The rounds of  Community Informational Meeting at different locations ended today with the final meeting at Castle Shannon & Whitehall Place(Formerly Prospect Park). On the same day we had the meeting at these 2 places, morning at Castle Shannon from 9 am and afternoon at Whitehall place from 2 pm.

30 people were present in both the locations. Upendra Dahal briefed about the activities of BCAP, Lok Maya Mahat explained about the funeral fund, while KN Timsina covered Schools, ELCE and others in Castle Shannon. Rup Pokhrel and Ashok covered the part of Lok and KN Timsina in Whitehall Place.

With this 2 meetings our community informational meeting had ended for this year.

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Youth leadership training and planning was held at BCAP office on March 6, 2016 to the full capacity of the training room. It started at 11 am and ended at 2 pm.

The objectives of the training was to provide the youths with an understanding of their potential as a leader in the community, unite youth, motivate them towards good leadership, health and mental health awareness, understanding failure and success.

29 youths including both girls and boys were present in the training. The youths were very exited and wanted to have another training soon one separately for women’s leadership and another one for both boys and girls.

The dates for those training will be announced in our BCAP Facebook page and website in the event section.

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Community Informational Meeting at Bellevue

BCAP held its Community Information for the BELLEVUE  today, March 2, 2016 from 12:30 to 2:30 PM.

Upendra Dahal, Balaram Gurung and Narayan Subedi spoke on the set agenda including BCAP projects, school and children, funeral fund, Vista opportunities, College admissions and other free courses available etc.). The meeting was attended by 15 residents.

The meeting was held at the Church.

 

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BCAP held its weekly neighborhood meetings this morning at Gorkhali store for Carrick Residents. The meeting’s agenda focused on Funeral Fund and its utility for the community which was briefed by the President Rup Pokharel. Bishnu Timsina, a board member, briefed the attendees on students and youth employment and Khara Timsina, ELCE Coordinator, on community’s adjustment, challenges and the need of learning adjustment skills quickly. Upendra Dahal, Project Manager, highlighted the work done by BCAP since its establishment and the current projects. Ashok Gurung presented on mental health issues in the community and how best we can overcome the misconceptions around it. The meeting was attended by over fifty people who mainly comprised of ELCE students and general community members.

BCAP held its Community Information for the Greentree location yesterday, Sunday February 8, 2016 from 5:00-7:00 PM.

Ashok Gurung, Upendra Dahal, Balaram Gurung and Khara Timsina spoke on the set agenda (BCAP projects, mental health, school and children, funeral fund, etc.). The meeting was attended by 15 residents. Mr Harka Rai, Greentree Representative to BCAP who coordinated the meeting was also present.

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The first women leadership training was held at BCAP office on Feb 6th 2016 from 2-4 PM. The training was part of the Jefferson Regional Foundation program to develop leadership skills among the under-served population in the community and use that leadership skill to educate the women about better health decisions in their lives as well as acquaint them with opportunities that exist locally to promote more women’s participation in health care sector.

The primary objective of the first leadership training was to assess BCAP’s own capacity to manage such trainings internally and also to keep the momentum going before we have more professional training in place. The training attended by 23 women volunteers were facilitated by our own leaders. The secondary objective was to make the group familiar with BCAP’s programs, history and mission so that the group is ready to handle the responsibilities when called upon to do so.

The survey done at the end of the training proves that women are enthusiastic about leadership training and understood the cultural context of women leadership in resolving many issues that men are not fully suitable to handle them in our community.

 

Funeral Fund MOU(Translated)

Background and Evolution

We are social animals and we have been helping each other since yore and living an interdependent life ever since we learnt that social norms and values are good for the community. Moreover, the Bhutanese community has always demonstrated a feeling of being “one community” through the system of mutual help during deaths, marriages and other social cultural events in our life. We did it in Bhutan, we did it in the refugee camps and we are doing it here in America, too. However, living in America, especially for the vulnerable members of the community, is a big challenge here. Being vulnerable means you are not ready to face the fast paced life of the Western world with a lot of opposites to cope with. As a minority community Bhutanese Americans have all kinds of challenges in all places, in and out of their homes.

