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Burmese History, Cultural, and Mental Health Support

April 16 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am HST

For several decades dating back to the 1940s to present-day Burma has been suffering numerous conflicts such as wars and coups within the country causing uprising tension and problems for the people young and old fearing for safety, not being able to live flourishing lives whether it’s obtaining everyday resources, bringing in a good amount of income and opportunities and also children lacking education as it comes in the lowest forms of qualities. Due to these issues naturally, people seek safer lives for themselves and their families. These people have no choice but to flee with nothing on them to neighboring countries such as Thailand, China, and India. Some can go to third countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, etc., When these people arrive here, they are faced with many new problems that are quite different from their homeland. They are faced with a language barrier; it is a huge adjustment as they leave everything they know behind.

Burmese refugees and immigrants must take the blocks and rebuild a new life here and learn all about the U.S. system and laws thus we feel the need to help all these people learn to adjust well and maneuver around the trauma. The Burmese Community Services was established in 2013, Buffalo NY as a nonprofit organization and a Certificate of Incorporation with the Department of State to exactly assist this growing community providing resources and services such as interpretation, assisting with housing, health care projects, funeral services, education, transportation, food and consumers, labor and employment opportunities and much more.

What will participants learn?

  • A deeper dive into the benefits our organization has to offer
  • The history, traditions, and rich culture of Burma
  • Different ethnic groups and languages spoken
  • A deeper understanding of specific social issues and problems regarding Burmese refugees and immigrants

Who is this workshop for?

  • This is for all service providers and researchers including government agencies.

Looking to receive continuing education contact hours?
Papa Ola Lōkahi (NASWHI-CEP-13) has been designated an approved provider of social work continuing education contact hours by the National Association of Social Workers Hawai’i Chapter. The Papa Ola Lokahi maintains responsibility for the program. This program is approved by the State of Hawaii Department of Health’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (Approval# ADAD-24-085) for up to 1.5 contact hour(s). NOTE: Participants are responsible for submitting proof of attendance to their respective certification or licensing board. ʻOhana CoE & Papa Ola Lōkahi do not submit this information on behalf of training participants.

Participants will receive a link to verify attendance at the end of the workshop.

Download slides here

Download the Burmese Community Behavioral Health Survey

This event has passed. You can watch the replay on our YouTube, or here on the website.

Workshop Presenters

Mr. Steven Sanyu was born in Burma/Myanmar and now resides in Buffalo since 2000 Mr. Steven founded the Burmese Community Services, Inc., (BCS) in 2013, and it became 501(C)(3) the first Burmese people to lead an Independent non-profit organization in WNY to assist refugees and immigrants with issues they are facing including but not limited to language barriers, cultural adjustment and to provide other services and resources.

As a community leader, Mr. Steven have been involved with many organizations and Institutions in the Buffalo Region such as Colleges and Universities, the Buffalo Police Department’s Language Access Plan, the WNY Refugee Health Summit Planning Committee, Community Advisor for the University at Buffalo Food Systems Planning and Health Communities Research Lab (UB Food Lab), the Buffalo Region Refugee and Immigrant Roundtable’s Steering Committee and the Advisory Board Member of the City of Buffalo Common Council’s Police Oversight Committee, etc.

Mr. Steven share experiences and give Cultural Competency training and give presentations to the Court, Colleges and University, Law Enforcement Training Academy, Schools, and Health Care Agencies including the IRS and more for better services, and understanding of refugees, and the immigrant population including interviews and radio shows. Mr. Steven also assist the Buffalo Police Department to develop the “Language ID Card” for non-English speakers in the city of Buffalo and lastly working together with County Legislators and partner organizations to pass the Language Access Law in Erie County.

Mr. Steven currently serving as a President of Burmese Community Services, a Member of the WNY COVID-19 Vaccine HUB Advisory Committee and Ambassador to the New York State Vaccine Equal Task Force, Member of the Erie County’s New Americans Advisory Committee, the Buffalo State University President’s Community Advisory Committee, and the Buffalo State’s AFP Advisory & Engagement Committee.

For those reasons, the Burmese Community Services (BCS) received the Community Leader Organization Award from the NFJC and also from the NYS Senator Timothy Kennedy and the Erie County Legislature in 2018, and recognition from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020.

Mr. Steven also received awards and recognition for “Extensive Work and Leadership in the
Development of the Buffalo Police Department’s Language Access Plan” by the City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown in 2016, the “Standardized Patients in Inter-Professional Education” by the University at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2017, “First recipient of the International Community Day Award Winner” by the City of Buffalo Mayor and the BPD Commissioner in 2021 (BPD C-District), and the recently, the City & State media has recognized as a “One of the Asia American‘s most Influential 100 leaders in New York State” in 2022.


April 16
9:00 am - 10:30 am HST
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