MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- The third-largest population of Hmong people in the United States resides in Wisconsin.
Hmong heritage is celebrated every April, but cultural festivities are on hold due to COVID-19. The Hmong American Women's Association of Milwaukee (HAWA) is honoring this tradition by bringing financial relief to those impacted by the pandemic.
“Our mission has been to advocate for social justice within the Southeast Asian community through inclusive and collective action,
Because we’re really trying to work towards a world where our communities do not have to experience violence," Tammie Xiong Director of HAWA.
The association helps southeast Asians in the area overcome domestic violence, sexual assault and provides other social services to support this community.
Now they are doing what they can to make sure Hmong families and individuals have a safety net during this time of high need.
“So the relief fund is there to help our families pay for basic necessities that they actually need to survive during this time," said Xiong.
Giving them a chance to avoid falling behind on payments and to remain in the safest place they know.
“For the most part its just people who want to make sure they don’t get evicted right like they just need basic housing and as long as they have their basic needs met,
I feel like they feel a little bit better about trying to get through what’s going on right now", she added.
While looking out for their health and well-being through pandemic awareness efforts created for them specifically.
“If there’s something that I want to share with you in a language that you understand right and just trying to keep everybody safe, I mean our communities are small enough that we know a lot of the same folks a lot of them are like extended family members and as a community were just trying to keep everybody safe", commented Xiong.
Making sure everyone who calls Wisconsin home can get through these challenging times.
“We’re here and we also want to be seen and we also want to be heard especially those who are the most marginalized in our communities", Xiong finished.
The Hmong American Women's Association is now accepting applications for its COVID-19 relief fund. The application process begins by contacting Ahmee Vang at (262) 346-4828.
HAWA is also welcoming donations to continue assisting southeast Asians in Milwaukee county.