Delightful Experiences in YSEALI Program

By: Pann Mo Mo Chit

I so satisfy myself to be part of this YSEALI program. The program is numerously fruitful for me more than I expected. Let me share my profoundly personal reflection on this program due all my honesty. Before I joined the program, I had had many tensions and struggles myself because I am uneasy to adapt to new people, new environment and new things. I prepared myself to encounter the challenging situations in my professional learning period in Spokane with a bit worry. I was assigned to be in the World Relief Organization to learn about refugee and immigrant issues. In the office, each of the staffs was busy with their own duties, but they were friendly and contributed their time with us to support our learning opportunities. I did not feel awkward anymore as I imagined, I felt like home again. The experiences I have learned from World Relief were definitely the things I wished to learn. My favorite session was “Refugee Simulation Session” which gave the experience walking in the shoes of a refugee through a language class, medical exam, immigration interview, and camp station. I have known the refugees’ stories, but I was so insecurities during the (15) minute of simulation and recognize vividly the barriers of refugees. That session taught me psychosocial supports were important and should be a priority for refugees. From my (3) weeks in Spokane was super awesome. Because, I got many friends from different organizations, good relation with the host family and could link some networks for my profession. I completely forgot all of my anxieties because I enjoyed my service learning moments in World Relief.


Wonderful experience never forget in my real life

I really appreciate Young South East Asian Leaders Initiative Programs and US department of State, Who hosting me professional host and family host too. I have a chance to meet with Native Indian in my real life and I will never forget this wonderful experience.

I visit Indian reservation at Pablo city, so amazing their building was build like tipping and obviously knew their symbol like eagles with a big eye, beautiful long feather, big bison with horn, deer with horn they hang on the wall. we can see how they respect culture, tradition and ancient house, observed tribal council I learned this native Indian have seven reservation in Montana State and they have self-rule, court system, detention, education system, natural resources, art and culture programs, medical college.

They signed Peace agreement between Native Indian and Federal government. They didn’t say segregation, everybody are satisfied and happy with “We are Americans”

Kind regards,

Thandar Aye

Women for Justice


Family institution is a powerful influence on community

By: Phuangmalay BOUNTOME, YSEALI Professional Fellow in Civic Engagement

If we talk about FAMILY you will think about parents, children and cousins in the family.

If you want to develop community, it’s very important to prioritize family, because family institution is a powerful influence on community.

The family institution is essential for child development, because parents are the first person who closely with children.

You might not know is that reports of abuse and neglect have climbed annually and legal cases filed have nearly quadrupled across Asia in now a day.

If you are the person who has kids and interest of Painting package, let me introduce our mission from Parenting Place to Laos.

The chain of events that flow from child abuse and neglect both the intergenerational effects within families and the ripple effects throughout a community and its service are indisputable. The mission of Parenting Place is to interrupt that transmission. Parenting Place does these way:

Parenting Classes. To teach Nurturing Parenting, a nationwide program that helps parents learn new patterns of childrearing. Those who graduate from our classes gain awareness and skills in (1) nurturing discipline, (2) age-appropriate expectations, (3) empathy, bonding and attachment, as well as (4) self-worth and personal empowerment.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Training. To train professionals who serve in education, law enforcement, healthcare, and social services to help them understand the very harmful impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences upon the neurological development of the young and how to better prevent and mitigate its impacts.

Home Visits. To provide Parent Aides for in home visits with families at risk of child abuse and neglect. As mentors they provide intensive support, information and even model effective parenting, with a focus on child safety, problem solving and social support networks.

Base on the activities above, you could realize why we focus on Parenting Program.

“Communities are no stronger than their families and families are no stronger than their parents “

English Campaign Tag>

01 November 2018: Social justice over domestic violence issue

01 November 2018, two professional fellows from Cambodia and Myanmar had an opportunity to join a training in Polson, Montana. The training was about “Tool for Legal Practitioners to Screen for Domestic Violence” and provided by Rise Law Group, P.C and SAFE Harbor at the Lake County.

