International Children Assistance Network

International Children Assistance Network

ICAN was built by members of these communities in order to address these intersectional needs with a vision to create a positive cycle that will liberate Vietnamese and Southeast Asian American communities to provide for their loved ones and to take part in the larger struggles that afflict all marginalized

International Children Assistance Network

ICAN was built by members of these communities in order to address these intersectional needs with a vision to create a positive cycle that will liberate Vietnamese and Southeast Asian American communities to provide for their loved ones and to take part in the larger struggles that afflict all marginalized communities of color. ICAN continues to be led and run by community members who span different generations, immigrant statuses, and socioeconomic standing. Vietnamese American and other Southeast Asian American communities are unique in their multilayered statuses as immigrants, wartime refugees, and political asylum seekers. Being at the nexus of socioeconomic struggle, intergenerational and intercultural differences, and mixed migration stories, their diverse needs are often not well-addressed by big-tent Asian American-serving organizations. ICAN was built by members of these communities in order to address these intersectional needs with a vision to create a positive cycle that will liberate Vietnamese and Southeast Asian American communities to provide for their loved ones and to take part in the larger struggles that afflict all marginalized communities of color. ICAN continues to be led and run by community members who span different generations, immigrant statuses, and socioeconomic standing. More concretely, ICAN’s board of directors and advisors comprise both wartime refugees and recently naturalized citizens, first-generation and second-generation immigrants, and established professionals and younger leaders. Similarly, ICAN’s executive leadership and staff reflects this same diversity that characterizes our community.

About the Organization:

ICAN was built by members of these communities in order to address these intersectional needs with a vision to create a positive cycle that will liberate Vietnamese and Southeast Asian American communities to provide for their loved ones and to take part in the larger struggles that afflict all marginalized communities of color. ICAN continues to be led and run by community members who span different generations, immigrant statuses, and socioeconomic standing. Vietnamese American and other Southeast Asian American communities are unique in their multilayered statuses as immigrants, wartime refugees, and political asylum seekers. Being at the nexus of socioeconomic struggle, intergenerational and intercultural differences, and mixed migration stories, their diverse needs are often not well-addressed by big-tent Asian American-serving organizations. ICAN was built by members of these communities in order to address these intersectional needs with a vision to create a positive cycle that will liberate Vietnamese and Southeast Asian American communities to provide for their loved ones and to take part in the larger struggles that afflict all marginalized communities of color. ICAN continues to be led and run by community members who span different generations, immigrant statuses, and socioeconomic standing. More concretely, ICAN’s board of directors and advisors comprise both wartime refugees and recently naturalized citizens, first-generation and second-generation immigrants, and established professionals and younger leaders. Similarly, ICAN’s executive leadership and staff reflects this same diversity that characterizes our community.

organizational budget

$1 MILLION - $2 MILLION

existence for

16-20 YEARS

The Issue:

With the increasing rise of college costs, many youths are starting their adult life in debt. As classes in schools are being removed in favor of STEM related courses, students are growing up without the fundamental skills of financial literacy. 18 percent of youth were surveyed that they did not learn financial skills and 27 percent of youth knew what inflation is. Low income households are more vulnerable to financial demise as many of them lack access to financial literacy education. They fall victim to scams, poor interest rates, and are increasing their debt. AAPI households show that Asian Americans are more likely to be financially well off however, they’re only calculating certain Asian American demographics. The other demographics that are within the wheelhouse of AAPI are neglected. Case in point, Southeast Asians who came to the United States as refugees are struggling to pass the poverty barrier. Across the United States of America, 1.1 million Southeast Asian Americans are low-income and around 460,000 live in poverty. 44% of Hmong Americans and 26% of Cambodian and Vietnamese Americans are struggling in poverty. Roughly 73% of each minority group are struggling economically. 45% of Vietnamese Americans are experiencing mortgage burden with extremely high interest rates. Roughly 30% of Southeast Asians are enrolled in healthcare and many of them rely on public healthcare. Asians who came to the United States as refugees lack money and education. They are used to the survivalist mindset and continue that mindset well into their new lives in America. However, because the Asian Americans are lumped together, some ethnic groups cannot seek assistance or be taken seriously when they are in need of financial assistance. As financial literacy is important in all areas of life, the mentality of living paycheck to paycheck is still very prevalent within the Asian American community.

The Solution:

ICAN’s mission is to engage, inspire and inform Vietnamese Americans to help raise the next generation of caring leaders through humanitarian efforts, culturally competent social programs, community-based research, and community engagement and outreach. Specifically, we want to engage all sectors of the community to ensure the healthy development of our children. For 2 decades, ICAN has helped at-risk and low income families through parenting workshops, weekly radio programs, community learning, support groups, counseling, resources and referrals, and case management. We have provided financial assistance to disaster and COVID-19 victims (both in cash and in-kind). Related to our work, ICAN has always responded to the community’s current and immediate needs, such as by providing financial relief when the pandemic began. Similarly, now with increasing anti-Asian racism, we swiftly partnered with the City of San Jose and other local organizations to hold listening sessions to offer support and compile the community’s concerns and needs. Currently, we have a wide variety of early childhood programs that help parents be successful in raising their children in the United States. We have programs such as: Happy 5 is a 6-week public education program with parenting workshops focused on encouraging safe and nurturing parenting techniques, bridging cultural gaps, and promoting discussion of child abuse/neglect to help children gain maximum development in the first five years. Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) is a workshop that educates Vietnamese American parents about positive discipline and building healthy parental relationships, with the added challenge of raising children in America and still keeping traditional values. We also have young adult programs that help guide our youths to life during and after college. Financial Literacy would be added into this particular programming schedule. Some includes: Prepping for College is a series of workshops that helps high school students prepare for the obstacles of the real world as they transition into adulthood. The Youth Support Group program will consist of 4 sessions. Facilitated by Iris Dinh, this workshop will allow students to discuss topics such as culture and identity, hopes and dreams, relationships, and problem-solving, in a comfortable and safe environment.

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