Now in existence for 38 years, the Association of Vietnamese Americans (AVA), formerly known as MVMA, has been striving to advance, empower, and protect the rights of the Vietnamese Americans and other communities in Maryland.
Vietnamese Parenting Enrichment Project (VPEP)
This program supports parents to become more involved in their children’s education, social, and cognitive development, as well as helping parents meet their basic needs such as healthcare, food and shelter. Vietnamese American families benefit from home visits, family mentorship, and parenting workshops. Parents are guided and empowered to become involved in their children’s education and social development.TEAM – The Tutoring Empowerment And Mentoring (TEAM) project under this program provides group tutoring and group mentoring to Vietnamese high school students in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) who have Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
Golden Age Project for Seniors (GAPS)
Golden Age Project for Seniors (GAPS) is designed to help Vietnamese American Seniors gain access to information and resources that allow them to lead independent and healthy lives. The assistance provided by AVA includes interpretation, translation, enrollment in senior benefit programs, and the opportunity to engage in friendly visits. GAPS works very closely with the Social Security Administration, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, and Montgomery County Department of Aging and Disability. We have continued partnerships with other agencies and organizations such as Senior Connection and Vietnamese Senior Association of Maryland to leverage resources and share available information and services.
- Act as liaison between LEP Vietnamese Seniors and social service agencies such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security
- Provide interpretation and translation services
- Screen seniors for eligibility, and provide assistance with public benefit application
- Educate seniors about benefits incorporated in social service programs, such as disease prevention
- Provide outreach to seniors’ meetings to bring assistance and valuable resources to seniors
- Organize friendly visits to isolated seniors
NEW AMERICANS ADVOCACY SERVICES (NAAS)
NAAS is AVA’s longest running program, begun in 1979 with the establishment of AVA. Since then, AVA has helped over 25,000 refugees and immigrants of all backgrounds secure housing, apply for government-sponsored health and supplemental income benefits, and apply for U.S citizenship. On February 2, 2009, AVA became the first and only Vietnamese American organization in the nation recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), authorized to provide legal immigration assistance and representation.
Through NAAS, AVA has assisted refugees and immigrants (primarily from Southeast Asia, and more recently from Africa) apply for permanent residency and citizenship, reunite families, translate and notarize important documents, and provided references to other helpful agencies.