The reason why Apple does so well with its iPads, iPods, iMacs you name them is that when the head of design steps into the room all big shots shut up and listen with admiration and attention. Design is king at Apple but is most often neglected in favour of number crunchers and engineers in most other companies.
Regrettably the volunteering sector works on similar principles. Teachers, doctors, accountants, international development specialists are the people chosen to go out into under developed regions. Make no mistake, they are very important. However, very few designers ever either make the grade or are even encouraged to apply. Yet it is certain that they are just as necessary.
Hope Center, Yeah Can’s favourite non profit looking after disabled people and our charity work, is exactly one of those Centers. They received a business developer as a volunteer from VSO. But what is the point of a business developer if there are no products to develop, no sales to make?
Good thing then that Yeah Can offers its design skills over a wide spectrum. Most recent design work has been for embroidery patterns to be given to deaf people at a catholic sponsored Center Mai Am Hy Vong Nguyet Buu also situated in Hue.
Hope Center is about to open its own shop but has not sufficient products to sell. Now the Center is looking to outsource to other disabled Centers to make products for the shop. Mai Am has skilled deaf artisans who make great embroidery work in the old style of floral patterns. Not really what the modern shopper is looking for. Let’s see how they can handle these new designs and even more interesting will be whether the tourists will buy them.