Domestic Violence is officially defined as “… a pattern of behavior in which one intimate partner uses physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation or emotional, sexual or economic abuse to control the other partner in the relationship…” Previously, I did not even think that Domestic Violence could be happened in the U.S since I consider this wealthy state has been advanced for everything. However, within my fellowship here, I have been observed and learned from professional host and relevant organizations who specialize on dealing with these issues and I got to know that this issue is often happened in Monatha as well, not only Asian states and Cambodia one. Moreover, I realize that it is even common that women and children are subjected to be survivors of that domestic violence in which attitude and belief system of gender role could not be absolutely changed. In the training, legal practitioners discussed about some legal jurisdictions that some should be considered to be revised in order to support survivors practically rather than it does as well as how attorneys protect themself over this issue and understanding more about the nature of domestic violence for what it relates to power and control of disputant parties.

It is worst noting that most of women become survivor of physical violence sexdual by her husband or partner by using isolation, emotional abuse, coercion and threats and economic abuse and so on. From my point of view, gender inequality is still on top among other issues around the globe in which the world should not ignore it and even take more action in order to eliminate the issues of physical, mental and economic violence on women . It pushes me to work hard on gender issue in my home country. From day to day, I found myself really satisfy to spend my time here for what I have learned a lot from diverse aspects and what is happening in the U.S.A compares to my country and the world.


“The Logan Family Dinner at Gonzaga University Center for Community Engagement”

By: Vang Lee, YSEALI Professional Fellow in Civic Engagement

The Logan family dinner will be organize every Tuesday from 4:30-6:00 PM, Gonzaga University Center for Community Engagement starts prepping for the meal on Monday with the help of student volunteers. Then decide what the actual meal will be depending on what food donations they receive. On Tuesday, with the help of more student volunteers they cook the food the previous volunteers put together, they fold napkins and silverware, and then go to Logan Elementary to decorate the tables with paper and crayons. The meal itself is restaurant style meaning families, community members, Gonzaga students, and faculty and staff from both Gonzaga and Logan Elementary are greeted at the door. The team have volunteers to check them in, a hostess that brings them to their seats, and then servers and bussers to bring them their meals, refill water, and gather trays, as opposed to them going through a meal line.

The food they use comes from a variety of different places. Most of the food that Gonzaga students don’t eat from the cafeteria and the many other retail dining options on campus, and that would normally be thrown away, is now saved for them to use in the Campus Kitchen and for the meals they share with the community. They also receive donations from Safeway grocery store and the 2nd Harvest Food Bank.

At the heart of the Logan Family Meal is a special opportunity to connect and build community within the neighborhood. It’s a space to spend time with one another, to share a hot meal, and to exchange stories. It is a way to use the assets and resources They already have to begin to address the issue of food insecurity and it increases parent and family involvement in their child’s school.

Be Confident to Ask and Be Open-Minded to Learn from Others!

By: Ms. TOL Chhourkimheng, YSEALI Professional Fellows Program, Civic Engagement

“Why do you decide to work in your organization?” “Why do you come here?” “Why do you love community work?” Most of the questions start with the word Why? It is a very popular question when I come to USA. People in here like asking Why question. I am curious to learn more why Americans like asking this kind of question. Until now, I get the answer! You know why? Because Why question fantastically helps us to know more about what others think, what others feel, and what others act.

Honorably, I have got many special chances to learn more about students’ studying in Shaw Middle School, Girl Scouts Eastern Washington Northern Idaho, and Campus Kids in Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. One thing attracted me the most is about students’ communication. Most of them ask many questions to their teachers and mentors. More importantly, they certainly do not hesitate to share their idea to the class, too. It shocked me when I saw a little girl with the age around 10 year-old talked about her interests why she loves Girl Scouts. At the moment, I asked one question to myself that “why people in here are so confident to raise their idea even a small kid?” Surprisingly, I got the answer through my observation that people in here are encouraged to share their opinion without judging whether it is right or wrong. Additionally, the university has created some activities for students to talk and discuss about many different topics. Students develop themselves to be more socialize. It is the best kind of culture to inspire people to be confident in sharing their idea without feeling of being judged. At the same time of asking questions, they are also open-minded to learn from others and respect others’ opinion which means no one is superior to one another due to the fact that people have their own voice and reasons.

