Building on the belief that social development is intricately tied to economic self-reliance, Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts reaches out to artisans in underserved areas providing training and marketing and reinvesting some of their profits into the communities through social work projects.
Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts was founded in 1991 by two social workers who were concerned about improving the lives of street children and single mothers in Ho Chi Minh City and ethnic minorities in mountain villages
Mai Handicrafts employs over 1,600 artisans, 80% of whom are women
Mai Handicrafts looks for ways to employ as many people as possible, including in the production of their packing boxes.
Through fair trade, Mai Handicraft artisans are able to earn between $50-70 US dollars a month in a country where the average monthly income is $20-30 US dollars
The artisans are able to work from their homes or in small workshops instead of seeking work in Vietnam's factory industries
During recent years, Mai Handicrafts has established itself as the primary marketing agent for artisans from neglected families and women
Mai Handicrafts sales fund various community development activities based on community needs such as clean water projects, vocational training, equipment purchases, and teacher wage subsidies.
Mai Handicrafts artisans receive social and health insurance, and can apply for scholarship funds.