Ever since we first settled here in Pittsburgh in early 2008 a few volunteers started helping the vulnerable families during the deaths by going door to door to collect money. As population increased and we got scattered around the city this door to door campaign did not work as volunteers got tired and people who donated also got tired! So the same group of volunteers who ran from door to door began to discuss these hardships of collecting a small sum of money and handing over to the distressed families. The discussion led to the formation of Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh but not the funeral fund in 2012! The actual shape of the fund took place in the late 2013 when overwhelming members of the community agreed to set up a fund in a systematic way.

Features of this fund:

  • A mechanism to help our fellow beings during the crisis.
  • A freedom from anxiety and stress to your family during the crisis.
  • A big welfare to someone in need from your small contribution.

The memorandum of understanding or MOU agreed upon by all the members of the fund are as follows:

  1. All Bhutanese community members residing in Pittsburgh and Greater Pittsburgh region are eligible to participate in this program. A membership is based on each lease-hold or each apartment and will not be discriminated against any one based on caste, religion, sexual orientation, or any such social attributes.
  2. Membership in the fund will be annually renewable. Renewable period are from January 1 to March 31 every year. The following methods will be used to enroll new members or renew existing members:
  • Any person moving in from outside the city will be allowed to subscribe within two months.
  • The existing membership is valid from April 1 to March 31 of the following year.
  1. The annual membership fee for the new member is $56.00 and for the renewing member it is $51. 00. This is done in order to meet the expenses related to paper work.
  2. There will be a separate bank account for this fund and all the information related to ins and outs will be made transparent through the bank statement and annual release of financials by the BCAP treasurer.
  3. No money from this funds will be used for any other purpose other than specified in this MOU.
  4. The ultimate goal of this fund is to set up our own Funeral Home one day it that is practicable in the long run.

Disbursement:

  1. The family of the funeral fund member will be provided with a check of $1,500 if the closet member of the family dies in Pittsburgh. This sum of money is paid out to meet the funeral home costs of viewing and cremation only. The questions on who will get the benefit from the fund are resolved this way:
  2. One lease, one member principle. All members of the family covered by a single lease are covered by a membership from that household.
  3. A funeral fund member separating himself or herself from his/her previous lease will take his/her membership along with him/her leaving the previous family without a membership benefit. This means that membership moves along with the movement of the said member. The remaining family members has no membership in the fund unless they decide to opt in immediately after the funeral fund member leaves them to live separately.
  4. A family also gets a benefit of $1,500 if any member of that family dies while travelling out of the city provided one of the family members was a funeral fund member.
  5. A family whose traditional practice is not cremation but burial will not get above $1,500: the extra money for burial expenses is the responsibility of the family.
  6. A sum of $750.00 will be provided to the family whose parents die but they are not the member of the fund and live separately from the funeral fund member (son or daughter).
  7. A funeral fund member who has parents or close relatives living in another city will only get $500 from the fund when his/her parents or close relatives die there, regardless of where they conduct the last rites. In the case of the relatives the relationship must be verified by three witnesses.
  8. In the event when so many cases of deaths result in total depletion of the fund there will be another round of fund-raising from the members after advanced notification.
  9. The unused funds from any year will be rolled over to the subsequent years and if such rollovers result in a substantial amount of money in the long run such funds can be invested in profit bearing securities or used in the construction of a funeral home for the community.
  10. A fund member, who decides to migrate to another city, will have the following options with regard to his/her contribution:
  11. He/she can request for the refund of his/contribution which will be refunded after making deductions from his/her share that went out to make disbursements to such families facing funeral situation.
  12. He/she can leave it in the fund with a sense of duty or service to the community and benefit from it in the case of need even after moving out this city.
  13. He/she can still make contribution into the fund even after moving out of the city and get the same benefits from it.
  14. There will be a provision of an “emergency fund” in the amount of $2,000 within this fund when the total members exceed 300. Such an emergency fund will be used in the following situations:
  15. A newly arrived family from the refugee camp in Nepal will receive an amount of $500 from this emergency fund within the first three months of their arrival if the case of death occurs in that family.
  16. A new secondary migrant family will get $500 from this fund within the first one month of the arrival in this city if the case of death occurs in that family.
  17. Fund Collection:
    1. The fund will be collected only after an agreement is signed by the prospective member with the funeral fund treasurer. A copy of such an agreement will be provided to every new member.
    2. The fund collection can be done only through a ‘check’ or ‘money order’ and in no case cash will be accepted by the funeral fund treasurer.
    3. Any returned check due to ‘insufficient funds’ or closed account will be the responsibility of the same member. The fund will not be responsible for bank charges on returned checks.
    4. The ‘returned check’ must be corrected and the amount restored within fifteen days in order to have the membership active in the register. (The membership will be cancelled after 15 days if the correction is not done within this time).
    5. An interested member can handover the membership fee to one of the funeral fund treasurers assigned for your region or handover at the BCAP office.
    6. A receipt must be obtained from the treasurer upon payment of the membership amount.
    7. An interested person in this fund can also become a member by mailing the check or money order in the approved amount to the BCAP office address mentioned below. The name and address along with the phone number must be provided in the mail.
  18. Funeral Home Charges Only: The overall meaning of this MOU and the goal of the fund is to meet the costs of the funeral home viewing and cremation or burial and it is not intended to pay for other costs associated with rites that the family performs. The family will continue to receive the usual community support based on our traditional norms and values which we have been practicing during deaths. Further along, the costs associated with the ritual observance for any number of days in the family will not be borne by this fund.
  19. The fund must be requested during the death by a member of that family in an approved form which is available with all the treasurers. The death certificate must be attached with the request or obtained one within 30 days if it is outside this city.
  20. All the above provisions can be reviewed every year and amended after mutual consultation with the funeral fund members and the treasurers to make it technically and financially sound.

