We at CERI wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

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Dear Friends,

We at CERI wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

Walking into the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI) is like joining a family gathering. Folks are greeted with tea and food when they arrive for individual therapy, psychiatric clinic, support groups, and case management. Our doors are open to those who are looking for community and companionship. Children and young adults who are seeking a warm, quiet, and safe space can meet with a mentor to finish their homework, and apply for schools and jobs.

What we have accomplished at CERI is beyond a mental health clinic. In the past 12 years, we have steadily built a sanctuary for our community; a home filled with life and light.

Our team of mental health professionals, case managers, interns and volunteers have deep compassion for those who step into our doors.  Our clients carry with them the heartbreaking stories of the Khmer Rouge atrocities and the harsh years in the refugee camps. Their struggles continue after being resettled in impoverished and high crime neighborhoods of Oakland. CERI is the only refuge for many of these genocide survivors, their children, and grandchildren.

The Khmer Rouge genocide wiped out nearly all of Cambodia’s artists, intellectuals, and activists, leaving the younger generation without role models or advocates. It is not uncommon to see the second and third generation Cambodians living in the US get involved in gang violence, sex trafficking, and substance abuse because they are seeking a place to belong and to be loved.


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In 2008, CERI established a Youth Program to address these issues which are the direct result of multigenerational trauma in Cambodian families. CERI saved many of these youth from the street life and this year we are launching a new Youth Leadership Program to empower the next generation of Cambodian Americans to advocate for their rights and their community.

Despite the lack of funding we have started our Youth Leadership Program. The current administration’s hostile approach toward refugees and immigrants resulted in massive funding cuts for agencies that work with these communities. This is exactly the reason we need more leaders, mentors, and advocates to fight hatred and prejudice.

We hope you consider supporting CERI at this pivotal time of history. We will not be able to support our community without your generosity. Please help us build resilient youth advocates through our Youth Leadership Program.

With gratitude,

CERI Team

Please mail your check to: 544 International Blvd, Suite 9. Oakland, CA 94606. Or donate online!


Watch this short video about CERI