The Cambodian Association of Illinois (CAI) is a 501©3 non-profit,comprehensive social services organization founded in 1976 by a group of Cambodian refugee volunteers responding to the needs of Cambodians resettling in Illinois. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, hundreds of thousands of refugees fled the tyranny, brutality, and torture of the Khmer Rouge genocide,in which more than two million people perished.
CAI serves some 5, 000 Cambodians in Illinois (3, 000 in Chicago) and nearby states, most of whom are refugees and children of refugees. In Illinois,CAI is the only Cambodian non-profit providing service Khmer bilingual programming to address the interrelated social and economic needs of the Cambodian-American population.
CAI has built a strong mission, with Board Officers, staffs, emeritus,and community leaders working collaboratively to enable refugees and immigrants from Cambodia to become self-sufficient, productive participants in American society, while still preserving their cultural heritage and community. CAI also provides services to non-Cambodians with diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds who are from local neighborhoods.