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 women's connection with their stories by using the power of story-telling through therapeutic baking and expressive art forms. The project includes seven sessions of a healing workshop, culinary art and an exhibition.
A 2010 study by UN Women reported that 34 percent of Vietnamse women experienced either physical or sexual violences from intimate partners. Human trafficking and sexual abuse are believed to be prevalent but hard to estimate. 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.
While the healing workshop will facilitate HopeBox women's healing, the exhibition will increase public awareness of violence against women and empower other victims to speak up and seek help. The 7-day healing workshop is facilitated by a therapist using a variety of therapy techniques. HopeBox women will discover their strengths, weaknesses, values and narrate their trauma story. They will then display their work in an exhibition.
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 creative story-telling & therepeutical baking leading to improved awareness and the ability to enact changes among victims and local authorities.