It gives me more practical ideas to do my Action Plan when I go back to my country. I will motivate my students to ask more questions and be open-minded to learn from others. It is the best way to broaden understanding and knowledge through communication.

“If you want to know, ask others. When you ask others, please be open-minded to learn from them. Then you will look at the world more beautiful with different kinds of colors!”


Hoang Thi Huong- Professional Fellow in Economic Empowerment Exchange Program

More than a week in Boise, I have had so many interesting experiences. I have been met with a lot of different organizations working to promote human rights in general and the rights of refugees in particular. I visited the Bohra highs school which one of four public schools in Boise and observed a class of human rights for refugee students. I also participated in the class for refugee women. But, the most impressive is the visit to the Anne Frank memorial

Last weekend, my colleague’s host took us to visit a farmer market and visited the Idaho Anne Frank human rights Memorial. I was very impressed by how educate human right for people: "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all"(Aristotle)

The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial is a .81-acre educational park inspired by Anne Frank’s faith in humanity. An inspirational and contemplative site adjacent to the Boise River Greenbelt, the park is maintained by Boise Parks & Recreation in partnership with the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights. Kurt Karst, an Idaho Falls architect, designed the Memorial to integrate the beauty of natural elements- water, stone, and native plants-with a message of hope.

Originated from a mobile exhibition on Anne Frank around Idaho with the participation of thousands of people, a group of community leaders worked tirelessly for several years to turn the mobile exhibition into a permanent one. The site was built by the Idaho Human Rights Education Center, the privately funded memorial opened on Aug. 16, 2002, as a gift to the city of Boise. The Idaho Human Rights Education Center was renamed the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights in 2014, in honor of the late Bill Wassmuth, a human rights activist and leader of the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment. The mission of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights is to “promote respect for human dignity and diversity through education and to foster individual responsibility to work for justice and peace.” The Center achieves this mission by providing educational programs for teachers and students, engaging in community leadership, partnering with business and industry, and advocating for human rights.

This place is the only human rights memorial in the U.S. It also features one of the few installations where the full text of the Univesal Declaration of Human Rights is on permanent public display. The park been recognized and accepted by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

This memorial is not only a summary of Anne Frank’s life and the Holocaust but is also designed to encourage people to think and discuss the human rights issues we face every day.

The 180-foot Quote Wall takes you on a walk through history. The words of presidents and slaves, children and philosophers, poets and paupers, the famous and the unknown are inscribed side by side.

Anne Frank Statue is centre of the memorial. From the amphitheatre there is a view of the life-size bronze statue of Anne Frank. The sculptor, Greg Stone, from Northampton, Massachusetts cast Anne as if she were pulling back an imaginary curtain and gazing out a window from the family’s attic hiding place.

On behind of Anne Frank Statue, It is Stone Bookcase. Anne and her family, as well as four other Jews, hid for more than two years until they were betrayed, arrested and sent to concentration camps. The markings behind the statue depict rooms in the cramped hiding place. A wooden staircase, much steeper than the stairs at the Memorial, was hidden by a movable bookcase. The quotes on the stone bookcase were taken from Anne’s diary.

The wall closest to the Boise River is reminiscent of Amsterdam where Anne Frank Lived. "The Butterfly" was written by Pavel Friedmann while he was imprisoned n the Terezin Concentration Camp near Prague.

The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise has been named one of only 11 United States sites to receive a sapling from the actual Anne Frank Chestnut Tree in Amsterdam. The sapling is planted in the Memorial.

The names of our major donors are on the donor tablets near the Church Writing Table. The pavers were purchased by donors prior to the start of construction. Pavers can still be purchased and placed at the Memorial. We urge you to read the thoughts of our donors on the benches, seats and pavers.

In September 2018, It was thoroughly renovated with an outdoor classroom including screen, audio, images and a new scrupture, "The Spiral of Injustice." It also provides videos, explanations in everyzone. I cried when I was listened the summary of Anne Frank life via audio. It touched to my heart.

That is wonderful outdoor class to learn human rights.