APPLETON, Wisc. (WEAU/WLAX) — Cameras, lights and bright colors filled the gardens at Memorial Park in Appleton Friday as Hmong community members came together to share stories and provide support to each other.

Many Hmong elders gathered to take formal photographs as part of new program with Hmong professionals.

Organizers said dressing up and preserving history through pictures helps families share their stories and work through the trauma they still feel from leaving their home country. 

“In our community, you cannot find a Hmong psychiatrist or someone to actually console them, but the best way now is to tell the story, and our hope is allow them to tell the story and they can heal all the trauma they have been through.”

The new Hmong professionals also said their ultimate goal was to get elders out of their homes and place them in a comfortable environment where they can open up and relieve stress