The Prospect Park team secured the first position in the First Inter-Neighborhood Quiz Contest held for Bhutanese older adults and seniors in Pittsburgh! The quiz questions

focused on US history, geography and civics and the event was held in the Liberty Room of the Allegheny County, Department of Human Services in Downtown Pittsburgh on

April 26, 2015. The Brookline team came in second, and the Carrick team came in third place.

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Eight teams from eight different neighborhoods consisting of three members, for a total of 24 people, participated in the contest organized by BCAP. Khara Timsina, BCAP’s

Coordinator for its English Language and Civic Education (ELCE) Project, conceived, planned, and coordinated the contest. The rules for eligibility outlined that each team must

have at least one female participant, one participant over the age of 65, and that every participant must be or forty five years old or older. In addition, no participant could have

already acquired naturalization by the event date. The task of selecting was given to the Tutors and Program Managers at GPLC and BCAP.

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The event took place in two shifts, with a refreshment break of twenty minutes in between. Mr. Michael Horvath, the Supervisory Officer from USCIS field office in Pittsburgh

volunteered to become the Quiz Master. The quiz covered speaking, reading and writing skills and had both individual and team rounds. The contest lasted three hours and the

adult-only audience (children under 14 were not encouraged to attend the event) enjoyed their time there, applauding after each correct answer the contestants gave. At the end,

the winners were determined by the total points each team scored. Each contestant of the first three winning teams were given prizes and certificates of position while the rest

were given certificates of participation.

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The event was sponsored by the highly enthusiastic and supportive Bhutanese store and restaurant owners in the south hills, covering the cost of the certificates, prizes and

refreshments. The purpose of the event was to prepare the adults with limited or no English for the Naturalization Test in a fun-filled way, to provide these adults to be on stage

for the first time, and boost their confidence in their learning efforts late in life.

                                      

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Jefferson Regional Foundation Grant:

Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh was awarded with a two year grant in April 2015 from the Jefferson Regional Foundation. The projects that this grant is funding are those that are not covered by the grant from the ORR. The grant strengthens our resources towards the Capacity-Building Project. It Strengthen healthy opportunities and options for members of the local Bhutanese community by building staff and program capacity for youth sports and dance, senior programs, a leadership forum for women and citizenship classes.

For details see the grant awards 2014-2015 here

We are very fortunate to have received the grant and we wish to continue to keep the relation with the foundation in years to come.

Also read the media coverage of the grant here>>

The following projects are funded by the JRF:

  • VISTA recruitment for K-12 program in the community.
  • Athletic Fund for youth programming
  • Dance Instructor and choreography guidance to young dancers
  • Seniors’ programming
  • Leadership program for young women around health education in the community
  • Space Rental Support for ELCE and P.C.C classes.
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Health Insurance for One employee.

 

Read here in details about our activities>>

Jefferson-PP-Draft-1-200x98Jefferson Regional Foundation awards Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh with a grant to fund AmeriCorps Vistas, women empowerment and youth activities in the community. The partnership with the foundation will greatly enhance BCAP’s capacity building efforts and extend basic services to the community members in the pre-defined areas and within the foundation’s priority areas. The two year funding for BCAP also funds senior’s programming and supplements the ELCE Programs funded by ORR. Thank you, Jefferson Foundation, for your great work in our community in the South Hills.

                                       Vibrant Pittsburgh Mini Grant:

1Vibrant Pittsburgh, a collaborative partner of Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, awarded a Civic Inclusion and Engagement mini-grant to BCAP two times even before BCAP was a tax-exempt entity under IRS.

The first grant was a matching grant to support the employment of an AmeriCorps Volunteer for a year in 2012, the year BCAP was incorporated. Its mini grant program to Affinity Groups like BCAP was to promote diversity in workplace and communities around Pittsburgh.

The AmeriCorps volunteer provided a needed clerical and other support to BCAP when BCAP was wholly run by the volunteers and had no full time staff.

The second time Vibrant Pittsburgh awarded BCAP with a mini grant was in 2013 to support our communication project which we call Voice Communication System(VCS)  or Robo-call. This mini grant made possible to disseminate information to the community members in Nepali language and bring in greater  participation in any event. This project is still in operation and funded by the ORR now.

December 9 is Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh Day in the City of Pittsburgh! BCAP reached out to Council Chambers this morning for a proclamation from Councilwoman Rudiak. (Read it below.)


