Part 1: Children of America


Annually on April 30th, VAR commemorates the Fall of Saigon in the City of San Jose.  This day is for our community to learn from one another and reflect on the tragic events that have defined our Vietnamese diaspora.  For the 43rd Commemoration in 2018, we reflected on the impact that the Vietnam War and the subsequent refugee experience had for the children at the time.


Part I:

Although America was the promise land, starting a new life here meant no jobs, no housing, no medical care, sometimes not even a stable food source. Although refugee children did not take on the physical and financial burden of providing for the family, they endured emotional and mental trauma that resulted from bullying, due to their different skin color, clothing, and accents. Some of them were fortunate enough to have the support system and guidance to overcome these struggles and thrive. Others, lacking guidance and support, had to seek out their own support system in order to survive the harsh realities of being an immigrant. These are some of their stories.

Tuy nước Mỹ được xem là miền đất hứa, để bắt đầu một cuộc sống mới trên xứ lạ nghĩa là phải làm lại từ đầu, không việc làm, không nhà cửa, không thuốc men, thẩm chí nhiều lúc cơm ăn không đầy ba bữa. Tuy các em không phải gánh nặng tài chính cho gia đình, nhưng các em lại phải đương đầu với những nỗi đau về tinh thần khi bị trêu chọc vì khác màu da, phong tục, quần áo, và giọng nói. Cũng có một số em may mắn có được sự dẫn dắt từ gia đình và người thân và đã khắc phục được những thử thách đó và vươn lên. Nhưng cũng có một số khác, vì cha mẹ bận bịu cơm áo gạo tiền, các em đã không may thiếu sự dẫn dắt đó nên đã gặp nhiều chông gai, có thể đã khiến các em lỡ bước trên đường đời. Và đây là vài câu chuyện của họ.

SEEDS (Student Engagement and Education for Development and Success)

VAR SEEDS (Student Engagement and Education for Development and Success) is a program to train and grow future community leaders who can address community issues through hands-on programming experience. Participants will learn current issues impacting the Vietnamese community and identify issues that are important to them during the month-long program. They will develop potential solutions, grow skill sets, as well as learn effective advocacy. Our curriculum includes educational topic discussions and hand-ons event planning to reach those goals.

At the end the program, students will show their project of choice at a community showcase. It is not required that students become engaged in the community after attending the program. The program is designed to provide students with the skills to facilitate their engagement in the community, but the skills learned can be applied in any business environment.

– Workshop: Saturday, June 2 @ 9am-3pm, Yerba Buena High School, 1855 Lucretia Ave, San Jose, CA 95122
-Workshop: Sunday, June 3 @ 9am-2pm, Vietnamese American Community Center, 2072 Lucretia Ave, San Jose, CA,95122
– Little Saigon Tour : Saturday, June 9 @ 9am – 1pm
– City Council Meeting : Tuesday, June 12 @ 6pm-8pm at San Jose City Hall, 200 E Santa Clara St, San Jose 95113
– Showcase : Saturday, June 23 @ 11am-2pm, Vietnamese American Community Center, 2072 Lucretia Ave, San Jose, CA 95122

Upon successful completion of the program, participants will have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship in teams of two. The scholarship application will require participants to create a proposal for a project that addresses an issue in their community. The winning team of two participants will receive a total of a $1,000 scholarship. Additionally, they will be able to execute their proposal with the support of VAR.

SEEDS 2018 application will be open from April 8th and is due May 19th at 11:59pm and open to high school and college age students. This program is FREE to all participants accepted into the program. Applicants will be notified on May 23, 2018, of acceptance.

Apply today at:

Wildflower Walks with Open Space Authority

This Spring, we joined the Open Space Authority for a wildflower hike and exploration of Coyote Valley. For many of us, this was our first time in the nature preserve and we had a lot of fun exploring the flowers and animals unique to this ridge (including some large animal bones!).

Join VAR’s upcoming community events or become a volunteer to plan an event like this!

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For more photos, check out our Photo Album