The South Asian community in the United States includes individuals who trace their ancestry to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The community also includes members of the South Asian diaspora – past generations of South Asians who originally settled in other parts of the world, including Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Saahas for cause runs several programs focused on enhancing wellbeing of the South Asian community:
- Wellness Project (supported by Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health)
The focus of this project is to reach out to the South Asian community to help build local connections and reduce the stigma of mental health related issues. The primary tool used is community education by community volunteers with discussions typically held at local beauty salons, senior groups, apartment buildings and churches.
- 101 about South Asian families and their culture
In partnership with Becky’s Angels, Saahas for Cause raised awareness at the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) about family structure, marriages, parenting style, and culture in south Asian families and Hispanic families living in LAC and OC. The objective is to enhance the comfort-level of DCFS clinical staff when they work with South Asian and Hispanic families.
- Hybrid Parenting
South Asian immigrant parents face several barriers, experiences, biases, and difficulties when raising children in the US. This program focuses on providing parents with the relevant information and tools to navigate through these challenges.
- School Parenting Support
Saahas for Cause partners with school districts to run programs to sensitize immigrant parents to the challenges faced by their children as they navigate through the US school systems, peer pressure as well as dating violence. Saahas also engages with school staff to increase awareness about South Asian culture, parenting, and families.
- Senior-Youth Programs
Saahas for cause seeks to build bridges between seniors and youth who each have much to offer the other. For example, youth teaching seniors on consumer technology such as cellphone, laptop, social media helps the seniors connect with the outside world to break loneliness without feeling intimidated. These programs are held in partnership with local libraries.
- Other Collaborations
Saahas partners with Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF), CalOptima, United Sikhs, OC India Association, Orange County Women’s Health Project (OCWHP), Artesia Library, Artesia Senior Center, LACDMH, Becky’s Angel.