About UsMany Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander communities are bound together by shared experiences of migration and the struggle to survive as marginalized communities. We deeply value each other's safety and wellness. API Chaya believes in the inherent power of our communities to come together in response to violence and strengthen our capacity to work towards a more just and loving world.
Working within and across communities, we provide culturally relevant education and innovative projects that deepen our collective understanding of how systems of power create conditions that perpetuate violence in our homes and daily life. Through building relationships with youth and adult community leaders, we bring awareness and incite action against domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. We work towards shifting cultural and societal norms that allow violence to continue while lifting up values within the community that cultivate resilience, equity and justice. Natural HelpersThe Natural Helpers Project was started by API Safety Center over 15 years ago to develop bilingual outreach volunteers that help link people experiencing domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking to our services. The volunteers are trained to recognize the dynamics and warning signs of these issues. They understand the barriers to obtaining services in API communities and they seek out assistance for families and individuals in need.
These volunteers are natural helpers in their community. They are hair stylists, lawyers, faith leaders, business owners, day care providers, doctors, teachers, community organizers, etc. They are the ones people come to when they are having problems; they are the ones who are willing to help. Natural Helpers find other potential natural helpers to create a network of individuals who become our eyes and ears in our communities.
The Natural Helpers Project is especially valuable because it also works as a leadership development program that nurtures natural community leaders to address gender-based violence in our communities and to work for long-term social change. It works within the framework of community accountability and transformative justice, although it was developed before these concepts became popular.
In 2016, we launched the Community Education Series to make our training more accessible to more people in our communities. This training series takes place every 4th Saturday of the month and rotates between four core topics thrice a year: domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and community organizing. We have special topics and other events as needed.
Other Volunteer OpportunitiesWe strongly recommend that all volunteers complete the core topics of the Community Education Series. However, we accept volunteers for our biggest events, the Annual Vigil in March and Gala in March/April on a rolling basis, even if you have yet to attend the core topics.