ECHO Minnesota helps refugees and immigrants to be healthy, safe, prepared, and engaged in their communities through outreach and education.
Here is a story about why ECHO’s mission is so important:
Bao, a Hmong mother of three, realized her husband was
having difficulty breathing. After trying to help him herself, she ran to her neighbors to ask for help. She spoke very little English and went from one house to another in a panic doing her best to communicate without English what was happening. Bao found no help amongst her neighbors and went back home to find her husband still struggling for
air. Unable to leave her young children, she stayed with him and waited for him to get better. Within the hour he had died. What this young mother did not know was that
her husband was suffering from an asthma attack. Bao’s husband’s death could have been prevented had she known to dial 9-1-1.
With help from the community, ECHO has been able to create public service announcements about calling 9-1-1 in multiple languages. ECHO hopes that no more families will have to endure such heartache as Bao’s family. Creating critical education in Hmong, Somali, Spanish, Basic English, Vietnamese, Lao, Karen, Khmer, and other languages that can be EASILY shared with limited English speaking households is the cornerstone of ECHO’s mission. Together, we can work to ensure ALL Minnesotans have information they need to be healthy, be safe, and be ready.
Who are the diverse communities ECHO reaches?
ECHO helps immigrants and refugees who do not speak English or who have limited English proficiency (LEP). According to the last census, there are over 550,000 Minnesotans who speak a language than English at home. ECHO also serves the 250,000 native born Minnesotans who are illiterate. ECHO programs and services are available statewide for free.
What makes ECHO different?
ECHO is a hub of Minnesota’s culturally specific organizations, health agencies, governmental departments, social service organizations, and community leaders. With over 60 bilingual ambassadors, nearly 200 partnering organizations, and dozens of volunteers and media partners – ECHO has the opportunity to share critical health, safety, emergency, and civic information in multiple languages across the state. ECHO is a small but effective organization
that began 5 years ago as a nonprofit, and is now the region’s leader in communications for limited English proficiency populations.
What programs and services does ECHO offer?
ECHO develops programming and services in five areas including: Health and Safety Education, Civic Engagement and Self-Sufficiency, Community Engagement and Outreach,
Emergency Preparedness and Response, and Training and Research. Educational and Outreach projects are based on community and provider feedback and funding availability. Donations to ECHO from the community allow ECHO to more quickly respond to community needs related to health, safety, emergency preparedness, and civic engagement within the immigrant and refugee communities. ECHO has over 100 multilingual, multimedia programs available for
free online, which are used by many individuals, health agencies, and social service organizations. ECHO distributes its programming through a variety of channels including: Broadcast television, DVD packages, partnership use, community outreach, English as a Second Language instruction, and online.