Seniors and ELCE students enjoyed a one day tour on October 14th, 2015 to a dairy farm, Marburger Farm. It’s located at 1506 Mars-Evans City Road, Evans City, PA 16033.

The tour was facilitated by Carnegie Library and Life Span in Coordination with BCAP.

Main aim of the tour was to refresh the minds of our people who were farmers back in the country. The have been expressing the interest to visit any farm, see them, feed them and milk them. They wanted to recapture their past life and rejoice.

Although they were not allowed to milk the cow due to the regulations of the farm, they were very excited and happy to get close to the animals.

The tour started with the pick up at 11:00am at LifeSpan Senior Center, 320 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15210 and they were dropped off around 5:00pm at LifeSpan Senior Center, 320 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15210

We reached early and had wait for some time inside the busLunch and water were provided and had it inside the bus due to weather condition.  If

Bus was a large coach bus equipped with a restroom that gave a lot of comfort to our seniors.

Total of about 20 people were in the tour including volunteers and representatives from Library, Life span and BCAP.

 

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Bhutanese Youth of Pittsburgh organized the event “Eastern Volleyball Cup” in coordination with Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP) at 600 Iron City Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15205. On the weekend of November 7, 2015, eight teams from 7 different cities participated in this two days event. The finalist of the tournament were the teams from Buffalo, NY and Columbus, OH.

The team from Buffalo, NY defeated Columbus, OH in the intense battle for the championship. In the “best of five” finale, the Columbus team was on fire for the first two rounds and defeated Buffalo but the remaining 3 rounds, Buffalo team did astoundingly better by changing their game plan and consecutively defeated the opponent to ultimately take home the championship trophy.

 

The event was sponsored by International Home Care LLC.

Women’s day (Empowering Women)

Women’s day – Teej (Empowering Women)

Teej is the most popular festival of Hindu-Nepali women celebrated for abiding happy married life. A typical Teej is when a wife fasts a day for a long life of her husband. However, Teej is more than just a day of fasting and wishing long life of a husband. It is the occasion that women (married or single) in the Hindu culture gather and dance to Nepali Teej songs wearing red-green sarees with gorgeous jewelries. Along with dancing comes puja, where a priest delivers the script and women perform rituals while praying to Lord Shiva, who represents the aspect of the Supreme Being.

This year, BCAP planned to make this event more than just a festival but more, in order to empower women. It was hosted at Saint Anne School, 4040 Willow Avenue in Castle Shannon. Many women from the Bhutanese community took full responsibility to manage the event. They were involved in developing ideas for the event, creating flyer, manipulating food recipes, designing entertainment, and hosting the overall event. Some of them were also managing sound system, and registering the attendees. About 450-500 Bhutanese and Nepali women, men and children attended the event that lasted from 11:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon that day, 12th September 2015.

It was important to come up with such plan for an event like this. So, BCAP with the help of some women leaders from the organization set up an environment where more women from the community can participate in organizing the event. And thus, they would learn and develop confidence in organizing and take a lead role in the days to come. BCAP was always alongside with these women leaders to provide any support they needed although those women did everything from planning out the event to cleaning out garbage in the end.

The venue was availed by Saint Anne School for free. We, BCAP, deeply appreciate  them for the generosity.

Also, the program was partly funded by Jefferson Regional Foundation to whom  BCAP would always remain appreciative.

 

August 25 & 26, 2015  

Himalayan Boys Football Club of Mt.Oliver organized 2 days soccer tournament successfully.

10 teams participated in this 2 days tournament: two teams from Akron and one team from Erie while all other teams were from Pittsburgh. It was a great success. Peace zone sporting club, Akron OH won the final of the  the Himalayan soccer championship 2015 against team Erie . Both teams scored 2 goals each at full time.

Guests from Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh(BCAP) and other community leaders were present.  Mr. Bhagat Rai was the Chief  guest for the event.

सक्क्षम group of Pittsburgh was the media partner.

All other teams including teams from Erie also played very well.

A team from Buffalo was in the schedule but couldn’t make it to the tournament due to their own problem.

 

Career Workshop and Volunteer Appreciation- Sep 19th 2015

A career workshop and a long awaited Volunteer Appreciation Day kicked off at 11:00 AM in DHS hall, downtown. Approximately 50 people were present along with volunteers, students, youth and facilitators.

Three career facilitators were invited from the University of Pittsburgh, MSW Program; Jewish Family and Children’s Service, CDC; and Prof. Maharaja at Point Park University.

Dr. Bobby Simmons, Director of MSW Program at University of Pittsburgh presented about the opportunities in social science fields and its expected growth in the economy. Mr. Benedict Killang from Career Development Center at JFCS gave a motivational speech about his own story of struggles, and highlighted about the social and employment programs of the center at JFCS that many of our refugee folks have benefitted from. Prof. Maharaja from Point Park briefly talked about his own story of struggles and what Point Park can offer to the students in terms of career. Mr. Yadu Dhital, a recent graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, gave a motivational presentation of his own struggles and experience with his educational process and how far he has come to realize his dream.

Andi Fischhoff and Bhanu Phuyel were the two most distinguished volunteers who were given token of appreciation for their services in respective fields:  Andi Fischhoff for her tireless work on helping BCAP write grant proposals, advocacy and advising BCAP on matters that are both small and big; Bhanu Phuyel, a successful business entrepreneur in the community for his support to BCAP time and again with his generous donations and support to programs carried out by BCAP.

The rest of the event was marked by giving away of certificates to all the existing and past volunteers from the community.

