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(a) to help boat people and other refugees from Vietnam on the open sea, in refugee camps or in their places of resettlement; (b) to increase public awareness and understanding of the hardships and suffering the boat people and refugees from Vietnam endure in their search for freedom; (c) to promote cooperation among charitable associations in advancing purposes similar to the ones pursued by BPSOS
In late 1996, as most boat people had been either repatriated or resettled, BPSOS shifted its focus to helping and empowering Vietnamese immigrants and refugees in America. It has since established new programs to assist local community members in naturalization, immigration status adjustment, paralegal assistance, family reunion, consumer rights protection, public health, ESL for naturalization, and other human services. One of its programs has helped many local Vietnamese communities form community-based organizations and has provided training for their leadership. In cooperation with two other organizations, BPSOS has re-activated a discontinued program to provide ESL instruction to newcomers wishing to enter college and vocational schools. BPSOS' effectiveness comes mainly from its ability to mobilize volunteers--Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese, and from the programmatic experiences and operational expertise that it has developed for the past two decades. BPSOS has developed an extensive network of contacts and affiliates within the Vietnamese-American community. BPSOS is cooperating or collaborating with some 30 local and national service providers and community-based organizations.
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