Be Glad in April


– Now it’s May! But wait, how was your April? Was it fun?
– Yes, we were so glad to continue serving our community! tips

TEA TALK TURNED 5! To celebrate our fifth anniversary this year, on a beautiful Sunday morning on 9th April, we organized a special event “Let’s Celebrate Family” to welcome many parents and children in the area of Hanoi. Along with musical performances on stage, we conducted different outdoor games to help strengthen the bonds between family members. While parents were busy attending workshops on parenting skills, their children were happy to join creative and playful activities like making small gifts, decorating cookies, face-painting or board games. We indeed couldn’t accomplish our mission without the great support from our volunteers, partners and all the attendants who spent their precious time to join our fifth anniversary. Together, we created a harmonious space that helped family members get closer.


SATURDAY FUN has officially launched!
Saturday Fun is our weekly activity that aims to provide a place for creative play for children from ages 4 to 11 years. By joining our fun activities such as arts & crafts, decorating cookies or making handmade toys from recycled materials, we hope they can grow both physically and mentally.


In April, LET’S SHARE enjoyed a series of discussions related to Easter, as even the recent film “Beauty and the Beast” was revealed (by guest speaker Beka Reise) as a story that displays how true love sacrifices for someone who has done wrong, and restores that person, making them new. Indeed, the month kickstarted with REI-Vietnam staff Ginny Teel and Rebecca Hedges offering “Easter and Spring: A Time for New Beginnings”. And as Let’s Share enters it’s second year, we know WHAT we do at Let’s Share and HOW we go about doing it, but the question of WHY was explored in another session called “Life Planning: Vision and Values” led by Raymond Tan and Lawrence Liew. Let’s Share continues to exist to give young Vietnamese friends an opportunity to truly express their souls while learning and sharing about new and relevant topics in life.  We saw this happen again with the final Let’s Share of April entitled “Desert Storm: A Liberation Story”, where a military veteran shared about his experience in war trying to help free a country, but how nowadays he’s working to help people find personal freedom. Of course, we had fun playing some games and trivia, and winning some prizes along the way!

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Following the success of our events under Let’s Talk PLUS in March, in April, 13 – 14th, Ms. Jean Lim (MA Counseling), Director of PowerVision EAP Inc. from the Philippines, together with CoRE, conducted a training workshop on Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). SFBT is an approach to psychotherapy that, as the name implies, focuses on solutions rather than problems. This focus makes it shorter than other forms of therapy. Through the therapeutic conversations, the therapist and client collaborate to envision what the client wants and to discover solutions from the client’s strengths and experiences. This training workshop attracted social workers, psychologists and students. All found it helpful and easy to apply to their work.


This March!


If we had to describe this March with one word, “hectic” would definitely be the one! The Cafe launched its final phase of renovation to welcome many individuals and groups of customers, CoRE which is the charity arm of Tea Talk provided various study tours, training and workshops within the month.



In 2017, CoRE launched the “Let’s Talk PLUS” program. This is different from our existing 3-month basic counseling training “Let’s Talk ” series. We launched this program to introduce further training for our graduates and professionals working in the mental health industry in Hanoi. We also hope to connect our graduates and lecturers through “Let’s Talk” even after the program has ended. This March, 3 workshops and training were conducted under Let’s Talk PLUS. From left to right are the featured photos of Team Bonding session for Let’s Talk lecturers/support staff, Art Journaling workshop, Art Therapy training in “Creative Processing” and workshop on Suicide Assessment & Intervention. Among which, 14 participants came for the 1-day workshop on Suicide Assessment & Intervention conducted my Ms Florence Fong, an ASIST trainer. All found it very helpful and the model was easy to use. Role-plays were fun and aid in learning the PAL (Pathway to Life) model.

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March was a big month for “Let’s Share” as we celebrated our one year anniversary!  Over the past year, we’ve hosted guest speakers from seven different countries, learning and discussing a wide variety of topics. This included speakers from Vietnam, America and Singapore who facilitated thought-provoking issues such as “Love’s Sacrifice:  Saint Valentine’s” and “The Right Way to Drop Out of College“. We celebrated our first year anniversary with a blast! 28 Singaporean students came to share about their culture and creole (Singlish) in “A Night in Lah Lah Land Singapore“, so it was fun to have a twist of having Tea Talk Singlish instead of Tea Talk English!  We are looking forward to another year of great fun and forming lasting friendships!

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Our dear friend Owen Soon from Singapore would be doing an Ironman 70.3 triathlon race in Danang to raise SGD 10,000 for Tea Talk. Please follow his Instagram names “owensoon” or Facebook account “Owen Soon” for the fund raising updates.


For February


Tea Talk’s makeover is almost complete and just in time to celebrate our 5th Anniversary. This again would not have been possible if not for your generous contributions. Our Hope, Love and Faith Rooms are completed and we are now launching our final phase of renovation, that of the Family Room and the outside signage. We need a final donation of US$3000 to complete all our renovation needs.


