WELCOME TO KITHS' NEWS
HERE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO READ ABOUT OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, OBTAIN UPDATES, AND OBTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT WHO WERE ARE AS AN ORGANIZATION AND WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH
KITHS Co-Founder/Executive Director, Dr. Nary Preap Kith was recently interviewed for Philly CAM's Radio Station; the interview will likely air on 10/31/2018 at 6:30pm. This interview allowed Dr. Kith to talk about the mission of KITHS; her desire to change the narrative about immigrants, and helped spread her message that immigrants long to find a place where they belong and that their immigration status has no bearing on who they are as a person. Take a listen below!
Dyliyah Heng started with KITHS in September, 2017. Her title is a Resource Specialist. In this role, she helps community members navigate the health system (apply for Medicaid benefits), apply for low income utility support, provides in-office and off-site interpretation, etc. However, she does much more than provide case management services. She provides a friendly face; a compassionate ear; an empathetic soul.
She is a social worker in training. She continues to learn everyday the skills needed to help people. She has many skills needed to work in human services and non-profit. In addition to her life as a Resource Specialist, she is also a trained classical Khmer dancer. She has been dancing since she was 5 years old with the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia (CAGP). She went on to teach dance and is part of a group of young Khmer women, Cambodian American Girls Empowering (CAGE). She is changing the course of history by using art as activism.
KITHS is very fortunate to have her on our team.
Saroeun is a middle child; her personality is exactly that of a middle child. She is selfish but also selfless. She finds humor in almost everything and wears her heart on her sleeve. She sees the good in people before the bad. She has never given up on love despite some unfavorable experiences (to state it lightly). She is also smart, giving and forgiving; she is a sister, aunt, daughter and friend.
Saroeun has always demonstrated a passion for helping others. She did not hesitate to open KITHS to support Asian Americans, immigrants and refugees in the Logan area of Philadelphia sustain self-sufficiency. She witnessed the struggles of the refugee community in Philadelphia and wanted to be a part of a positive change in her own community.
Saroeun acts as the Operations Director of KITHS. In this role, she supports the Resource Specialist with her day to day tasks. She also meets with members providing them with various case management needs. She is a guru in Immigration Law (after having passed the Immigrantion Law Exam recently). Maybe she'll go back to law school - hmmmm?
It was simply amazing. Picture this. 78 sold out tickets. Individuals sharing a meal knowing the proceeds supports an Immigrant owned restaurant and a non-profit organization that supports Immigrants in Philadelphia. Conversing over what appeared to be a 10 course meal of authentic Chinese food at Han Dynasty University City. Sharing experiences about Philadelphia and the mosaic of people residing in this beautiful city.
KITHS was deeply honored by this collaboration between Sanctuary Supper and Asian Mosaic Fund. The financial support resulting from this event allows us to continue providing an essential service. And for that, we are grateful!
We are honored, humbled and excited to be a recipient of the 8th Sanctuary Supper at Han's Dynasty on 8/13/2018. Last we heard, tickets are sold out!
We cannot wait to meet with different community members to share our story, our purpose, and vision for KITHS. Nina Ahmad will be the keynote speaker. Please stay tuned for pictures and a summary of the night. Also, check out our FB and IG pages for updates.
KITHS' Operations Director, Saroeun Kith, MBA, MS, successfully passed the Immigration Law Exam. The exam tested Saroeun's knowledge about various immigration laws that are constantly changing. Her enhanced immigration law knowledge will help KITHS support the immigration needs of our members. Passing the exam allows KITHS to be one step closer to becoming an authorized provider with USCIS. KITHS will be in the process of obtaining accreditation from the DOJ.
Accreditation with the DOJ is crucial. KITHS will be a recognized provider that is permitted to act as representatives during immigration hearings. Many of KITHS members require our help with varying degrees of immigration issues and we would like to offer them the support.
At this time, KITHS continue to support members with various immigration-related applications such as application for permanent residence and/or naturalization through citizenship. KITHS also offer citizenship prep.
If you know anyone who needs immigration support, please help them contact us.
