MILWAUKEE — In recognizing Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I visited the Hmong American Friendship Association (HAFA) to learn about the people, the culture and their history.
Dedicated to serving the Southeast Asian community, HAFA has been in operation since the early 80’s since the first wave of Hmong people's migration to the Milwaukee area. Their mission is to help families acclimate and become self-sufficient while preserving the richness of their culture.
From the senior program to food pantry to the translation and referral services, HAFA stands in the gap between the needs of the Southeast Asian community and the available services.
“Hmong people tend not to listen to the news,” says Associate Director, Amoun Sayaovong, “But they will come to us for direction and information.”
There is also a museum showcasing the tools, musical instruments, jewelry, and fashion of their culture.
In having the opportunity to speak with people of different backgrounds, I am constantly reminded that our similarities far outweigh our differences.
I encourage you to visit the Hmong American Friendship Association. They are located at 3824 W Vliet St, Milwaukee. Learn more on their website by clicking here.