 

 

Funeral Fund Committee and the Assigned Treasurers

Mon Poudel Coordinator 412-315-8899
Mrs. Lok Mahat Bhandari Castle Shannon 412.819.6410
Mr. Harka Bista Green Tree 412.956.3824
Mr. Chitra Gurung Mt.Oliver/Carrick 412.430.8435
Mr. Madhu Phuyel Prospect Park 412.298.0252
Purna Singh Tamang Leland Point 412.8196312
Mr. Bal Bista Bellevue-Sewickley 412.761.2461

 

 

Note: All the funeral fund treasurers are volunteers and they are giving their precious time beyond their own jobs and families and we should understand their sense of duty to the community by helping them in any way we can.

What the beneficiaries are talking about this fund?

I have got a lot of help through this fund during the death in my family and I give full credit to the volunteers who came forward to set up this fund for the community. I also encourage all the community members to understand what it is and become a member as it is going to benefit you since death  does not come with a bell!…………….Ram Wagley

 

This fund started by BCAP has really made a big difference to my family and I feel peace of mind by being a member of it…………….Chitra Gurung

 

I was in Erie and when I moved to Pittsburgh I heard about this fund and immediately became a member. Then a death case occurred in our family, thank God I was already a member and I received an appropriate amount from the fund and did make a difference to my family. I feel I did the right thing by becoming a member of this fund…….Puspa Lal Bista

 

For any questions and inquiries please contact us at:

Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh

4150 Saw Mill Run Blvd.

Pittsburgh, PA 15227

Phone: 412.668.3197 Fax: 412.626.6752

contact@bcap.us

Web: www.bcap.us

 

 

भूमिका

मानिस सामाजिक प्राणी भएको नाताले आफ्नो समाज र समुदायदेखि अलग रहन सक्तैन । सदियौंदेखि हाम्रा पुर्खाहरुले आफ्नो समाजमा कसैलाई दुःख, आपत-विपत- मृत्यु-शोकजस्ता विषम परिस्थिति परेको घडीमा सामाजिक रूपमा सबै मिलेर त्यसको सामना गर्दै हाम्रो समाजलाई आज यहाँसम्म ल्याएको कुरा हामी सबैलाई सर्वविदित नै छ । अहिले हामी संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिकाको पिट्सबर्ग महानगरीमा पुनर्स्थापित नेपालीभाषी भूटानी समुदाय एक छुट्टै परिवेशमा आर्थिक, शैक्षिक र सामाजिक रूपमा अल्पसंख्यक समुदायको रूपमा बाँचिरहेका छौं ।

