VOICE informally began in 1997 in Manila as a small legal aid office (formerly the Representative Office of the Vietnamese Community in Australia) to help the 2,500 stateless Vietnamese refugees in the Philippines. Since its formation, VOICE in collaboration with other NGOs and community groups, has helped to resettle over 2,500 individuals.
Our mission is two-fold:
Advocating for stateless Vietnamese boat people and refugees in need of protection (in places such as the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia)
Empowering young Vietnamese individuals through internship opportunities and training on the rule of law and civil society development.
VOICE strives to achieve our mission through community empowerment programs. We have full-time staff based in the Philippines and abroad to advocate and give voice to our mission. We knock on doors of elected representatives and follow up on our program initiatives. In the field, our projects provide legal and social assistance to those who cannot speak for themselves.
At the heart of our mission (and our name) is 'Empowerment.' VOICE is more than an aid organization. It is our goal to empower individuals so that they may have a voice.