The Degar Foundation, Inc. (MFI) is a private, nonprofit corporation based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA. Degar Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1990 and received its tax exempt status in August, 1992, under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations to Degar Foundation, Inc. are tax deductible as charitable contributions (Federal Tax ID No. 57-0925222).
Degar Foundation, Inc.’s overriding mission is to preserve the lives and the culture of the indigenous, Montagnard (DEGAR) people of Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Its guiding strategy is to restore, safeguard, and monitor the innate and inalienable human rights of the Degar as described in the covenants and declarations of the United Nations. MFI pledges to accomplish its mission through peaceful, humanitarian, and non-military means in the spirit of international cooperation.
Degar Foundation, Inc. is a non-membership organization founded by Mr. Kok Ksor, president of this foundation. Mr. Kok Ksor was sent to the United States by the founder, and leader of FULRO, General Y-Bham Enuol, with a mission of gaining world assistance for the Degar people. He was directed and empowered by the General to explore every peaceful avenue for the reinstatement of the legitimate rights of the Degar people under international law.
The Degar Foundation, Inc. continues to represent the Degar people in the following arenas: 1) the United Nations Workshop for Indigenous Peoples, 2) before ambassadorial level representatives of the various Permanent Missions to the United Nations, 3) the U.S.-NGO Forum on Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia, 4) the International Decade of Indigenous Peoples, and 5) before humanitarian program planning bodies of the U.S. development assistance agencies. On all occasions, our focus is on basic human rights and the need for action. The Degar Foundation, Inc. will continue to work with international organizations in pursuit of humane policies and the delivery of in-country humanitarian programming that will guarantee to the Degar health care, education, and their overall right to a peaceful and prosperous coexistence as a people.
A CULTURE ON THE BRINK
All the peoples of Vietnam have suffered terrible human and economic losses brought on by 30 years of war, followed by the imposition of a socialist economy. But it is increasingly evident that the Degar have lost even more than the others. In addition to their lands, schools, courts, and churches, they are now in danger of entirely losing their culture (the very essence of their existence), as they are systematically denied their traditional ways of life. It remains the inherent responsibility of the world community to preserve and encourage the cultural diversity of the Degar and to protect their essential human rights.