Tag Archives: Bhutanese

World Relief Akron welcomes refugees into the community

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Story by Lyndsey Schley

Volunteer Marissa Dove drove up to the North Hill house on a rainy morning. She volunteers with World Relief Akron, a local refugee agency, and had stopped to pick up a Bhutanese-Nepali family that had just arrived in the United States a few days prior.

The father, mother and two young boys were running late, like so many families with young kids. The youngest was crying. He had gotten sick overnight. They climbed into the SUV and Dove helped get him into the car seat. His mother rubbed his legs to comfort him as they drove downtown.

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Education for Akron’s Bhutanese Refugees Part 3

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Story by Tom Crain

Education beyond K-12

Educational requirements for Summit County refugees 18 years and older are serviced through Project Learn, an organization spearheading the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instruction. Project Learn is part of Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) through the state of Ohio and is funded by the Ohio Board of Regents. It also receives support from United Way of Summit County, GAR and Akron Community Foundation.

Project Learn partners with local refugee resettlement organizations, including International Institute of Akron (IIA), Asian Services in Action (ASIA) and World Relief, to administer classes.  There are 64 different countries represented in Project Learn’s ESOL program, with over 40 languages spoken. At any one time, there are 20 classes held at various sites throughout the county, with a current enrollment of 550 students, many of whom are refugees.

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Education is the ticket to achieving the American Dream for Bhutanese refugees in Akron Part 2

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Story by Tom Crain

 

David James, Superintendent of Akron Public Schools (APS) says that several of Akron’s schools have been undergoing significant change due to the influx of refugees. “Little did any of us know the U.S. foreign policy decision made nine years ago would bring into our schools a story that is truly inspirational in an American way,” he says. “And now, with so many articles and broadcasts coming out of our refugee schools, much of America is aware.”

North High School (NHS) was waning in attendance for years and was in danger of closing altogether before refugee resettlement kicked in. Now, NHS has become known as Ohio’s most diverse public school.

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THE FIRST 90 DAYS:

Bhutanese Refugees face a ticking clock of self-sufficiency
laden with many hurdles and challenges along the way

Story by Tom Crain
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Durga, Nirmala, Bishnu, and Kailash  Ghimirey

 

Durga Ghimirey is one of 120,000 Bhutanese refugees being relocated around the world. He is a member of the Lhotshampas, the unlucky ethnic group in Bhutan who fell victim to ethnic cleansing.

As a teen, he fled to India, then was trucked to Goldhap, one of seven refugee camps in Nepal. Here, he spent nearly two decades highlighted by his marriage to wife Bishnu and raising two children, daughter Nirmala and son Kailash. He and his family lived in a cramped bamboo hut without running water or electricity. He received rice rations once a month having to make them last, earning extra money to pay for supplemental food or having his family go hungry. He and his family experienced several bouts of life threatening starvation and illnesses, and witnessed other camp residents dying all around them.

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Nuts and bolts of refugee resettlement in America:

The long and arduous process includes Akron
as a key resettlement sanctuary 

Story by Tom Crain

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Walk any neighborhood in North Hill these days and you’re bound to take note of a distinctive culture of new immigrants frequenting the residential sidewalks, business districts, school playgrounds and city parks. They wear colorful shawls, saris and robes of homespun wool accessorized with decorative gold and coral headpieces, bangles, rounded wool caps and turbans. Most talk in a funny dialect called Nepali (similar to Hindi or Punjabi)  accompanied with a written alphabet resembling  “chicken scratch.”

These distinctive and striking people have also created a new crop of Asian markets piled floor to ceiling with rice-filled burlap sacks, shelves of dried mango powder, cardamom pods, fermented millet wine and in back, goat meat and pig’s feet.  New cafes feature the popular cuisine of momo (dumplings)  and thukpa (noodle soup). The many who are non-Christian, congregate in temples practicing Hindu and Buddhism. The youth form their own soccer clubs and also play cricket. These tight-knit families can also be seen on warm, sunny days fishing, frogging, berrying and ‘shrooming all along the city’s nature trails.

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