To Read in English Click Here

त्यसै पनि दैनिक रूपमा सामान्य जीवनयापन गर्न आर्थिक रूपमा संघर्ष गर्नु परिरहेको अवस्थामा कसैको घर-परिवारमा मृत्यु-शोक परेको खण्डमा त्यस परिवारलाई यस्तो शोकको घडीमा सामाजिक तथा आर्थिक तहमा यथासक्य सहयोग पुऱ्याउनु हाम्रो सामाजिक दायित्व हो । यसै पवित्र सामाजिक सहयोगको भावनाले ओतप्रोत भई यस फ्यूनरल फण्डको (दाहसंस्कार कोष) खाँचो महसूस गरी यो कोष २०१४ को सुरुवात देखि BCAP ले संचालन गर्दै आएको छ |

यस कोषबाट तपाइले के पाउनु हुन्छ ?

  • मानवताको नाताले संकटको घडीमा समाजकै सदस्यलाई सहयोग गर्ने अवसर
  • आफ्नु परिवारमा भबितब्य परे ठूलो  संकटबाट मुक्ति
  • आफूबाट भएको सानो सहयोगले कसैको कल्याण

 

यस कोषका नियमावली के कस्ता छन् ?

  1. पेन्सिलभेनिया राज्यको Greater Pittsburgh मा बसोबास गर्ने प्रत्येक घर वा अपार्टमेण्टमा बस्ने भुटानी परिवारहरु यस कोषका स्वेच्छिक दाताका रूपमा सदस्य हुनेछन् । जात, धर्म, लिङ्ग, बर्णका कारण कसैलाई छुट्याइने छैन |

2. यस कोषको सदस्यता बार्षिकरुपमा नविकरण गरिने छ | नबिकरण एवम नयाँ सदस्यता प्रत्येक वर्षको January १ देखि March ३१ भरिमा गरिनुपर्ने छ र अन्य राज्य वा सहरबाट सरुवा भइ आएको परिवारको हकमा भने सरेको दुई महिना सम्ममा सदस्यता लिनसकिने व्यवस्था छ | यस कोषको अवधि नबिकरण गर्नेका लागी अप्रिल (April) १ देखि अर्को मार्च (March) ३१ सम्म हुनेछ, नयाँ सदस्यहरुको हकमा भने सदस्यता स्वीकृत भएको मितिबाट पहिलो बर्षको सेवा खुला हुनेछ |

सदस्यता स्वीकृत : सदश्यले  सदस्यता दर्ता गरिसोको रशिद लिएपछि  स्वीकृत भनि बुझ्ननु  पर्दछ । यध्यपी, सो  बुझाएको check चेक बैंकमा भुक्तानी भई लेखामा देखा पर्न कम्तिमा ४८ घण्ट सम्म लाग्न सक्छ । यदि चेक बन्द गरीसकेको बैंक खाता वा बैंकमा रकम नै नभएको खाताबाट करणबस पर्न गए,  सो सदस्यले चेक बदर बापत लाग्ने शुल्क समेत गाबेर पुन: शुल्क तिर्नु पर्ने छ । तब मात्र सो सदस्यता स्वीकृत हुने छ । यस प्रकारको समस्या नपरोस भन्न BCAP समस्तमा आफ्नो आधिकारिक चेक मार्फत वा मनिअडर (Money Order) शुल्क बुझाउन हुन् आग्रह गर्दछ ।

नबिकरण गर्नेका लागी मात्र $51 हुनेछ भने नयाँ दर्ताका लागी पहिलोपटक $51 + $5= $56 लाग्ने छ | यो $5 कागजात तयारी र लेखा व्यवस्थापनमा खर्च हुने छ | नयाँ सदस्यहरुका लागि पहिलो बर्ष मात्र यो नियम लागू हुने छ |

 