According to The Guardian (6/18/2018), more than 2,000 children, as young as 18 months old, have been separated from their parents while trying to seek Asylum in the United States. The parents face criminal prosecution while the children are categorized as "unaccompanied alien" and placed in a holding facility with the Office of Refugee Resettlement until they can find a guardian or relatives to care for them.
The current administration's "zero tolerance" policy hopes to rid the United States of all undocumented immigrants (that's what it says it will do). The policy does not care whether an infant needs his/her mother for survival, as he/she is still feeding from the breast. The policy does not take into consideration the mental health issues of the people they are detaining and the potential mental health issues that could develop because they are detained (indefinitely).
The "zero tolerance" policy sends a message that America is intolerable, cold, and heartless. It sends the message that America has become more punitive than accepting (of documented and undocumented immigrants). The policy can hide behind its intent to protect American citizens but we all know its purpose (control and power). Unfortunately, the United States is no longer tolerable of immigrants and refugees. Therefore, we (KITHS) has a lot of work to do.
KITHS Resource Coordination Services Program offers case management service that is holistic, community driven, and linguistically and culturally appropriate.
Individuals can obtain assistance with medical insurance issues, utility payment concerns, immigration questions, interpretation and translation, and referrals for medical and mental health services. Individuals can potentially have some peace of mind when meeting with the Resource Specialist to address the above-mentioned concerns. KITHS Resource Specialist is bilingual (Khmer and English) and almost 100% of KITHS members speak Khmer as their primary language; therefore, services are provided in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner, which allows for a safe place for engagement. In addition, the Resource Specialist is available to accompany individuals to various appointments giving her the opportunity to lead and show them how to ask for help so that they are able to support themselves in the future.
Moreover, individuals’ ability to obtain medical benefits can help reduce the person’s anxiety and stress when having to access medical services. Supporting individuals with obtaining low-income utility assistance can help reduce financial stress; thereby, increasing overall wellness. Addressing immigration concerns, helping link individuals with immigration resources, and helping immigrants and refugees understand their resident status can help them feel more secure in their status in the United States, which can increase their overall wellness. Supporting individuals with interpretation can help decrease stress related to lack of English language capability. The Resource Specialist not only helps address these concerns but also teaches individuals about available resources, how to access resources, and how to utilize available resources. Gaining knowledge about available resources can lead to self-sufficiency, which then can lead to improving wellness.
Individuals who are seeking and utilizing KITHS services can become productive members of the community leading to a sense of inclusion and accomplishment. KITHS mission to help individuals achieve self-sufficiency can lead to independence, growth and development and the services provided thus far at KITHS can improve the individuals’ wellness and continues to promote wellness.
I have to keep reminding myself that KITHS is merely 1 year old. We opened our doors on May 1, 2017 and began serving the community members of Philadelphia; in particular; in the Logan section of Philadelphia. We had/have no funding. What you see is the blood, sweat and tears of 2 sisters who want to make a difference in the lives of Asian Americans, immigrants and refugees.
There have been plenty of times when we wanted to close our doors. However, we are reminded of the community needs and if we do close our doors, the community will suffer. We will see this adventure through and I hope to look back 5 years from now proud of our determination to keeping moving forward.
KITHS is in the process of obtaining accreditation to provide immigration services. Saroeun Kith (KITHS' Operations Director) will be attending an Immigration Law Training in Akron, PA for 1 week in June 2018 so that KITHS can apply to become an authorized provider for immigration services. The money raised so far through Facebook will be used to send Saroeun to this training. The cost of the training is $495; the book costs $270; lodging and transportation is expected to cost $700+; and misc costs such as food could cost up to $300+ for the week. With this said, we still need your help and support with raising additional funds. Every penny counts!
Organizations must be authorized by the Department of Justice (DOJ)'s Office of Legal Access Programs (OLAP) to support individuals with immigration related applications, hearings, and interviews.
At this time, KITHS provides advice and consultation related to immigration concerns. We normally refer individuals to an immigration lawyer if the issue is outside of our scope and expertise. We want to be able to do more. Becoming an authorized provider with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) will allow us to provide more direct immigration services.