On February 16th, we at Viet-AID hosted our annual celebration of the New Year – the Year of the Horse. It was indeed a joyous occasion,
and I would like to thank all of the volunteers and staff who made it possible. Together with friends new and old, we enjoyed a spirited dragon dance, formal rituals, entertaining poetry, much singing and dancing, and great food. But there was a moment I would like particularly to highlight – when we welcomed our “new” old friend, Mayor Martin J. Walsh. The State Representative everyone knew as Marty was always most supportive of the Vietnamese community, and we are very proud to be able to call Boston’s new Mayor our friend.
In this issue of Viet-AID TODAY, you will get a quick look at some of the social service support that we are able to provide our community through our partnership with VACA – the Vietnamese American Civic Association. VACA has a long history of providing support programs to those in need, and we are glad we have them here in our building and working with us, so that work can continue.
March is here, and while there is still snow on the ground and a chill in the air, we can feel the coming of Spring. There are exciting things happening in our community and for Viet-AID, and I look forward to continuing to share them with you.
Nam Pham, Executive Director
Tết Celebration 2014
Viet-AID held its annual New Year’s celebration on February 16th,welcoming the Year of the Horse. Attendance was very good as families braved the tough, snowy winter conditions. Newly elected Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined with Viet-AID executive director Nam Pham in lighting the strings of firecrackers to start the festivities. And we knew the Tết celebration was fully underway when the 2 dragons entered and performed their highly energetic dance.
Following a Flag ceremony, which offered stirring renditions of both the Vietnamese and American national anthems, and after the customary tribute to heaven and the ancestors, Viet-AID officials invited Mayor Walsh to address the crowd. The Mayor spoke of the strong support from the Vietnamese community that he has always enjoyed, and thanked everyone for supporting his election. “It’s so important for all of
us to celebrate our culture and traditions, because that is what Boston is all about” said Marty Walsh. Following his remarks, the Boston Vietnamese American Council awarded him a beautiful portrait.
There was plenty of good food available, and the celebration continued into the afternoon with songs, poetry, and dance performances. We here at Viet-AID would like to thank all of our friends and supporters who helped make this annual tradition a huge success.
When Thao Nguyen first arrived in the United States, she was 61 years of age. Like most new immigrants, she faced a lot of challenges, and she struggled for the first five years after moving to her new country. But the United States is a land of immigrants, and has a long history of communities helping newcomers to get settled. For the Vietnamese community In Boston, that help has come from VACA, the Vietnamese American Civic Association.
Here we have a story about the journey of a Vietnamese woman who found her new life in the United States with assistance from VACA. VACA helped her to access a variety of social services that are available, such as food stamps and affordable housing. VACA went through the applications with her, translated letters for her, and sometimes went with her as interpreter and moral support. They helped her with job applications, so that she could help herself have better living conditions. Ms. Nguyen did her part and worked very hard to improve her life as she resettled in the US. Now she lives in affordable housing and has two part-time jobs, allowing her to be self-sufficient. And while she has become independent, she has also become a very active community member, who loves to volunteer and attend different community events. “Seeing the smile always on her face, we know she is getting more comfortable here and has a completely new life!” said MyHoang, the executive director of VACA.
VACA has its office in the Vietnamese American Community Center at 42 Charles Street, and continues to provide our community with essential social services by working in partnership with Viet-AID. You can learn more about VACA by visiting our website at www.vaca-boston.org, or by finding us onFacebook.
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