3-   यस कोषको BCAP अन्तर्गत छुटै बैंक लेखा खाता हुनेछ र यस कोषको हेरक लेखा -जोखा पारदर्सी राखिने छ | यस कोष सम्बन्धि कुनै जानकारी लिनु पर्ने भएमा जुनै बेला पनि कोषका प्रमूख नियन्त्रक मार्फत कार्यालय समयमा लिन सकिनेछ |

 

4-  यस कोषको रकमकोष सञ्चालन नियमावलीमा उल्लिखित उद्देश्यबाहेक अरु व्यापारिकलगायत कुनै पनि गतिविधिमा प्रयोग हुने छैन ।

 

5-  यस कोषको अन्तिम लक्ष्य भनेको पिट्सबर्गबासी भूटानी समुदायमा दाहसंस्कार र बचत रहेको खण्डमा समाजकै सिफारिसमा आफ्नै फ्यूनरल होम निर्माण गर्ने हुनेछ ।

6-  यस कोषका सदस्यका परिवारमा कसैको मृत्यु भई यस पिट्सबर्ग महानगरमै शवदाह संस्कार गर्नुपरेको खण्डमा त्यसमा लाग्ने खर्च सहयोगस्वरूप डलर 1500.00 कोषबाट उपलब्ध गराइने छ ।

  • एक सदस्यता एक लिज (Lease) भित्रका  सदस्यहरु भनी बुझ्नु पर्ने | एउटा Lease भित्रको सदस्य सदस्यता भएको परिवारबाट कारणबस छुट्टिएर अर्को परीवारमा गएको खण्डमा सो परीवार सदस्यता सूचिमा छैन र उसको मृत्यु भएमा कोषबाट सहयोग हुने छैन |
  • सदस्यता परिवारको कुनै पनि सदस्य अन्य सहर वा राज्यमा गएको अवस्थामा नीजको मृत्यु भएमा र दाहसंस्कार उतै गरेको खण्डमा परिवारलाई $ 1500.00  प्रदान गरिने छ |
  • यदी सदस्यता लिएको परिवारबाट कुनै छोरो या छोरी छुट्टिएर अर्कै ठेगानामा सरे, सरेको ठेगानामा  यस कोषको सुबिधा पाउन छुटै सदस्यता लिनु पर्ने छ |
  • यदि शव जमिनमा (Burial) गर्ने संस्कार अन्तर्गत भए $1500 भन्दा माथिको रकम निज परिवारका तर्फबाट जुटाउनु पर्ने छ |

 

7-  यसै महानगरमा बसोबास गर्ने यस कोषका सदस्यका बाबा-आमा यसै महानगरका अन्य छोरा संग बसोबास गरेको तर सो परिवारले सदस्यता नलिएको अवस्थामा बाबु वा आमाको मृत्यु भएमा मात्र सदस्यता लिने छोराको नाममा $750 दिइने छ |

 

8-  यदि यस कोषका सदस्यका आफ्नै बाबा-आमाको मृत्यु अन्य कुनै राज्य वा देशमा जहाँ भए पनि र उहाँहरु छोरा वा छोरी जतिजना भए पनि र जहाँ गएर काज-क्रिया गरे पनि यस कोषका एकजना सदस्यलाई कोषबाट डलर 500.00 उपलब्ध गराइने छ । साथै यस कोषको सदस्यको अन्य राज्यमा आफन्तको मृत्यु भए र निजलेनै काज-क्रिया गर्नु पर्ने भएको खण्डमा निजलाई $500.00 सहयोग यसै कोषबाट प्रदान गरिने छ |यदि एउटै परीवारको सदस्य नभएको खण्डमा र यस कोषको सदश्यले संस्कार अनुसार काज क्रिया गर्नु परेमा कम्तिमा तीन जनाले प्रमाणित गरेको हुनु पर्ने छ ।

9-  यदि केही गरी दुर्भाग्यवश कुनै निश्चित वर्षमा धेरैजनाको मृत्यु भएर सो वर्षका लागि उठाइएको कोषको रकम सकिएमा र अरु वा अर्को घटना भएमा नपुगेको रकम सदस्यहरुलाई जानकारी गराई उठाउन सकिने भन्ने व्यवस्था गरिएको छ |

