The Take Wings Center, the building specially dedicated to vocational training, was inaugurated on 18th February 2006. With an area of 1200 m2 divided over two floors, it is U-shaped and organized around a covered central hall. An access ramp allows wheelchair access to the first floor. Beneficiaries from Maison Chance come from the Shelter to the Take Wing Center with our bus or on their own, by wheelchair. Five workshops are offered: sewing, painting, woodwork, stone cutting and IT. A teacher is in charge of each workshop. Offices (Vietnamese and international) are also located in the building.
Initially designed as an expressive outlet, the painting workshop has taken-off in the last few years and now serves as a true professional project for the beneficiaries, who are all disabled. The apprentices initially learn basic techniques about drawing and painting. Many of them are today able to carry out graphic design and special painting requests for advertisement materials, oil paintings, and hand-painted greeting cards, as well as creating their own paintings.
Seamstresses and workshop designers are trained in basic stitching techniques. This knowledge allows them to carry out each stage of production, a great personal satisfaction.
For practical reasons, the sewing machines have been specifically adapted so that they can be activated by using one’s elbow rather than one’s foot.
The beneficiaries are learning more and more techniques in order to respond to new demands: the production of kitchen accessories (household gloves, coasters) and clothing.
IT is a valuable skill for those whose mobility is particularly limited. Many of them cannot use their hands normally. It is also a point of access to the outside world, thanks to the Internet.
Students learn IT basics, how to use design programs (Photoshop, Adobe illustrator), and how to create a website.
Recently, several graduates from the IT Workshop found a paid job allowing them to also keep working in the Take Wings Center.
The woodcraft workshop produces furniture, decorative features for the home and a variety of products for every day usage such as chairs, lamps, jewelry boxes, book shelves, etc.
Apprentice cooks and bakers
Since the opening of Village Chance in 2011, Maison Chance has set up a cooking and a bakery/pastry workshop for disadvantaged young people.
Most of young people who had lived on the street and were welcomed by Maison Chance, had been trained outside, found a job, but struggled to keep it. So they always came back in Maison Chance. That’s the reason why the cooking and bakery workshops have been launched.
Surrounded by professionals who understand the issues faced by those who have lived on the street, these young people evolve in an adapted and familiar environment which enables them to focus on learning.
There are 8 apprentice cooks and waiters at the restaurant, which opened on 26th September 2012. They serve coffee, fruit juices, cocktails and provide catering.
The four apprentices at the bakery workshop have been trained to bake different kinds of pastries and cakes, baguette-like bread, croissants, pains au chocolat, brioches, biscuits, tarts, ice cream and chocolate…
Their teacher who also came from a difficult background was able to undertake effective training. He was trained in baking for over 6 years in Belgium. He thus came back to Vietnam, with a very good knowledge of the techniques of pastry making and baking and the best products to use, to help young people with difficulties
Stone cutting workshop
Stonecutters cut and shape precious and semi-precious stones to turn them into pieces of art or to create jewelry. This manual art can be practiced sitting down and is therefore perfectly adapted to people in wheelchairs who may use both of their hands.
The stonecutters of Maison Chance shape gems which decorate necklaces, bracelets and ear-rings. They also shape stones into small Buddha sculptures or other representations.
The stonecutting workshop opened in 2016 and counts no fewer than ten artisans.