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Aid Bhutanese Refugees in rebuilding their lives in America

This fundraiser closed almost 5 years ago

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How this will help

HAF is re-launching its Bhutanese American Project to increase support of the Bhutanese American community. The program is a two pronged effort that seeks to earmark $8,000 for grants that...

HAF is re-launching its Bhutanese American Project to increase support of the Bhutanese American community. The program is a two pronged effort that seeks to earmark $8,000 for grants that directly benefit Bhutanese communities resettling throughout the U.S. and $2,000 for HAF's advocacy efforts on behalf of the Bhutanese community. 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. Advocacy efforts are aimed at generating awareness of the plight of the Bhutanese American community on Capitol Hill.

Your support is vital once again.

Last year, your support helped the Bhutanese American community to preserve their culture, language, and faith. In April, HAF awarded a total of $6,000 in grants to eight Bhutanese American community organizations, allowing them to purchase religious books, musical instruments, a Durga murti, and rent community space. In November, we held the first ever Bhutanese American Advocacy Day, where 30 Bhutanese met with elected officials to share their community's needs such as social security benefits for the elderly, mental health services, and increased funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

During the early 1990s in Bhutan, more than 100,000 mostly Hindu Bhutanese of Nepali descent were stripped of their citizenship and forced to leave the country. They fled to Nepal, where they languished for nearly two decades in camps managed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). 

In the past few years, several nations have agreed to take in these displaced people as refugees. The United States is one of those nations and has already resettled nearly 80,000 Bhutanese refugees. 

But resettlement is tough, and we need your help. 

Bhutanese have the highest suicide rate of any refugee community. Elderly are facing social isolation because of language barriers and the resulting lack of mobility. Youth are turning their backs on their native religion, language, and culture. Many are succumbing to pressures placed upon them by aggressive, evangelizing churches taking advantage of their vulnerability -- converting them not only from their religion, but their families, communities, and heritage. In some regions, such as Philadelphia, those preying on Bhutanese Hindus and Buddhist are Nepali evangelical missionaries, using to their advantage a shared language to pressure newly arrived refugees to convert. Your support will improve the lives of these refugees. 

Your support will amplify their voice. Please make a donation today and help these refugees rebuild their lives.

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