Lifestart Lantern Tour
The Lifestart Foundation has contributed to positive change in many aspects of life in Hoi An. They have assisted many people with disabilities to set up small businesses and find independence. The Lifestart Foundation’s workshop empowers members to earn a sustainable income and gain a sense of independence through the creation of fine arts and crafts. Funds have also been used to provide some differently-abled members of the community with three-wheeled motorbikes.
After many years of successful workshops and art classes that hosted international travellers, Lifestart Foundation decided to concentrate their efforts on making and selling lanterns and halted the tourism component of their non-profit in 2018.
Vietnam has a large population of adults living with complex special needs. There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from repercussions of war injuries, polio, cerebral palsy, and accidents. The government does very little to help subsidize the added costs for the differently-abled, and accessible and affordable physiotherapists are few and far between. Even if treatment is received, accessibility to get around to hold a job is also a challenge, as many modes of transportation require you to be completely independent.
Many differently-abled individuals live with pain and other side effects that restrict their opportunities and heavily impacts their quality of life. The Lifestart Foundation works with differently-abled adults to ensure that they have their own sustainable income and are provided with wheelchairs and three-wheeled motorbikes that allow for greater independence and mobility. Planeterra introduced Lifestart Foundation to G Adventures travellers, who experience a handicraft lesson in making traditional silk lanterns, taught by artists who have benefitted from the program.