TOHE is actually a traditional toy made of rice that can be eaten after play time


This trade relationship is currently not active.


Profile of CONTIGO´s partner Tòhe

Hanoi to Göttingen (Source: Google Earth)


Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” (Pablo Picasso)



Cotton products printed with little artist’s artwork


Hanoi, Vietnam – distance to Europe: 8,600km

Founded in 2006


  • Ngan Pham Thi and Anh Thi are engaged in a social project organised by an NGO
  • They teach painting courses in institutions for children with disabilities, orphanages, hospitals, etc. (for example, one orphanage in the north-west of Hanoi with 160 children, 170 adults, and 25 babies)
  • Children are encouraged to be creative and use their imagination
  • In many institutions these children live in very poor conditions: unbalanced diet poor in vitamins, no recreational activities, no support in their personal development
  • 2006: the This start to use the children’s artwork on cotton products like clothing, housewares, toys, accessories, bags: Tòhe is foundedTohe8
  • Concept:
    • Tòhe organises art courses in 4 institutions in the surroundings of Hanoi
    • Distribution of fruit and dairy products during art classes, healthy diet supposed to be combined with creative, fun activities
    • Tòhe provides painting and handicraft materials
    • Children are 4-10 years old, children with disabilities are up to 18 years old
    • Tòhe accompanies development of children over several years, very talented children are promoted with scholarships for school
    • Project manager: Thuy is supported in mission by volunteers
  • Initial difficulties lead to a new start in 2009 with the help of a British NGO
  • 2010: GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) donates US $15,000 for purchase of printing machine
  • 2012: show room is reopened and is also used as shop that also attracts international visitors
  • Search for sale opportunities abroad
  • Main costs at Tòhe: importing costs for colours from the U.S. and Europe
  • Tòhe wants to demonstrate that creative work creates economic value
  • 2014: Sewing workshop relocated to village Van Khe in Ha Dong, 20km outside of Hanoi, 10 women are employed full-time with the goal of employing 20 sewers in 2014
  • 2014: Tòhe takes part in GIZ-funded training in Munich, topics cover business management, increasing market opportunities, production optimisation
  • Tòhe collaborates with different organisations:
    • Centre for children with disabilities and for orphans, 70km outside of Hanoi, 20 of the 160 children regularly take advantage of Tòhe’s opportunities
    • School for autistic children in HanoiTohe7
    • Centre for families with disabilities
    • Orphanage, in Nangking, ca. 100km away from Hanoi

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2013

Structure of the business

Number of employees:

  • 30 employees (24 women and 6 men)
    • 10 trained sewers
    • 2 sample makers
    • 2 part-time employees responsible for printing
    • 3 designers
    • 1 product manager
    • Management department consists of administration, sales and social projekt coordinator (Thuy, she represents Ngan in schools)
    • Project coordinator Do Huyen Trang organises 20 volunteers that conduct weekly painting courses


  • Home market (65%) via a shop in Ho Chi Min City,  local companies (as promotional gift), and customers from surrounding area in HanoiTohe5
  • Exports (35%) to Australia and Germany


  • To increase international marketing
  • To optimise production
  • To strengthen the self-confidence of people with disabilities
  • To develop the creative skills of children and teenagers through creative activities
  • To support children in fully making use of their creative potential provide potential career opportunities in this sector

Special features

  • Financial support of mutual fund that pays for art and crafts classes
  • Profit is invested in scholarships for talented students

Why does CONTIGO work with Tòhe
: The innovative product design is combined with priceless education projects. A start-up company that is very worthy of support.


Fairtrade classification

FTA = Fairtrade approved


Fairtrade aspects

Tòhe complies with the following Fairtrade Principles:

No child labour

No discrimination

No discrimination due to gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, or infection with HIV

Fair wages

  • Average wage in the region: US$ 110/month
  • Salary at Tòhe: US$ 200-300/month
  • Monthly payment in cash
  • Holiday bonus
  • Higher wages in case of overtime (on weekends 100%, on bank holidays 200%)

Humane working conditions

Working hours:Tohe6

  • 8 hours/day
  • 5.5 days/week

Social benefits:

  • Health insurance
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Continued payment of wage in case of sickness or accidents
  • Paid holidays

Educational opportunities:

  • Designers visit international design trainings, courses
  • Thorough initial training for all new employees
  • Sewing training for women


  • Work contracts are available
  • Payroll is available
  • Pay slips are available
  • SAR (Self Assessment Report) was duly submitted to CONTIGO



  • Personal visits in Hanoi (2012, 2014)


Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: Vietnam



Tohe1 Tohe2 Tohe4 2014_Tohe5 2014_Tohe6 2014_Tohe7

Tòhe´s Little Artists 

Tohe11 Tohe10 Tohe9

Author: Janina Lange on 29. June 2018

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