Vietnamese community holds Census event - - The News for South Mississippi

Vietnamese community holds Census event

By Jessica Bowman – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Vietnamese community in Biloxi wants to make sure everyone in their community is counted in the 2010 Census. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Vietnamese Complete Count Committee held an event called "Be Counted Day" at the Biloxi Community Center to make sure that happened.

Jennifer Vu said, "We have people from the Census here and our own interpreters and translators to help people complete Census forms."

Mississippi Gulf Coast Vietnamese Complete Count Committee Chair Jennifer Vu said most of the people needing help are the middle aged and elderly.

"They never had an opportunity to obtain an education over here so those are the primary reasons or the ones that have language issues they're the ones that need help the most," said Jennifer Vu.

People not fluent in English tend to have a difficult time filling out the form.

"The Vietnamese community is considered a hard to count minority are considered hard to count because of language barriers a lack of education and lack of knowledge," said Jennifer Vu.

Mark Ho's mother is one of the people who came out in need of assistance because of a language barrier. Ho was there to help make sure she was counted and her voice was heard.

Mark Ho said, "Each community needs to have their fare share of government funds and this is one of the good ways to get people out and actually people probably wouldn't do it by themselves."

Volunteers were also available to lend a helping hand.

Seth Geraci said, "It's important that individuals take an active role and an active responsibility in their community and in their nation because yes the government and other organizations do things but if every person gives a little bit of their time we can accomplish so much more." 

Vu said there are forms for minorities in several different languages. The forms that are completed will be mailed out by the committee for the April 1st deadline.

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