The Bhutanese American Project: Helping Rebuild Lives13 May, 2019
The Bhutanese American Project: Helping Rebuild Lives
In the past few years, several nations, in partnership with the UNHCR, have agreed to take in these displaced people as refugees. The United States is one of those nations and has already resettled more than 69,000 Bhutanese refugees under a program coordinated by the U.S. State Department and UNHCR.
Understanding the dire needs, Gummakonda Foundation became a part of this resettling project.
Bearing the scars of the not so distant past, today Bhutanese Hindus face a new chapter in the daunting saga of American arrival and integration. Resettlement agencies provide basic living assistance including housing, essential furnishings, food, clothing, community orientation, and referral to other social, medical, and employment services for their first few months.
The $8,000 Bhutanese American Project will provide both direct aid to the refugees as well as support HAF’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the refugees. $5,000 of direct grants would support Bhutanese community-led efforts to procure space for religious gatherings and social services, transportation to Hindu temples and other cultural institutions, or youth mentorship programs and field trips. The remaining $3,000 would fund advocacy efforts aimed at generating awareness of the plight of the Bhutanese such as a Capitol Hill briefing and a national tour of the documentary, The Refugees of Shangri-La, produced and directed by Doria Bramante and Markus Weinfurter (click here to learn more about the film).
Direct grants will be awarded to eligible, organized Bhutanese community-led efforts. Direct grants will be provided with recipients’ commitment to continue seeking other grant opportunities and become self-sustainable within a period of one to two years.