Boat People SOS (BPSOS)

New Year Market Festival OutreachBoat People SOS’ mission is to assist Vietnamese refugees and immigrants in their search for a life in liberty and dignity; by empowering, equipping and organizing Vietnamese American communities in their progress toward self-sufficiency.

Formed in 1980, Boat People SOS (BPSOS) was based in San Diego, California and conducted many joint rescue-at-sea missions with international organizations, rescuing over 3,000 Vietnamese boat people in the South China Sea. In 1990, in response to major shifts in U.S. and international policies toward the Vietnamese boat people, we moved our headquarters to Northern Virginia to concentrate on advocacy. By 1997, when most boat people were either repatriated or resettled, we shifted our focus to domestic programs for Vietnamese refugees and immigrants in communities all across the US.

Legacy Pilot Project Year 2: Assessing Hepatitis B Awareness, Screening, and Vaccination Behaviors among Vietnamese Americans in Northern Virginia

Boat People SOS conducted a comprehensive health information and hepatitis B knowledge assessment of the Vietnamese populations in northern Virginia in order to identify effective means of motivating the community to adopt healthy behaviors and increase awareness of hepatitis B. The study results are being used to identify communication tools relevant to reaching this limited English proficient and low literate segment of the population.

AimsTuong Van Temple Fundraiser

  • Develop more effective outreach strategies and messages
  • Develop relationships with past and current partners
  • Identify community stakeholders and student organizations
  • Conduct pre-tests among 500 members of the community to understand knowledge, attitude and behavior of hepatitis B, and screening behaviors

Legacy Pilot Project Year 5: Health Awareness and Promotion Program

  • Boat People SOS’ Atlanta branch office (BPSOS-Atlanta) will utilize the results from its participation in a Community Engagement Research Program (CERP), our network of medical service provider partners, and cultural and linguistic competencies to empower Vietnamese community members in Atlanta, Georgia, to understand the risks of Hepatitis B and access available health resources.
  • Capitalizing on the research findings, we propose a community-based media and information campaign to include Vietnamese-language radio shows, educational videos, and a new phone line (HepLine) dedicated to providing information and referrals. Our goal is to ensure that the Vietnamese community in Atlanta understands the risks and consequences of unscreened and untreated Hep B and knows of the health resources available in Greater Atlanta.  By the end of the one-year project period, BPSOS-Atlanta will have achieved the following objectives:
  • 1)      15,000 Vietnamese residents in Greater Atlanta will become more aware of the causes, consequences, and treatments of Hep B through quarterly radio shows
  • 2)      400 Vietnamese residents in Greater Atlanta will receive information about Hep B and be empowered to seek help through the HepLine and short videos shown in a Vietnamese doctor’s offices and BPSOS-Atlanta events

    Photos: New Year's Market Festival outreach and vaccination (top); BPSOS Project Coordinator, Alexia Dinh Christie, outreaching at Tuong Van Temple with bottles of soy sauce to give to participants (right).

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