We met in a cafeteria proposed by Minh, one of the few which is accessible with wheelchair. With the noise of heavy rain in the background, we slowly discovered how KymViet’s idea was born.
Me and two other co-founders, also on wheelchairs, firstly we worked in other companies, but we wanted to create chances for other people, deaf people. In our country, it is hard for deaf people to communicate with others, which makes it difficult for them to find a job. It can be much harder than for us, we have moving disability but we still can find a job. For deaf people it is so challenging. We thought about doing stuffed toys with them. We started a company at the end of 2014 and now we have about 10 workers.
The beginning was very difficult, lack of clients, finding accommodation for workers, which come mostly from remote villages. Minh and other co-founders had to invest their own resources and a lot of believe to keep it going.
But after more than one year, we started to receive some support, for example from a marketing company. They introduced us to some people and now we can sell to chain with 20 shops all over the country, selling toys for children. Our target are Vietnamese families. They started to accept our products. Orders are rising. Now our main challenge is that we cannot produce more and answer all the orders. We are trying to have more workers. Now we accept not only deaf people but also other kind of disabilities.
The social mission of KymViet is not only to hire people in difficult situations, but also to provide safe, locally produced stuffed toys.
We try to keep our product good for people. We don’t use any poisonous material. We use sand from sea to stuff toys, cinnamon, anise and other kinds of natural material from Vietnam.
Their toys can be found in different shops in Hanoi. In the future they hope to expand and help people with disabilities from another cities. Although it’s not always easy, Minh and the other co-founder don’t give up.
The reason to continue is very personal. The deaf people we help are very young, 18-19 years old. I think I have to lead this company for them. We want them to have the chance to meet other people. Working with people with disabilities is challenging from a lot of points of view, but it also has good sides. The advantage of deaf people is that they almost never leave our company. They feel part of a family, they don’t want to change the job after we train and prepare them. What is more, they really follow the rules. They work 8 hours per day, as they are supposed to, they never cheat or try to work less than they should. They are very loyal and trustworthy. I believe that people with disabilities should work for themselves. We can earn for living. We can make products for the society. We also can do good, not only “normal” people.
More about KymViet: kymviet.net