Tag Archives: Nepal

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

adultslearning

 

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
Ghimieryfamily
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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