OBCA 6th National Convention convened, Bhutanese Refugee durable solution Emphasized

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Post Report, Cincinnati, OH, July 15 2016

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UNHCR Nepal congratulates OBCA in their official Facebook page.

Overview
Organization of Bhutanese Communities in America (OBCA) 6th convention convened with the theme “Committed for integration of resettled Bhutanese Communities into common platform for the Empowerment and Advancement” in Cincinnati, Ohio from July 8th – 10th, 2016 reflected a hope and desire to elevate the involvement of community leaders in contributing help to have durable solution for the resettlement non-participant Bhutanese Refugees remaining in Jhapa and Morang of eastern Nepal.

OBCA successfully concluded its 6th National Annual Convention generating much more positive response from the public. Apparently seen the concern from different prominent organization. UHNCR Nepal has congratulated for successfully organizing the convention.

The Convention was organized in collaboration with the Bhutanese Community of Cincinnati (BCC) for two days. One of the seasons was Community Activities Update and other was annual cultural show from the host Organization- “Bhutanese Community of Cincinnati (BCC).”

Component
The event was formally started with US National Anthem and OBCA National Song “Bibhinna Jata Jatilay Baneko Chha Hamro Bhutani Samaj America.”

On the 9th of July,2016 community leaders from different states had the opportunity to update the community activities, progress, issues, and concerns in city & state level for the year 2015–2016.
The chief guest of t13734819_1240674985945807_1590963701_nhe first season Mr. Tek Bir Chhetri, an Arizonian, senior activist presented a concept of Community Economic Empowerment, and while elaborating on that idea, Mr. Chhetri said that the only option to pull individuals out of hardships and sufferings that prevailed since they left Bhutan is to make them economically sufficient through their own small group investments. The OBCA chairman Mr. DB Rai, gave a remarkable statement in his addressing – “Unity and collaboration among resettled Bhutanese Communities is key of success for empowerment and integration into mainstream American society.”

Dr. Hari Prasad Adhikari, head of department of corporative religion and philosophy from Sampurnanand Sanskrit University was the special guest of the event.

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Participants and delegates in OBCA 6th National Convention

Mr. Larry Yungh, Senior Resettlement Officer for UNHCR–Washington, D.C.; Ms. Jennifer Johnson, State Refugee Coordinator; Ms. Sandra Hollingsworth, State Refugee Health Coordinator for the state of Ohio; and Gopal Gartoula, Senior Journalist and Correspondent for Himal Kahabarpatrika all the way from Damak, Nepal participated in the convention. Besides this, Participants from 23 US states participated. To name some, NB Gurung (President of Bhutanese Community in IOWA), Bhim Gurung ( President of Bhutanese Community in Nebraska), Rup Narayan Pokhrel (President of Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania), Sanchaman Rai (Former Chairman of BCAP & Director of Community Services), Dilip Dahal (OBCA Vice-president, Georgia), Dilli Ram Adhikar (Chairman & CEO of International Home Health Care), DB Adhikari (Former OBCA Board Member, Arizona), Pradeep Gurung (President of North Carolina), Gangaram Limitare (Former OBCA Board Member, Writer), Sivalal Dahal (Kentucky, Writer) were present and updated the community activities in their community organizations in respective cities, states & fields.

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PowerPoint presentation by Ms. Jennifer Johnson, ORR State Refugee Coordinator and Ms. Sandra Hollingsworth

On 10, July 2016, OBCA 6th National Convention continued and BCC Annual program 2016 was held. On the event Mr. Larry Yungk was the chief-guest and Ms. Jenifer Johnson, Ohio State Refugee Coordinator, ORR and Ms. Sandra Hollingsworth (Ohio State Refugee Health Coordinator) was special guest of the event. Multiple cultural season held from Bhutanese artists from Cincinnati, OH and other artists across the US. The event was very entertaining with the performance of songs, dances, and drama.

Other event included

  • The ‘Riya’, 2nd music album of Khem Rizal, lyricist of all the songs, from Cincinnati, Ohio and the album “BROTHERS” by NK Brothers (Naresh & Khada Gautam) from Cincinnati, Ohio was released.
  • Ms. Jennifer Johnson, ORR State Refugee Coordinator and Ms. Sandra Hollingsworth, ORR State Refugee Health Coordinator from Ohio shared power-point presentation on their roles in state sponsored refugee programs, overview of number of Bhutanese refugees resettled in different counties of Ohio over the last few years, and on the programs that they oversee. Importance of promoting core health areas in the refugee communities in Ohio has also been highlighted in their presentation
  • More than 80 artists, volunteers and social workers who put their continuous effort to promote, preserve and develop Bhutanese art, culture, literature, and community were honored by OBCA. Mr. DB Rai.
  • Chairman of OBCA handed the certificate of appreciation to Mr. Larry Yungh for his role in the development of UNHCR’s global resettlement programs and policies and addressed refugee crisis, issues, progress, and need of development in different sectors of community.
  • Sancha Man Rai and Biswasz Gurung from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania shared power-point presentation on their organization functionaries, and as an organization how they are working together successfully in rendering services to the community in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Matter Focused
Special panel discussion held in hotel Marriott with Mr. Larry Yurgk, Senior Resettlement officer of UNHCR, Washington, the OBCA representatives and community leaders deeply discussed on durable solution of remaining Bhutanese Refugees in Refugee camps of Nepal for their Local integration, repartition, and possible resettlement. OBCA & UNHCR also discussed on systematic mechanism development to assist and support remaining Bhutanese Refugees in camp in coordination with UNHCR and future collaboration of resettled Bhutanese organization with UNHCR for the possible remaining 8,000 to 9,000 refugees in camp after resettlement process ends. Both agreed in finding solution jointly to address the issues of Bhutanese refugees in camp and to work in coordination.

[Note: Click here to see OBCA-Press-Release 7. 14. 2016]

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