HopeBox is a Vietnamese social enterprise that employs survivors of gender-based violence. Each woman that comes to HopeBox has their own story of suffering, surviving and transforming. My Life, My Story is a project that facilitates HopeBox's connection with their stories by using the power of work-based therapy through therapeutic baking creating sustainable products. The result of this is economic empowerment & capacity building to prepare women to transition into trauma-sensitive jobs.
In 2019, Vietnam conducted its second National Study with findings that two out of three married/partnered women have experienced violence by a husband/partner at some point in their life, and 31.6 per cent in the last 12 months. Despite these realities, many women and children victims remain silent and do not seek help due to strong cultural stigmas and limited public awareness among local authorities. This further perpetuates their vicious cycle of violence, injustice and untreated traumas.
After more than a year of operation, HopeBox has been able to fill the gap in the market by providing gainful employment opportunities for women hailing from GBV and disability backgrounds. Our services have evolved organically as we gain more experiences working with GBV survivors. Currently, we synergise technical skills with life skills (self-defence, relaxation tactics, self-care) to prepare the women to transition in the job market and advance in their career.
Our project provides a transition model that provides employability skills (including hospitality skills training, career development skills, leadership training), business engagement opportunities and work-based therapy (psychosocial education, relaxation techniques and outsourced trauma counselling. We empower Hopebox women through a sustainable business model leading to improved awareness and the ability to enact changes among victims and local authorities.