We aim to build a strong, unified and caring Vietnamese American community, where youths, adults, and elders are engaging and contributing citizens through continuing educational, social and economic advancement, while maintaining our cultural heritage.
The Association of Vietnamese Americans (AVA), formerly known as Maryland Vietnamese Mutual Association (MVMA) is dedicated to advancing the Vietnamese American community in Washington Metropolitan area through direct services, advocacy, and education. AVA implements three cornerstones in its approach:
- Empowering families and seniors through direct services and providing access to government and private programs;
- Advocating for social and economic equality by building awareness, capacity and solidarity within the community;
- Unifying multiple generations of Vietnamese Americans by promoting cultural traditions, history, art and language.
Our Story and Successes
In 1979, in the heat of a Vietnamese immigration boom, a group of Vietnamese Americans banded together to provide mutual assistance to each other, and to other immigrants that needed their help. With the initial goals of addressing the needs of refugees after the Vietnam War, and helping with refugee resettlement, the Association of Vietnamese Americans (AVA) was incorporated as a 501c3 tax-exempt non-profit organization in 1982 and is the oldest Vietnamese American community based organization in Maryland. Since then, the organization has been evolving to provide more specific and effective services to its clientele. In 2004, AVA created structured and formalized programs to meet the growing, complex needs of the Vietnamese American community. Over the years, AVA has changed from a volunteer-run organization to a staff-based nonprofit, which has allowed for an exponential increase in staffing and revenue.
For over 33 years, AVA has:
- Helped over 20,000 refugees and immigrants from all backgrounds secure housing, find jobs, study for U.S citizenship tests, apply for permanent residence (green card) and citizenship, and it has hosted U.S. Naturalization Ceremonies in Montgomery County, Maryland.
- Organized annual cultural and community events such as the Lunar New Year’s Tet Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Academic Awards Picnic, and the Health Fair in Maryland that have attracted thousands of community members.
- Provided culturally and linguistically appropriate direct services to Vietnamese Americans and other immigrant communities.
- Served as a liaison between many government agencies and Vietnamese Americans.
- We attribute our success to our ability to anticipate the changing needs in the community and respond appropriately to these needs. In 2008, AVA earned recognition from the Harmon Foundation as “one of the best small charities in the Greater Washington Region” in the prestigious Catalogue for Philanthropy.