Pittsburgh 11 star Cricket club participated in the inter-state cricket tournament on August 1st and 2nd 2015. 13 teams  participated  from different states. The tournament was organized by Rochester Dynamite Cricket Club and sponsored & supported by Bhutanese Community of Greater Rochester.

Eleven Star Cricket Club represents Bhutanese community Association of Pittsburgh(BCAP) in all tournaments. The team was lead by the team captain, team manager, sports coordinators and BCAP representatives.

The team payed with Vermont team in the Quarter final and won but  lost to Harrisburg team in the Semi- finals. All the players showed great spirit.

The inter-state cricket tournament 2016 is scheduled to be held in Ohio, Akron.  Any changes in venue, date and times will be notified by the host state.

 

At the same time Pittsburgh Soccer team also participated in the Richmond Premier Cup 2015 held on July 31, August 1 & 2. They also lost in the earlier stage of the match and was out f the tournament.

Richmond

Pittsburgh  Girls Soccer team lead by BCAP games coordinator and team coach , participated in the first Bhutanese Girls  soccer tournament held on July 18, 2015.

They played with a very strong team from Columbus, Ohio and lost after competitive fight.

It was the first inter state tournament for the girls organized by Peace Zone Sporting Club(PZSP).

North Dakota won the final .

Today, the June 27th, BCAP held its 2nd General Election at DHS-Building, Pittsburgh Downtown.

Mr. Rup Pokharel is unanimously elected as BCAP President for the term of 4 years. He has been serving as the officiating President after the resignation of former President last year.

Mr. Tara Phuyel gathered maximum votes conducted through the secret ballot for the position of Vice-President.

Likewise, another 12 Executive members are elected from different eight neighborhoods. The Board of Directors will meet soon to formally welcome the new team and workout on welcoming another set of 15 volunteer representatives in the board. Allocation of Secretary, Treasurer, Youth and Sports Coordinator and Cultural Coordinator will be decided by a joint meeting of the Board of Directors and Executive members in the near future.

BCAP Board Chairperson Mr. Sancha Rai thanked the Election Commission headed by Mr. Bhanu Phuyel for successfully conducting the 2nd General Election. Also, Mr. Rai thanked the Advisory Members, all the volunteers, outgoing executive members and employees for contributing their invaluable time and energy to bring BCAP to this stage since its establishment in 2012. He also requested all community members to dedicate a few hours outside their regular job to help this community to be a model community in the States.

Mr. Rup Pokharel announced that a special program will be held soon to acknowledge and award the long serving volunteers and special sponsors from the community amidst a function.

Mr. Upendra Dahal, Project Director, presented the overall O.R.R and Jefferson Regional Foundation funded projects and activities. He also outlined different challenges arising out of budget shortfall and those issues in the community consuming maximum time for the staff to deal with. And, Mr. Pradeep Rai, Treasurer presented the overall snapshot of financial activities and state of financial strengths and weaknesses of the community.

Mr. Khara Timsina, English Language and Civic Education-Coordinator and Mr. Ashok Gurung, one of the Board of Directors, moderated the overall session and Mr. Balaram Gurung, Out-Reach Manager and technical expert, handled the overall management of technical settings assisted by Office Assistant Miss. Kunti Gurung, Board Member Lok Bhandari ,Volunteer Coordinator Mr. Tek Mishra and the most passionate community volunteer Mr. Manav Timsina.

Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP) held its third Advisory Board Meeting in DHS hall, downtown on June 17, 2015 to update the Advisory Board about the current projects and community situation. This meeting came as part of the mandatory requirement to hold the Advisory Group meeting twice a year based on our funder’s request.

Kishor Pradhan, ex-President and current board member, opened the session with welcome message and moved the meeting ahead. The meeting was structured in a way for the presenters to highlight the key achievements, failures, difficulties and community issues that our people are facing in some neighborhoods. Rup Pokharel, President, highlighted in detail about the current projects funded by Office of Refugee Resettlement, Jefferson Regional Foundation and self-funded projects or projects running without any financial component and are purely done on a voluntary basis. Upendra Dahal highlighted about challenges, hurdles and community issues with emphasis on internal fund-raising success and weaknesses.  Sancha Rai, Board Chairman, briefed the board on organizational restructuring, election of key positions on June 27th and asked for Advisory Board’s advice on how to move ahead with the new Board that will be restructured by the end of this year. He emphasized the need for BCAP to be more inclusive and make it a mainstream not-for-profit organization with a new vision and efficiency that comes with a resourceful Board.

The third part of the session was a QA session and was moderated by Mrs. Bishnu Timsina. The advisers were asked to provide inputs and comments on key issues such as Community Hall, fundraising and issues of public safety and such.  BCAP highly values the opinion and advice of our advisers who have helped bring the organization to this level of achievement. All the advisory board members provided thoughtful suggestions and recommendations that would become a part of BCAP’s future strategy.

The pot-luck by BCAP board members and staff was a key difference this time. Balaram Gurung, Outreach Manager, thanked the advisers for their continued support to the organization and our community and wrapped up the meeting.

The Hilltop Community Day event occurred on Saturday the May 30th  from 1:00 – 4:00pm at Hays and Brownsville Rd. The Hilltop Community day is held once a year at Mt Oliver and it is organized by the people of the Hilltop community. This year, the weather was rainy but still people were there to enjoy the fair.

The day’s events included dancing, singing, face painting, henna tattoos, and free balloons for kids. Also free was the food and drinks for all kids 17 and below.More than 25 tables were set up for different communities and organizations.

BCAP was invited and performed two cultural dances and one song.
Participants were grateful to the of volunteers of the event, who wore green t-shirts. To thank the participants themselves, there was a first and second prize for the participants to win.