In 1982, as parts of the Yale Southeast Asian Refugee Project, Huỳnh Sanh Thông called out to several communities of Vietnamese refugees recently arrived in the State to contribute their personal memoires and artifacts. His vision was to collect and preserve as much as possible of what these refugees have brought with them and what may illuminate the lives in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia at the close of the Second Indochina War.
In 2015, the widow of Huỳnh Sanh Thông, Huỳnh Thị Vân-Yến, discovered for the first time after his death a box of approximately 103 Cassettes, containing 52 interviews with Vietnamese refugees done by a professor named Le Kim Ngan in Canada in 1982. Le Kim Ngan donated these cassettes to Huỳnh Sanh Thông for inclusion in the Yale Southeast Asian Refugee Project. Thông's unfortunate stroke in 1998 however brought the project to a permanent halt.
Our wish is to digitize and create an open, educational online repertoire of these interviews so that scholars and anyone who's interested in understanding the plight of the Vietnamese refugees at the time would get access to these materials. We all have much to learn about the current conditions of refugees across the world by looking back at this very difficult moment in Vietnamese history.