CHAA congratulates Banteay Srei on their 10th anniversary of ongoing support and empowerment of young Southeast Asian Women impacted by sexual exploitation in Oakland. Since 2004 the Banteay Srei grass roots movement has been lead by five amazing women Jackie Wong, Chanda May, Manith Thaing-Rice, Elizabeth Sy and Jennifer Lee who banded together to form a nonprofit organization with the sole vision of aiding and helping API youth at risk or involved in human trafficking. Asian Health Services and the current leadership of their program manager Kkauj Iab Yang, Banteay Srei has changed the lives of many young women through their youth empowerment model that teaches life skills, promotes creativity and builds self esteem. The Holga Photo Project is a program where the young women capture and reclaim their neighborhoods through photography. The Sauce Program allows the young women to build sisterhood through the sharing of food, culture, and cooking skills. These two collaborative enterprises help the youth to extend, create and develop from within. CHAA’s involvement comes from our own amazing Clinical Therapist, Calix Vu Bui’s whose clinical background and expertise working with trauma in SEM (Sexually Exploited Minor) and CSEC (Community Sexual Exploited Children) populations enabled her to collaborate with Banteay Srei to provide these youth with comprehensive mental health services. Calix works together Banteay Srei’s Case Managers and Youth Advocates to help victimized minors get back on track in many aspects of their lives.
Teamwork, Comprehensive Mental Health Services coupled with Youth Development Services, Crisis Management and the full scope of support, care and protection are the key components of this amazing group of women and organizations hard at work to make positive change for young API women. Empowerment begins on an individual level at the heart and builds through vision, political activism, advocacy and a tireless belief in resiliency and healthy futures of our youth. We commend and congratulate Banteay Srei and Asian Health Services and are proud affiliates on the same dedicated path to wellness, healing, productivity and prosperity for all of our API Youth Community and beyond.