hanoi, vietnam: five findings

During my week in Hanoi, I was so impressed by the quantity and quality of social impact initiatives and how seamless it was to find them. Even more inspiring was learning that these type of organizations have only started to bloom in the recent years in Vietnam. It is incredible to see where there are now and I am excited to see how they will continue to grow!

Here is a look into a few @best.world.ever Hanoi finds:

The Note Coffee

 "Always believe that something magical is going to happen."

"Always believe that something magical is going to happen."

The Note Coffee is the happiest cafe I have ever been in. Three floors are covered on the walls, ceilings and chairs with post-it notes from people all over the world. It is so fun moving to read people's thoughts. Thoughts in different languages. Heavy thoughts. Light thoughts. Personal thoughts. Existential thoughts. And everything in between. My smoothie even came with a love note on it!!! I wrote one for @best.world.ever and have posted 2 below that stood out to me: "Choose Love" and "Best Holiday Ever"- yay best ever!!

The Hanoi Social Club

The Hanoi Social Club is a great cafe/restaurant in downtown Hanoi. Also 3 floors high, The Hanoi Social Club is filled with the coolest & warmest decor, incredible vegetarian options and is an artist hub for musicians, painters and meditators alike! It was so great, I went twice! The chefs are graduates of KOTO "Know One, Teach One," a social enterprise that trains at risk and disadvantaged youth to provide them with new opportunities. KOTO has trained over 670 students to date. There are other restaurants and cooking classes that are affiliated with KOTO that you can try when you are in Hanoi. The best vibes and best cause at Hanoi Social Club!

http://www.koto.com.au/about-koto

Zo Project

Zo Project is a sustainable paper business positioned uniquely on railroad tracks on a small street in Hanoi. It runs under the NGO, Centre for Community Development of Nam Dinh (NCCD) and is filled with beautiful paper materials in form of calendars, notes, cards, etc. Zo Project was founded by Ms. Tran Hong Nhung from her passion for handmade paper in her village. The profits from the merchandise goes back to the community to create job opportunities and income for villages in Northern Vietnam.

Zo Project works to preserve the practice of making this rare paper as well as doing so with increased environmental protection. Zo Project works with artists, designers and painters in the village to produce the beautiful, handmade goods. Zo Project also works with scientists and local authorities to make sure the production is done so without harming plants or creating more pollution (information via Zo Project facebook page).

The pride put in the preserving the process, the detail and creativity within the design and then prioritization of the environment is what makes Zo Project stand out. As a lover of paper too, I was so excited to learn about this business. A hand written note to someone can go a long way let along from handmade paper!

Vietnamese Women's Museum

Given the coverage of men's achievements throughout history, the Vietnamese Women's Museum brights light and awareness to the amazing accomplishments of Vietnamese women. YES! Gender equality!! The museum has a mix of artifacts detailing the culture and lifestyle of Vietnamese women as well as showcasing specific women, especially from the military and their impact on the country. Amazing to have such a reputed museum entirely on women.

The Production Workshop for People with Disabilities

This was the best rest stop ever! About 2 hours into our 4 hour drive from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay, we stopped for 30 minutes at a workshop that supports and employs disabled people through the production of arts and crafts! There were so many beautiful paintings and sculptures and beads and all made possible by a great cause.

Lauren WittigComment