We help refugee families as well as those left behind in Southeast Asia.
For over thirty years we have worked with refugee families in the Wausau, Wisconsin area who moved to our community after being displaced by the Indochina War. Through our work as public school educators we came to know many refugee parents, grandparents and children.
By way of nearly a dozen trips to Asia, we have collected a wealth of artifacts that help us and other educators teach about traditional Lao and Hmong cultures. Our educational displays have fostered pride among refugees and have helped all members of our community to develop a deeper appreciation for diverse cultures and unique historical experiences.
Beginning in 2000, we have made an effort during every trip to Southeast Asia to reconnect refugee families in our community with friends and relatives they left behind when they departed their homeland.
In an effort to help villages impoverished by war, we have provided over 40 Lao schools with their first libraries, and we have donated a wealth of medical supplies to rural clinics and hospitals.
In the course of our work, we have met numerous villagers who have untreated birth defects, injuries, illnesses or wounds. We often lead impoverished adults and children to medical care that they either could not find in their local area, or could not afford.
Since 2006, we have worked with villagers to remove or destroy land mines, bombs, rockets, mortars and other unexploded ordnance.
~Jim and Marty Harris
What we do:
We reconnect refugees with missing relatives.
We help refugees combat loneliness and depression.
We help youths develop pride in their family history and ethnic heritage.
We promote respect for the refugee experience.
We help educators teach about the impact of war.
We help preserve traditional culture.
We provide libraries to Lao schools.
We help Lao villagers receive medical care.
We provide hospitals with medical supplies.
We help villages remove unexploded ordnance.