Mothers of sick children learn to support themselves with embroidery

At 7pm one evening, Le Thi Ut eagerly arrives at the library on the sixth floor of the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) to study embroidery.

Lao Cai ethnic woman vows to preserve traditional embroidery
Vietnamese hand embroidered art pieces
Young people with cancer increasing
Khoai Noi, an ancient embroidery craft village in Hanoi

Mothers of sick children learn to support themselves with embroidery
Mothers of children with cancer are eager with the embroider class. — Photo

The class began in May this year for “special trainees” – mothers of child patients at the NIHBT.

Ut, 35, from the central province of Thanh Hoa, has been taking care of her child, who suffers from cancer, for two years.

She works as seasonal worker in her hometown, so she does not have a steady income.

The class helps Ut release the sadness and stress that comes from taking care of her child.

“Although I cannot embroider well, I still look forward to the class,” she said.

Dang Thi Phuong, 41, is another hardworking trainee. The teachers say she has advanced the most in the class.

Phuong studied embroidery when she was small, and then quit for a long time. Now that she has picked it up again, she is making swift progress.

Phuong had to quit her job as an office worker eight months ago to take care of her sick child.

“The class helps us ease our stress and gain a little income from selling our products,” said Phuong. “At present, many people like traditional embroidery products.”

The women learn to embroider pillows, bags and clothes. Phuong hopes she can continue selling her work after the class ends.


The class was the initiative of Hoang Dieu Thuan.


Thuan has collected ideas from the patients’ mothers since March. By May, Thuan joined with the NHIBT’s social work division to invite artisans to the institute to give free training to the women.

The course lasts three months, with 10 days of study each month.

Thuan said most of the women had to quit their jobs to take care of their sick children, so they do not have any income.

“I think helping the women means that I also help the sick children,” said Thuan.

To run the class, Thuan uses money from a book-selling fund designed to help cancer patients.

Thuan also called for help from artisans in the An Hoa traditional embroidery village in Thanh Ha Commune, Thanh Liem District, the northern province of Ha Nam.

After hearing about the class, artisan Nguyen Xuan Viet agreed to come to Hanoi.

Viet said that after three months, trainees can do basic embroidery.

“The mothers have sick children, so I have to study each woman’s character to encourage them to be patient with the study,” said Viet.

Luu Thi Hai, 33, an artisan from An Hoa Village, said that after the first day of training, the women were all eager to continue the class.

Hai said she would order products from the women, helping them earn some more money.

After witnessing the trainees’ enthusiasm, Thuan believes they can overcome any difficulty.

Thuan plans to ask souvenir shops and enterprises to order products from the women.


Leave your comment on an article