January 2009

Khmer Health Advocates

by socheata on January 31, 2009

Last week I visited Khmer Health Advocates (http://www.khmerhealthadvocates.org) in West Hartford, CT. An organization that began its work in the early 1980′s with the first wave of Cambodian refugees, the founders have been xanax generic in their commitment and dedication to the Cambodian community. Theanvy Kouch and Mary Scully are inspirational for their longevity and generosity.

They both voiced strong support for the work of Khmer Legacies and we hope to find ways to use their networks to record testimonies in Connecticut. Mary told me that although Cambodians make up about half of all torture victims in the United States, Cambodians are not categorically recognized as torture victims by the UN. tramadol generic themselves have a hard time articulating their experience of starvation, over-work, and sometimes worse as torture. As a result, many resources that could have been directed to serve them are not.

It reminded my that this work is important – if only to document and acknowledge the lives to Cambodian survivors. As long as we are not able to give voice to these experiences, the community still suffers from an undistinguished pain.

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First Board Meeting

by socheata on January 19, 2009

We had our first board meeting ever this past Saturday. I was so nervous about the meeting. It is one of the necessary steps that any organization must take in order to run functionally.

And yet I had all of these anxieties and fears about the board members being disengaged in the work. I have heard so many horror stories of ineffective boards. I also feared that I am not a good enough leader to warrant the energy and trust of the important community leaders who spend their time doing such important work.

No matter how frightening, I had to pull the curtain behind the operations of Khmer Legacies since inception. But Jane Jung, a Yale MFA student who is helping me manage the board, reminded me that the board members want to see me and Khmer Legacies succeed.

And that was exactly the tone of the meeting. I am so glad to know they have my back!

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