This year, for Tea Talk’s 5th Anniversary, we are organizing a carnival with the theme
“LET’S CELEBRATE FAMILY!”  More details coming SOON.

It was our pleasure to have the great support from REI volunteers this February. During their very first business trip in Hanoi, Tessa Schuman, Alina Farag and Grace Senior decided to drop by and teach our Cafe staff how to make tiramisu cake and doughnuts. Well done ladies! The cakes were so yummy, and as you can see, Tea Talk was again proudly represented!

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Tea Talk English picked back up its “Let’s Share” program in mid-February, with Thang Tran giving an overview of Vietnamese literature and Tessa Schuman, an REI-VN volunteer from America, sharing about how to balance personal and professional life. Both speakers were well received and the interactive times showed off how the new Tea Talk building could continue to host the sharing sessions. Tea Talk also welcomed back the McFadden family, Presley, Mary, Lincoln, Owen – and the new arrival – Baby Quinton! The McFaddens are looking forward to committing one more year to working with Tea Talk and are enjoying the fact that their second home (Tea Talk) is now a short walk from their flat!


Tea Talk Tours is now in partnership with Actxplorer to provide tours that make a difference. When you book all your travel needs through Actxplorer to Vietnam or any other destinations offered, Actxplorer makes a donation to Tea Talk. So, support Tea Talk by using Actxplorer!



Happy Lunar New Year 2017!


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It’s been a month since we moved to the new place and again started with a mess. Thanks to our hard working and dedicated staff, we are almost done with the renovation. Our 1st floor cafe, counseling room and training room have begun providing services. We would like to express our sincere thanks again to those who made the LOVE gift towards our renovation cost. Tea Talk is honored to have you as a part of our journey.


Love Room (Cafe space) - 1st floor


On 19th January, we had the privilege to welcome thirty nine 4th grade students and teachers from Concordia International School Hanoi for a study visit. Together with the bright and compassionate group of students, we discussed about social enterprise, helping that helps/hurts and how talking things through can give us ideas for how to solve problems. It is the very first time we have served such a big group of customers since we relocated. And yes, a good service to kick-start our new year!


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Goodbye 2016 – Hello from Tea Talk CoRE’s New Location!


FINALLY, WE FOUND IT! On the very last day when we had to make a decision for the relocation venue for Tea Talk, we found a place that matched our estimated budget, floor size and preferred location. It had not been an easy search ever since we embarked on the search last month. Thank you for walking with us on this journey of FAITH. Thank you for your acts of kindness expressed in the LOVE gift you made towards our renovation cost. As 2016 came to an end and 2017 has just begun, we wait in HOPE that the new Tea Talk location will bring more blessings to those who step into our doors.



Homemade with fresh ingredients, Tea Talk’s Pineapple Tart has a sunny yellow outer coat with a combination of sweet and sour filling. Also known as the lucky cake, we hope that it will bring much joy for the new year.
Wanna try Tea Talk Homemade Pineapple Tart?


The last Christmas celebration at the previous Tea Talk cafe was one of the fondest memories we had. Since our first opening day on 10th Apr 2012, with over 4000 people checked in on our Facebook page, we do believe that many wonderful memories were formed and countless friendships were forged. Needless to say, Tea Talk truly lived up to its name as “the popular meeting point for young people in Hanoi”.


On 17th December, our flagship project “Let’s Talk” celebrated its 7th course graduation. Although the training and mentoring have ended, we would like to congratulate 16 individuals who have gained better understanding and skills on para counseling. More than just acquiring knowledge, we believe they will become a better child in family, a better friend and last but not least, a better self. We are much thankful for all lecturers, mentors and students for being a part of our journey.


Tea Talk English completed three fall courses in December while continuing the weekly “Let’s Share”. Speakers from Vietnam, American, Singapore and the Philippines shared about what real beauty is, how to declutter our lives, and the art of personal branding. Perhaps the most special time was the last “Let’s Share” as Zonia Go shared about Christmas in the Philippines and what Christmas is really all about. We are thankful for “Let’s Share” which provided a platform for people to “express their soul” freely in a safe and trusting environment. We look forward to sharing more… and playing games together in 2017 at the new location! 


In USA, please click here and pick CoRE@Tea Talk.
In Vietnam, please click here for our bank details.
In Singapore, please write us for our bank details.

Dear November,


There is a quote that says, “November is the month to remind us to be thankful for many positive things happening in our life”. And yes, this November, Tea Talk was so thankful for the great support from our friends all over the world.


You may have heard that Tea Talk Vietnam is going to relocate to reduce operational costs. And now is the time for us to move! Tea Talk has been in its current location for almost 5 years. We are relocating to a nearby location with similar floor area but at a much affordable cost. Instead of paying US$2100 per month for rental, our new location cost only $1100 per month. This relocation project means throwing out some old (really old stuffs), and installing some new items.  As such, we are writing to ask if you would consider giving a one-time love gift to help us with the necessary expenses involved in this relocation. To date, about US$3000 has been pledged. We will share more about the new location in the next newsletter.


