On Oct. 28, 2006, the Laotian Community Center of Rhode Island launched the national campaign to raise fund for the construction of the Laotian Cultural Center and Museum of Rhode Island, with a gathering of more than 200 people traveling from all over the United States, some from as far as Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Wat Lao Budthovath of Rhode Island, which was established in 1995 as a focal point for Asian Americans throughout the Northeast, is one of the principal supporter of the Laotian Cultural Center and Museum project Mr. Phonsy Kachittavong, President of the Wat Lao Budthovath and a senior advisor for the Wat Lao and Culture Center
explains to VOA about supporting the national campaign to help build the Laotian Cultural Center and Museum:
“I am very proud to see many people turn out to support the launching of the national campaign tonight. On behalf of the Wat Lao Budthovath of Rhode Island and as the senior advisor, I am very proud to see younger generations of Laotian Americans who grew up in this country acknowledging and being proud of their heritage, and continuing to preserve our graceful and beautiful traditions.”
Thongkhoun Phatthana, a young activist and the president of the Lao Cultural Center of Rhode Island, who spearheaded the campaign talked to VOA about the project: “The purpose of building the Cultural Center and Museum is to educate the young Laotians of the next generation about their roots and heritage through though the following functions:
“Support community development through art and culture.”
“Promote pride and knowledge of Lao and Asian-American history and cultural heritage by offering counseling, social support, strength and hope.” “Advocate for the children’s education; encourage and inspire our youth to become productive members of the society.”
Thongkhoun Pathana concluded our interview with this thought “Our hope is to strengthen cross-cultural understanding by facilitating the process of acculturation, and promoting goodwill and cultural pride.”
The over all project will take some time and a strong financial support from the Laotian Diaspora as a whole, not only to fund the construction of the Center, but also to sustain the continuation of the project. This Laotian Cultural Center and Museum will occupy 7 acres and will need about 3 to 5 million dollars to complete and will take about 3 years to finish.
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