10-  यदि कुनै तोकिएको वर्षका निम्ति कोषमा संकलित रकम बँचेको अवस्थामा सो रकम अर्को वर्षमा स्वतः अर्को वर्षको लागि विनियोजन गरिने रकममा गएर जम्मा हुनेछ । र, यसरी नै जम्मा हुँदै गएको सो रकम  अन्त्यमा गएर हाम्रो आफ्नै भूटानी समुदायको फ्यूनरल होम निर्माणार्थ खर्च गरिनेछ ।

11-  यदि यस कोषका कुनै सदस्य बसैं सरेर अन्य कुनै सिटीमा जानपरेमा उहाँलाई आफूले तिरेको रकमबाट जति घटनाहरुमा खर्च भएको रकम घटाई जति हिसाब बाँकी रहन्छ, सो रकम उपलब्ध गराइनेछ । यदि कसैले स्वेच्छाले सो रकम कोषमा अनुदान दिन चाहनुहुन्छ भने सोही बमोजिम गरिनेछ र यदि म सरेको राज्य वा सहरबाट बार्षिक सदस्यता कायम राख्छु भनेको खण्डमा र नियमित रहेमा सो परिवारमा घटना भएको खण्डमा नियमानुसार सुबिधा पाउने छन् ।

12-  यस कोषअन्तर्गत अर्को एउटा छुट्टै आकस्मिक कोष (इमर्जेन्सी फण्ड) रहनेछ जसमा कम्तिमा डलर 2000 अनिवार्य राखिने छ । सो कोष यदि ३०० सदस्य भन्दा माथि भएको अवस्थामा मात्र हुने छ | यस कोषको रकम निम्न अवस्थामा प्रयोग गरिने छ-

यदि कुनै पनि भूटानी जो सोझै नेपालबाट यस महानगरमा पुनर्स्थापित भएको अवस्थामा तीन महिनाअघि घटना भएमा सो परिवारलाई डलर 500 यस आकस्मिक कोषबाट उपलब्ध गराइने छ ।

यदि कुनै पनि भूटानी अमेरिकाको अन्य कुनै राज्य वा महानगरबाट सेकेण्डरी माइग्राण्टको रूपमा यस महानगरमा बसैं सरी आएको एक महिनाभित्र घटना भएमा सो परिवारलाई पनि डलर 500 यसै आकस्मिक कोषबाट उपलब्ध गराइने छ ।

13-  रकम उठाउँदा एक सहमति पत्रमा हस्ताक्षर गरी एकप्रति सदस्यलाई दिइनेछ र एकप्रति रेकर्डको लागि राखिने छ । शुल्क Check वा Money Order बाट मात्र लिइने छ | नगद मान्य हुने छैन ।

** यस कोषको मूल उदेश्य सामुहिक स-सानो सहयोगले परीआए बखत कसैलाई ठुलो सहयोग हुन् सकोस भन्ने हो । तसर्थ BCAP, यस अघि सहयोग लिई सक्नु हुने सदस्यहरुलाई अनिवार्य नविकरण गरिदिनुहुन् अनुरोध गर्दछ । जसले गर्दा, भोलि अरुलाई तपाईंलाई जस्तै समस्या पर्दा हामी सबैले सहयोग गर्न सकूँ ।

 

14-  यस कोषको शुल्क आफ्नो क्षेत्र वा ठाउँका तोकिएका आधिकारिक प्रतिनिधिलाई (संकलनकर्ता) मात्र तोकिएकै मिति र समय भित्रमा पुऱ्याउनु पर्नेछ वा सोझै BCAP को कार्यालयमा पनि बुझाउन सकिने छ ।

15-   यस कोषबाट मात्र Funeral दाहसंस्कारको नाममा $1500 प्राप्त हुने छ | काजकरिया खर्च भने यस कोषले बेहोर्ने छैन | त्यसका लागी हाम्रो नियमित पारिवारिक सहयोग मानु-चामल एबम भेटीस्वरुप सहयोग भने एक दिन दुख, मरुमराउ, संकट सबैलाई पर्छ भन्ने भावनाले यथा सक्य गर्ने भन्ने व्यवस्था भएको छ |

