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South-East Asia Center?s mission is to build bridges of understanding and cooperation amongst all Southeast Asian peoples as well as between all peoples of Eastern and Western upbringing.
A respected group of Southeast Asian elders concerned with the welfare of their refugee brethren founded a self-help service center in 1979. Since then South-East Asia Center has provided transition services for over 15,000 immigrants and limited- English speakers of numerous ethnicities in the Chicago area.
With a building donated by the volunteer executive director, refugees and neighbors joined to build a school and service center. By hand they dug a foundation by hand, carried by brick brigade 15,000 used bricks purchased from a building torn down two blocks up the alley and hoisted onto a rented dump truck six tons of sand bags discarded from suburban floods to use for back fill. Today through the same community spirit and creativity SEAC runs 13 groundbreaking programs in 12 sites with a staff of over 20 and over 100 volunteers.
- Lydia Ogolceva
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