Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.

Join a global initiative to help enriching the lives of Mien people worldwide.

About Us

Mien International Enrichment Network

About Us

We help make the world a better place.

Background: The Mien people are one of six ethnic groups that have been called "Yao" for centuries by the Chinese, Southeast Asians, and others. They are located in Southern Provinces of China, North Thailand, Laos, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and now many in the United States. A smaller number of Mien also settled in other counties such as France, Canada, and Denmark. The total world population is approximately 1,600,000, but there is not much written about the Mien people. This makes it very difficult for outside ethnic to learn about the Mien.

Initially, the Mien did not have a formal written language. Missionaries that came to Laos helped develop a form of writing system using Romanized script in the 1940s. This script was later revised and is now widely accepted as the unified script internationally. Due to the late arrival of writing system, there is not much literature written in the Mien language. This makes it very difficult to discover the Mien history and preserve their culture. Over the centuries the Mien have been upland farmers. To this day, most Mien in Asia still work their steep hill field. Living in the horticultural society combined with the lack of literature in Mien and the late arrival of writing system resulted in a majority of Mien who cannot read and write. This illiteracy prohibits the Mien to advance in society which result in a large population of the Mien living in poor sanitation environment and poverty worldwide.

For those who have migrated to the developed countries, their children have grown to adapt to the local culture resulting in loss of the Mien culture. Although some young Mien in these developed countries have obtained good jobs, many have been deprived of education which prevented them to pursue a good career. This is due to lack of leadership in the Mien communities as a result of the immigration of the first generation Mien who are from the pre-literate society. There are no role models or mentors for the young people to follow. This trend continues from generation to generation unless something is done to intervene.

Mien International Enrichment Network (MIEN) will play the role of intermediator to collaborate with other organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies to bring resources to the intervention of the trends of illiteracy, poor health, poverty, cultural and historical diminishment. The mission of MIEN is to enriching the lives of Mien [Yao] people globally through the advancements in culture, education, health, and social & economic development.

Our Mission

Enriching the lives of Mien [Yao] people globally through the advancements in preserving culture, promoting education, promoting health, social & economic development, and discovering history.

What We Do

Promote Education

Education advancement is the biggest need in the Mien communities worldwide. The following efforts will help advance education for the Mien in all regions around the globe.

    1. Develop an online Mien Resources Center that houses literature, media, resources, and artifacts serving as a one-stop resource center for both Mien and non-Mien to find information about the Mien people and their culture.
    2. Create literature in the Mien language and make them affordable.
    3. Create media (audio/visual) from the already created literature (objective 2) that assists with language acquisition as well as acquiring subject matter knowledge.
    4. Compile and/or develop resources to educate non-Mien about the uniqueness of the Mien and the culture.
    5. Develop a mentorship program to guide young Mien to success.
    6. Establish a scholarship program to promote higher education for young people in the Mien communities.
    7. Develop a program to educate and train Christian leaders on how to bridge the gap between Christians and non-Christians.

 

Cultural Preservation

The Mien culture has very unique and special features that are important for the identity of the Mien people. For example, the adult name of the men, not only tells who he is but also tells what clan and generation he is from. The way we address each other with high respect also tells our relationship with that person. These are not being passed on in writing. Soon the unique culture will disappear.

  1. Develop literatures to contains the uniqueness of the Mien culture and tradition that do not tie to any religion.
  2. Implement strategies to teach and pass down these cultural and traditional values to the younger generations.

History Discovery

The authentic of Mien history is hidden. Mien people don't really have a written documentation of where we come from and where we have been. The Chinese are beginning to take interest in the Mien people. There are three documentaries produced about the origin of the Mien people. However, these are in Chinese and only accessible for those who can understand Chinese.

    1. Collaborate with universities both in the US and in China to research and uncover the rich culture and hidden history of the Mien.
    2. Develop strategies to bring the uncovered history and culture to live for future generations.

 

Promote Health Education and Sanitation

Many Mien who are poor live in environment that are not sanitized and have poor health.

    1. Develop a system of health education and deliver it to the villagers
    2. Develop a system to help the villagers to filter water
    3. Develop a program to provide villagers with proper nutritions

 

Community, Economic, and Social Development 

Many Mien people live in remote mountains and distance villages. There are no schools for children to attend. These villages also lack community centers or churches to gather at. Many Mien live in poverty in these remote villages. They are able to survive only through farming. Some years, when there is s drought, the harvest is limited. They need a way to be consistent in sustainability.

    1. Partner and coordinate efforts with other organizations to build schools, community centers, sports fields or courts, and churches and provide technology resources to the poor communities where Mien people live.
    2. Assess their economic needs and provide strategies to assist them with sustainability in economic advancement.