A Morning in Hanoi, Vietnam: Tea Talk Cafe and Tohe Style
Tea Talk Cafe and Tohe Style are both social enterprises located in the Trung Hoa neighbourhood of Hanoi, Vietnam.
Tea Talk Cafe
Start your morning at Tea Talk Cafe – a cafe aimed at improving the health and well-being of the Hanoi community. Tea Talk is delightfully set off of the main road on Ho Trung Kinh, a small pond. Given the open space and wifi, this is a great place to read, write or work! I had the most delicious juice to start my day.
Tea Talk was started to break down stigmas around mental health and create a more welcoming and less intimidating atmosphere. The cafe’s sponsored charity, CORE, makes it easier for individuals to receive counselling by providing expert services and a comfortable setting. The goal is for people to receive mental health care no matter what their issues are.
In addition to counselling services, Tea Talk/CORE provide gatherings for the community to connect and engage in dialogue about a variety of topics together. The organisation makes you feel welcome and that you are not alone. I enjoyed speaking with co-founder Nguyen when I was there and hearing about the amazing impact on individuals in the community.
The empathy, love, support, care and tools provided by Tea Talk/CORE are astounding and are a step in the right direction of changing how people see mental health care. At only a few years old, the organisation has positively left a mark on many lives!
Next, you can walk about 10 minutes to Tohe Style – a store whose merchandise is designed by children in need! When you walk into the store, the bold colours and unfiltered designs bring an immediate smile to your face. Tohe was started with the inspiration of how kids view the world every day: filled with wonder, asking questions, letting you know exactly how they are feeling and continuously seeing things with fresh and loving eyes.
Tohe Fun enables creative art playgrounds for disadvantaged children to play and express themselves. Tohe Fun visits over 20 centres and 2,000+ children each week. The organisation does not assign projects to the children, rather, provides them with materials to create however they wish! The Tohe team them selects certain pieces and turns them into a variety of merchandise (clothes, accessories, toys, homecare, etc). The profits from the products go back to Tohe Fun and the artists themselves.
The unfiltered, uninhibited, authentic, real, raw designs bring all sorts of emotion. Being surrounded by such colour and warmth and being able to identify different artists pieces at such a young age depending on their style is absolutely incredible! I met with Communications Director, Van, who explained to me beautiful stories about different children and their personalities. Tohe has been connected with some of the kids for over 10 years!
It was amazing to see and hear about the positive impact creating had on the kid’s health and well-being and the same went for the adults purchasing the products!! The spirit of fun, creativity and freedom brings joy to all every day. My heart was so warmed thinking of the hardships these children have gone through but their ability to courageously push through and fill the world with happiness.
Social impact as a whole has only recently become a more mainstream conversation in Vietnam. It was so inspiring to visit Tea Talk Cafe and Tohe Style and learn more about how they are paving the way within the culture of Vietnam. If you are in Hanoi, these two social enterprises are the best way to enjoy your travels, learn more about the local culture and contribute to the community!
Tea Talk Vietnam: facebook
Tohe Style: facebook
Tea Talk Cafe and Tohe Style will both feature in our upcoming City Guide to Hanoi – check out our other guides!