CHAN is an interagency network created by Pana Lee of Valley Crisis Center and Sitra from My Sister’s House, in order to provide a safe place for Hmong advocates to meet on a quarterly bases. CHAN has now grown to as many as 6 advocates in California. The purpose of CHAN is to allow a space where we can encourage, inspire and provide culturally relevant information to one another to better serve our community.
Valley Crisis Center recognizes the need for the Hmong children to have a safe place to talk about healthy lifestyles among an environment free of violence. The goal of “Tso Siab” is to educate the children about their culture, including Hmong dance, their language, gender equality and much more. It is our mission to serve the Hmong community while respecting their cultural identity. Currently “Tso Siab” has as many as 20 children attending our groups, and most recently the group performed a traditional dance they learned for the Hmong New Celebration and community fundraising events.
Recently Valley Crisis Center has incorporated a male Hmong advocate. Cha works closely with the volunteers in our agency as well as helps facilitate Tso Siab children’s group. The work of an advocate is important to Cha because of his life experiences of a culture where sexism and polygamy was socially acceptable. He explains growing up in a traditional society women were seen as property and not as individuals, which adversely affected his mother her entire life. The children’s group is extremely important to him because he wants help shape the future of the Hmong community through education and encourage young people to be aware of domestic violence and sexual assault.
December 18th through the 20th Merced hosted the Hmong New Year Celebration. This is a time for the Hmong people to come together and celebrate the beautiful traditions of their culture. Merced expected a large showing including many people from out of town. Advocates of Valley Crisis Center tabled the event all three days to encourage stronger ties to the people, including advocates who were not Hmong but wanted to learn more about the culture. During our tabling event we spoke with many families to provide them information of our services emphasizing “Tso Siab”.