Preservation of their culture has been an on going concern for the Montagnards and their STMP friends. In order to meet this need STMP has committed to build a cultural center. It was always understood that this project would not diminish others and STMP would continue to provide the various types of support as in the past.
Fund-raising took years, but in 2001 STMP purchased 10 acres of land, and in the spring of 2002 a 100ft x 35ft pavilion was erected on the land which is 12 miles southwest of Asheboro, N.C. This pavilion would ot have been possible without the hard work and dedication of local STMP members and Montagnard people, as well as the local contractors and building supply companies who were most generious. The pavilion was dedicated to the Montagnard People on memorial Day 2002, and will continue to serve as a gathering place for years to come. But the wish and dream was for a full-fledge cultural center.
That dream became more of a reality when we were able to purchase 90 additional acres. This would not have been possible without the generous assistance of SFA, SOA and STMP members, friends and the Montagnard Community. The new acreage is under the control of a Montagnard Council, an elected representative group. The council has many far-reaching plans for the land, butone of their primary desires is the contruction of the cultural center.
A location has been chosen and rough plans made. Final plans and the start of construction are waiting for only one thing - Money. The proposed building would be 6,000 sq.ft. on two levels. It would serve as a museum and research area. Dega artifacts and documents could be permanently and safely be put on public display. The center would also include teaching areas where traditions could be passed down and ESL classes taught to the new arrivals. Speed is essential in this project since the elders will not live forever.
During the interim period until the Cultural Center can be built, the Montagnards decided to erect several long houses which could be used to have meetings as well as class rooms for teaching the children. As a result, a 130ft x 30ft long house has been erected on site. A workshop has been build where donations of wood working machinery and a forge allow the Montagnards to make tools and articles which they can sell and raise money. The remaining land not used for the center or some auxiliary buildings is slated to be included in a protective covenant which would be bound to the land. This would keep the land as it is - in a natural condition. Your help is always needed at the site as well as helping to procure materials when they are needed.
the future will hold many new challenges for us. Combining the commitment of our members, the vitality of the Montagnard People, and the generosity of our friends will allow us to continue to respond to these challenges with the same outstanding results we have achieved in the past.
1. - Advocacy. An important area that has developed in the presentation to the American people of the trials and tribulations of the Montagnards People still in Southeast Asia. Recently, there have been signs that all of the trips and letters to Washington, D.C. have had some effect; however, actual results haven't been seen. the conditions in SE Asia are life threatening. working to allow the Dega to reach Safety has been a number one priority with in STMP for years. this is one area where anyone can help, whether they are members or not. We need people willing to spread this information to organizations and elected officials. If you would be willing to assist us in our goals and would be willing to speak to your Church, Rotary, Family, Friends or other groups, please contact George hadeler, Secretary as listed in contacts.
2. - Membership. Through diligent efforts, STMP continues to be the leading Dega Support and advocacy organization. Although STMP was formed in 1986, our working relationship with the Dega began in the early 1960's. This "hand-in-hand" position has allowed STMP to direct its efforts in the most efficient way and to create the greatest benefit to the Dega People. All of us are VOLUNTEERS and ou would certainly add calue to our cause by joining us. Membership applications are available on our website or by contacting the secretary of STMP.