regions of Vietnam and Cambodia.
Quilting is a perfect craft for employment generation – it requires low initial investment, and the women can work from home so they stay close to their families.
The program started with just 35 women. The first quilts were sold ‘Tupperware-style’ in the homes of friends, volunteers and supporters.
To expand the program, a stand-alone store in HCMC was opened, thus increasing employment opportunities for even more women. The social enterprise quickly flourished.
Read the Talk Vietnam Article -
Bamboo Bike Helps in the Slow Walk from Poverty
While the Vietnamese government is making great strides in lifting much of Vietnam out of poverty, many pockets of hardship remain; not least in the remote regions that government relief can sometimes be slow to reach. With alcoholism and domestic abuse everyday factors for some, many families can find themselves getting by on as little as half a dollar a day. Worst hit are those families without land of their own.
We are a social enterprise specializing in high quality, hand crafted quilts and accessories. The Indo-Chine inspired quilt range uses patchwork, piecing and intricate stitch detail to create a contemporary aesthetic. We use only the highest quality silks and cottons, along with beautiful vintage ethnic embroideries in our quilts.
Our accessories range combines the use of environmentally sustainable raw materials such as bamboo, water hyacinth and papier-mache with traditional hand craftsmanship to create innovative designs. All materials are locally sourced.
Mekong+ products can also be custom made to meet our clients’ individualized aesthetic, and to the high standard of ‘workwomanship’ that our reputation is built on.
In 2010, following on from the success of Mekong Quilts, Mekong Creations was established to diversify the product range, which included handcrafted accessories and gift items.
The social enterprise now employs over 340 women in communities northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, Duc Linh and Tanh Linh, Ham Thuan Nam (Binh Thuan Province), Long My (Hau Giang province) in the Mekong Delta and Rumdoul (Svay Rieng province) in Cambodia.
Besides direct economic benefit to the women, all profits from your purchase of Mekong+ products are (via our NGO) used to support the wider community through development initiatives such as micro-financing, scholarships, and health, hygiene and agricultural education programs
Today Mekong Quilts and Mekong Creations have joined together to create a unified identity, Mekong+.