BPSOS: Helping Us Spread the Message in the Vietnamese Community

The work and success of FCEC is made possible by the hard work of our great partners.

Why? Because they know their communities better than we do and can help to make our outreach most effective. BPSOS (formerly Boast People SOS), a community based organization serving the Vietnamese community, is just that kind of organization.
Founded in 1980, BPSOS initially formed as voluntary rescue-at-sea missions, saving over 3,000 people from rough waters as they attempted to boat across the Pacific Ocean from Vietnam to the United States. BPSOS’s mission has since evolved to adapt to changing needs of the community. One area it has been instrumental in is educating the Vietnamese American community about the risks of consuming contaminated fish in Southern California. But its work reaches far beyond California.

Our mission is quite similar to that of FCEC in that we are both seeking to serve an underserved community, says Tiffany Nguyen of BPSOS. Certainly educating the local Vietnamese population about fish contamination is an important and life-changing endeavor. Whether it be our economic or social programs like the work we do with FCEC, individual and cultural enrichment is central to our goals.

In fact, BPSOS claims to have touched the lives of one in every 10 Vietnamese Americans, or 10,000 Vietnamese in the United States annually since its inception. What began as a one staff operation has blossomed into a nationwide network of 18 offices with four locations in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, with more than 140 staffers.

Today, BPSOS spearheads local services for Vietnamese communities that include computer and vocational training, English as a Second Language courses, citizen preparation classes and self-help groups. BPSOS has also played a key role in chronicling an oral history of Vietnamese torture victims.

Together FCEC and BPSOS have coordinated numerous outreach efforts in predominately Vietnamese communities around Southern California, from staffing local events to hosting health fairs. BPSOS’s insight and cultural understanding has been crucial in tailoring FCEC’s environmental message to the Vietnamese American population around which fish to avoid, such as the white croaker.

We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with BPSOS, as the very success of our work depends on it.

Posted in Partners

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