  • Items & Estimated cost ($US)

    Paint work – $1500

    Electrical/Pumping – $800

    Fire hazards prevention – $200

    Water filtering system – $600

    Installation of a glass-door – $700

    CCTV installation – $500

    Sound system – $600

  • Items & Estimated cost ($US)

    Children play area – $500

    2 desktop computers – $1200

    Sofa for counseling room – $600

    Bookshelves for library books – $300

    Cake display cabinet – $1500

    Oven – $1000

    Other installation work – $300


In USA, please click here and pick CoRE@Tea Talk.
In Vietnam, please click here for our bank details.
In Singapore, please write us for our bank details.
This November, Tea Talk Cafe and CoRE had the privilege to welcome many different groups of friends based in the U.S. and Singapore. Resource Exchange International (REI) experts conducted Community Health Training for CoRE staff. Friends from Bethesda Bedok Tampines Church and Covenant Evangelical Free Church came to visit and organised baking sessions to equip our cafe staff. They also conducted skills-based workshops targeted at Vietnamese young adults. One of the highlights was the Service-Learning project with 8 students from Tanglin Secondary School from Singapore. One of the students truly touched our heart by his words, “I really want to thank the Tea Talk staff for being very patient with me, even forgave me when I broke their bowl, and especially for giving me the opportunity to learn how to serve people.”
November was such an exciting month for our flagship project Let’s Talk. Our trainers and trainees both had quality time at Team Building Activity and Mentoring Phase. Ms Tra My, Let’s Talk Lecturer & Mentor was full of praises: “I truly enjoyed myself at the team building session yesterday. It came to me when I need it most. Really appreciate Christine for your arrangement and Gwen for your awesome facilitating to bring us closer and stronger. Thank you so very much and wish you all the best!.”.
In addition to the small classes it continues to offer, Tea Talk English ran the Let’s Share program through November, welcoming speakers from America, Singapore, Laos, and Israel. The stir-fry of TED Talks, Toastmasters and an English Club continues to draw young students and working adults who are interested in developing cultural sensitivity as well as life skills. Guest speakers this past month shared about Thanksgiving’s (even dressing up as a turkey!) origins as well as how our upbringing influences us to view others. From week to week, the sharing goes from festive and familiar territory, to more of the uncomfortable and uncharted sort. Whatever the topic is, more and more young people are happy to be invited to “express their soul” on issues in perhaps ways they haven’t been able to before.
The month of autumn was memorable with Tea Talk Tour too. Ms Yen, the person in charge again helped our oversea friends discover the hidden charm of Vietnam especially Hanoi. The tours were arranged creatively that included Hanoi food trail, Ha Long Bay overnight trip and Sapa popular trekking base, etc.

Let Us Sing Our October Song


Our October began with the privilege of welcoming 23 Social Workers from @27 Family Service Center (Singapore) to Tea Talk for a visit. It again was a joy to share our stories of touching lives and inspire people to make an impact in Vietnam community.


October also marked a a new milestone for our community services. CoRE performed outstandingly in Inspiring CSOs 2016 Program as the youngest Civil Society Organization and emerged 12 out of 49. In addition, CoRE was awarded top 3 for the small organization category in Vietnam that has the best transparency and accountability practice. Bravo CoRE!!!



The great achievement of CoRE was followed by the feature of

Tea Talk Cafe as one of the “best place to eat and do good in Vietnam”

by Our Better World (Singapore).

Well done Tea Talk Cafe!!!

Read Up More Here!



Our Founder, Michael Ong was proudly featured in Singapore

International Foundation Magazine. Tea Talk was highlighted

as “the popular meeting point for young people in Hanoi” that

offers comfort and hope to troubled Vietnamese youth who need

a listening ear.

Read Up More Here!

Our October was also “beautified” by 2 passionate and motivated ladies from Singapore who conducted a Beauty Workshop for 25 Vietnamese ladies. They also brought along with them 60kg worth of skincare products, make-up tools and ladies apparels. These items will be donated to Tea Talk’s upcoming Garage Sale to raise funds for CoRE. One of the participants for the workshop, Quynh Trang, was full of praises “I really appreciate the time and effort they spent for us. I have learnt a lot about the beauty of woman especially the beauty inside every of us. It would be my pleasure to empower other girls the way they have been doing as well”.


October was an exciting month for Let’s Share, as we saw two Vietnamese friends share with us about their different perspectives on traveling in Vietnam and studying abroad and gave us advice on how to make the most of these experiences. Our Counseling Program Director Christine Peh also pitched in, while club facilitator Presley McFadden invited participants to consider how their weaknesses might be a gift just as much as their strengths in ‘The Power of Weakness’.