 

16-  मामा, फुपु, काका, आफन्त को काँही मृत्यु भएमा र परम्परा अनुसार एक दिन, तिन दिन वा दस दिन जूठो बार्नु परेमा यस कोषका कुनै बुँदा लागु हुने छैनन् |

 

17- यस कोषबाट सहयोग प्राप्त गर्न एक फारम भर्नु पर्ने छ, जुन फारम कार्यालयको रेकर्डको लागि रहने छ |

18 – माथि उल्लेख भएका बुँदामा भबिस्यमा आवस्यकता अनुसार थप-घट गर्न सकिनेछ |

यस कोषका प्रमूख नियन्त्रक श्री मन पौड्याल हुनुहुने छ भने श्रीमति लोकमाया महत भण्डारी प्रमूख संकलन कर्ता हुनुहुने छ | निम्न व्यक्तिहरु यस कोषका संकलकको रुपमा रहनुहुने छ |

श्रीमती लोक महत –     Castle Shannon               {412-819-6410}

श्री हर्क बिस्ट-               Green tree                         {412-956-3824}

श्री चित्रसिंग गुरुङ-      Mt. Oliver- Carrick          {412-430-8435}

श्री मधुशुधन फुयेल-    Prospect                             {412-298-0252}

पूर्ण सिंह तामाङ्ग        Leland Point                      {412-819-6212}

श्री बल बिस्ट              Bellevue-Sewickley         {412-761-2461}

मन पौड्याल             Chief Controller            {412-315-8899}

 

यदि कारणबस आफ्नो आसपासका प्रतिनिधिलाई भेट गरी सदस्यता दर्ता गर्न समय नभए यहाँले यो फारम भरी आफ्नु चेक(Check) वा मनीअडर(Money Order) निम्न ठेगानामा पठाउनु भए हामी दर्ता गरी यहालाई सुचित गराउने छौ |

 

 

BCAP’s  second  Community informational meeting was held for Mount Oliver neighborhood.

BCAP had earlier began its three-month long Community Information Meeting for nine different neighborhoods starting from  Leland Point.

The meeting was attended by 25 residents from the neighborhood at  the  Hilltop YMCA, 500 Brownsville Rd,  Pgh. PA 15210

Upendra Dahal, Ms. Bishnu Timsina and Rup Pokhrel spoke to the people on those wide range of topics BCAP has in hand and took their questions. Mr Khara Timsina moderated the meeting that  began at 10:00 am and closed at 12:00 PM on Saturday, January 29,2016.

There was a Q-A session where attendees asked questions.

Mt.Oliver Meeting Mt.Oliver Meeting1 Mt.Oliver Meeting2 Mt.Oliver Meeting3 Mt.Oliver Meeting4 Mt.Oliver Meeting5 Mt.Oliver Meeting6

Resettled Bhutanese in the US have various mental health problems but the people in the community, in fact, do not understand the illnesses as disease.

It was an alarming situation when numerous resettled Bhutanese (refugees) dying by suicides in the US. Every month, there were suicides taking place in among the people in the country after resettlement. November of 2013 was the worst month for Bhutanese in the US because the number of suicide went up to seven in the month in approximately 65,000 people. Bhutanese in Pittsburgh was also adding the number to the list. When Pittsburgh was counting the fourth one within three years in among the population of approx.4500, no Bhutanese had any idea how to prevent it. There was no option other than keep watching.

The factors that did not allow others (friends, relatives, and neighbors) to prevent such mishaps were the lack of knowledge on Mental Health and the Stigmatizing attitude. Knowledge of Mental Health is limited in Bhutanese (in the US at the present context) because it is hard to find high school graduates (or equivalent) in among them who are over the age of 50 years. Mental Illness thus is often considered as a taboo subject and people are stigmatized talking about it openly” within the community. If an individual has psychosis, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia then only s/he is considered as having mental health disorder. Unfortunately, the patients barely express the illness even if s/he understands because of the fear of sensitizing it. Thus, it becomes a big barrier to receiving any sort of treatment support.

