MAYE is a concept being practiced in Long Beach as a solution or prevention to trauma. This is the story of Laura Som, a trauma survivor who brought healing tools with her from Cambodia, and shares them in Long Beach. 

The MAYE Center was founded in 2014 by Rothmany Laura Som, a survivor of the Khmer-Rouge Genocide in Cambodia.  Located in Long Beach, California, the Center's mission is to establish a place for self-healing and cultivation of well-being for survivors and their families. Using an integrated practice of physical, spiritual and community growth, MAYE uses culturally sensitive and environmentally healthy methods, including Meditation, Agriculture (gardening), Yoga and Education.  She learned these tools from her foster parents who were farmers. She also brings her biochemistry background to the table, together with the 2,000 years of Cambodian farming heritage.  These farming practices helped to feed millions of families from the 12th Century on.

I first met Laura in 2012, when she came to the Gladys Avenue Urban Farm to donate a native Cambodian miracle plant, Moringa Oliefera, to the Farm.  Because of its medicinal properties, this member of the pea family is used by over 200 organizations world-wide to fight malnutrition.  Soon after her first visit, she became a member of the Farm Family, tilling the land, planting and harvesting crops.

"This sparks the imagination that it's possible also, with the continued support from Charlie that urban farm is not only possible, healing for humanity, but healing for our environment.  (Charlie helped me to understand this key concept and connection of gardening-healing the ocean).  I learned that as self-healing is the bedrock of sustainable humanity, it is also true for sustainable planet....we can heal the ocean with urban gardening." ..Rothmany Laura Som

I became a founding member of this new group's Board in 2014 and am proud to participate in its development of responses to the many traumas experienced by people in far away places. The healing process continues for all of us. 

On Earth Day, April 22, Rothmany Laura Som, Founder, was one of 27 recipients of the 70th Assembly District's 2016 Women of Distinction Award, presented by Long Beach Assembly Member, Patrick O'Donnell.