WHO WE ARE
Mission and history, Staff, Board, Community Advisory Council and partners
Legal description The Montagnard Dega Association (MDA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 1987 by the first Montagnard elders to arrive in North Carolina.
MDA Mission and History MDA originally was organized in 1987 to “Unite and strengthen fraternal ties of all persons of Montagnard heritage and create an environment conducive for them to have opportunities to meet, understand and mutually help each other.” Since then the Board voted to expand the mission and scope of the organization to include assistance to other refugee populations while encouraging community empowerment and family self-sufficiency. Montagnard American Organization (MAO) is the youth branch of MDA that represents next-generation leadership.
Who are the Montagnard people? We are the indigenous peoples of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The term Montagnard is French for “mountain people” or "highlanders", and is often used to refer to us, the indigenous people of the region. There are over 30 different Montagnard tribes. We were some of the frontline fighters during the Vietnam War, alongside with U.S. Special Forces. Today, North Carolina holds the largest population of Montagnards outside of Southeast Asia... (more)
Liana Adrong, MSW