The Take Wing Center, a building specially dedicated to vocational training, was inaugurated on February 18, 2006. With an area of 1200 m² divided over two floors, it has an u-shape and is organized around a covered central hall. A ramp allows wheelchair access to the first floor. Beneficiaries come from the Shelter to the Take Wing Center with our Maison Chance bus or on their own, by wheelchair. Four workshops are currently offered: painting, sewing, IT and stone cutting. A teacher is in charge of each workshop. The national and international offices as well as rooms for volunteers are located here.
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 drawing and painting techniques. Today, many of them are able to carry out graphic design, special painting requests for advertisement materials, oil paintings, hand-painted greeting cards, and also create their own art works.
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 especifically adapted to be activated by using one’s elbow rather than one’s foot. The beneficiaries learn more and more techniques in order to respond to new demands like 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 Wing Center.
Cook and baker apprentices
Since the opening of Village Chance in 2011, Maison Chance has set up a cooking and a bakery/confectionary workshop for disadvantaged young people. Most of adolescents who were accepted by Maison Chance found employment after graduation. Those who had difficulties occupying a position for long, came back. For this reason, training programs in hospitality and bakery/confectionary have been launched. Surrounded by social workers who are familiar with the problems and realities of former street children, these young people evolve in an adapted and secure environment which allows them to focus on learning.
There are eight apprentice cooks and waiters at the restaurant, which opened on September 26, 2012. They serve coffee, fruit juices, cocktails and provide catering. The four apprentices at the bakery workshop have been trained to bake and create various types of pastries and cakes, baguette-like bread, croissants, pains au chocolat, brioches, biscuits, tarts, ice cream and chocolate. Their teacher, also with difficult background, has successfully completed a training as baker and confectioner in Belgium where he gained work experience. After six years he returned to Vietnam with a good knowledge of the techniques of pastry making and baking, and trains young people at Village Chance.
Stone cutting workshop
Stone cutters 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 stone cutters of Maison Chance shape gems which decorate necklaces, bracelets and ear-rings. They also shape stones into small Buddha sculptures, zodiac sign figurines or other representations. The stone cutting workshop opened in 2016 and counts not less than ten artisans.