NORTH CAROLINA HUMANITARIAN ADDRESSES VVA
Kay Reibold, director of the Vietnam Highlands Assistance
Project, is the luncheon speaker, Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Vietnam Veterans of
America’s tenth National Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Reibold has been working with Montagnard refugees from
Vietnam’s Central Highlands since 1985. She began tutoring these mountain
people in English once they arrived in North Carolina as part of a U.S.
government resettlement effort under the direction of the Lutheran Family
Services in the Carolinas. Currently, nearly 2,500 Montagnards live in and
around Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh.
Reibold will discuss “Project Friendship,” a joint
effort of VVA and the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America to raise
funds, household goods and school supplies for the resettled Montagnards. She
will also discuss the resettlement of new refugees from Cambodia.
AVVA President Nancy S. Switzer said the effort would
specifically aid The Montagnard/Dega Association and the Vietnam Highlands
Assistance Project, two groups formed to assist the refugees.
The Montagnard community in North Carolina was fierce
supporters of the U.S. military involvement in South Vietnam.
They fought alongside U.S. Special Forces in the Central Highlands.
Following the end of the war, many suffered persecution and government
discrimination under communist rule. In
1986, over 200 Montagnard refugees were granted asylum by the U.S. government
to begin new lives in North Carolina, a state selected because of the presence
of a large Special Forces community.