Understanding the situation, it was the volunteers from the same community to find an alternative to fighting the disease. Sometimes people expressed their desire to hurt themselves. This sort of information would be very useful for the volunteers if the families were in trouble due to mental illness. The volunteers’ plan was to sort out mental health related issues in the community and help families in troubles. But identifying any person having mental health issue needed careful attention to avoid sensitization. The volunteers then created a network of like-minded friends to collect information from families with conflict but without their notice. The group collected information on only the behaviors and symptoms of the individual. This was a small group of ten people to work in anonymousness from different locations started in November 2013. The community was spread in sixteen different locations in Pittsburgh and having the representative from the different locations was thought to be effective. The group knew, at least, few people in the community who were aware of their neighbors with unusual conducts from over drinking to quarreling. The collected data also included information from the people who are gloomy and acting unusual. They were continuously monitored in disguise; visiting them and talking about how they were doing was one of the main strategies. Working this way was much easier to study the family and the targeted individual than asking directly how the individual behave. However, volunteers were not equipped with any standard knowledge of mental health aids. The knowledge of community perspectives on mental health and the information about crises services provided by the resettlement agencies in Pittsburgh were advantageous. Few among the volunteers were at school, which was an added advantage to understand the mental health symptoms, at least. But this group was seeking professional help, which is possible only if the volunteers have knowledge about the individual and can give some information to the crises services to get support from them. Resolve Crises is one of such agencies the volunteers dealt with.

This group has come across with several cases that are associated with mental illness but working with them was always challenging due to stigma issue. Many individuals were hospitalized with support from crises services for many days and all of them have done very well until date.

On 28 and 29 of June 2014, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg Bhutanese Communities jointly organized a conference on Community Initiative for Mental Health for

Bhutanese with supports from PA State Health Department and Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). On the second day, there was a Mental Health First Aid training (MFHA) provided to the participants by the instructors from National Council for Behavioral Health. Ten of those team members from Pittsburgh participated in the training. This group then started using tools of MHFA for identifying and helping their folks in Pittsburgh. The mental health risk assessment and surveillance is still blinded to the general people in the community.

A case Scenario:

One day this group got information that there was a conflict going on in a family. Two of their team visited. Children were playing in the living room; they opened the door for the visitors.  They inquired their parents’ whereabouts. One of the parents was out and the other came from their bedroom. One of the visitors (volunteers) started to talk to the parent while the other went to the bathroom. Realizing that there was a strange situation, he (visitor) went to a bathroom and tried to scan around. Taking the advantage of a bathroom and the bedroom are adjacent to each other, he was able to scan into their bedroom as well.  Not to a surprise, he found a suicide note on a bed that was half completed when they enter. They talked to the person and called crises service after getting consent from the individual. The individual is doing perfectly fine until date. Over a dozen of such cases have been dealt operating for about two years. Unfortunately, the community lost one individual even after the operation of this group, who the group could never figure out.

So, having MHFA training in Harrisburg, ten Pittsburgh Bhutanese felt that it is the very great tool to work with people in such situation. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Bhutanese organization requested the State Health Department to support MHFA training to all the cities. The State Health Department supported for the training and was provided to Pittsburgh, Erie, and Lancaster to over 150 Bhutanese individuals.

In Pittsburgh:

  • There were ten people who started in the beginning. Around 55 of them were trained on February 28, 2015. Many have joined the group of volunteers after the MHFA training.
  • The members of the group actively monitor the neighbors in different locations.
  • When there are some social gatherings, the group remains attentive to gossips.
  • This group does not take any specific personal information other than their activities, if unusual.
  • When the group perceives there is the risk, assessment is done for the risk of harm.
  • One or two of the volunteers in the group talk to the individual when they see symptoms and give reassurances.
  • The group encourages professional help and self-support techniques like yoga, meditation, outdoor exposure, and socialization.
  • The group asks for the individual’s consent to call for crises services and call for support depending upon the severity of the case.

This model seems to be very effective in Pittsburgh Bhutanese, which is mostly accompanied by professional help. The group believes that this initiative has been able to help many members of the community in trouble.