Whereas, The Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP) is comprised of vibrant and committed volunteers from the Bhutanese refugee population, who have come together in a spirit of friendship and mutual assistance to address the needs of their community, and;

Whereas, the like-minded group first came together in 2010 to discuss how to best help and support one another, following the suicide of a fellow Bhutanese refugee a mere 29-days after arriving in the United States, and;

Whereas, BCAP’s mission soon evolved to ensure a high-quality of life for all members of the Bhutanese community in Pittsburgh and to support their integration into American society through culturally-informed services and activities, and;

Whereas, the organization has partnered with Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, LifeSpan, and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh to provide valuable services like English as a second language (ESL) courses, civic education assistance, driver’s education, family financial assistance, cultural programming, and community engagement opportunities, and;

Whereas, additional programs include community gardening to engage the elderly population, culture clubs that help families with children bridge the communication gap between generations, and career workshops for young adults and high school students, and;

Whereas, this year BCAP applied for and received a substantial grant from the Federal Government’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, the majority of which will be used to secure a formal office and hire paid staff to focus on helping clients to address their day to day problems related to governmental and medical paperwork, housing, orientation and financial counseling, mental health counseling, job related issues, and more, and;

Whereas, BCAP seeks to create a vibrant Bhutanese community in Pittsburgh where all are enabled to reach their fullest potential as Americans and traditional culture is celebrated and shared.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh hereby recognizes the significant and important work of the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh in creating a welcoming and supportive environment to assist some of our newest neighbors; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council hereby declares Tuesday, December 9th, 2014, “Bhutanese Community Association Day” in the City of Pittsburgh.

October 16, 2014

BCAP Executive body and Board of directors met with Advisory Board members of the BCAP on October 16, 2014. The meeting with the Advisors was important because it’s been long time that BCAP was unable to arrange for the meeting after the first meet. Secondly BCAP got a big grant from ORR(Office of Refugee and Resettlement), which needed a lot of advice and suggestions from the Advisors to run the project.

Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)

Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh(BCAP) was awarded with a capacity building grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement(ORR) in 2014 for three years under its Ethnic Community Self-Help Program(ECSHP). Besides BCAP, 34 other community and faith based organizations were awarded this grant nationwide of which BCAP was at the top among the Bhutanese organizations. It is a three-year renewable and discretionary grant given to the new community and faith based organizations. For refugee based organizations the grant was strictly limited to services for those refugees who have been living in the U.S between 90 days and 5 years.

The following projects of BCAP were funded by ORR grant:

  • Office lease and utilities
  • Five employees: two full time and three-part time
  • English Language and Civic Education for naturalization of seniors and elders
  • Parent Child Clubs for children
  • Community Gardening (for elders to cope with loneliness)
  • Yoga for elders (due to mental illness and depression)
  • Youth Mentoring
  • Outreach and Referral
  • Cultural Exchange Programs
  • Voice Communication System(Robo-calls)
  • Office supplies, printing, networking, IT and Software related to administrative work.

Read in more details about our programs here>>

August 28, 2014

BCAP has been determined a tax exempt entity under 501(C) 3 by the IRS dated Aug 28th. What a great relief after all that nerve wracking work from many volunteers and that unflinching support from our partners! Upendra Dahal and Ashok Gurung had been working on these for a long time, in addition to their work on the Grant application.

Read on how BCAP filed for the status earlier.

Initially at the time of incorporation, BCAP didn’t file for the tax exempt status. We had to later file the tax exempt status and expedite it along with the grant application since it was a pre-requisite for a federal grant. Now that BCAP has received tax exempt status, Board of Directors, Executive Body, Advisory Board, and a team of project staff headed by a Project Director. We have the widest network with the partner agencies, veteran civil servants, professors, legal and financial experts and political figures in our network of collaborative partners. BCAP is now fast moving towards a service agency model rather than a community organizational model.

Please visit us back to see updates on the Grant proposals.

Preparation is in full swing for Annual Cultural & Musical Event 2014.

Two consecutive meetings took place on Saturday and Sunday for the forthcoming events of the Bhutanese Community in Pittsburgh. The first meeting of BCAP finalized several programs followed by the second meeting of the Musical Group sets the 2014 annual cultural & musical event for October 18, 2014.

Teej program is scheduled to take place on August 23, 2014 and the venue is yet to be fixed, however, the proposed venue is at Leland point. There will be a talent show where any individual will have an opportunity to showcase any kind of talent. Talent can be dance, song, stand up impressionist (mimicry), comedy and so on.

There will be special award for the best performance.

The performances may also be chosen for the upcoming annual cultural and musical event 2014.

For continued updates visit us back. You can also visit our Facebook page.

Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP) has been incorporated in the state of Pennsylvania as a non-profit organization since June 8, 2012. It has been working to support many Bhutanese people in Pittsburgh to integrate into the American mainstream.

Jewish Family & Children’s Services has been the fiduciary for any mini grant applications and providing other services to needy people. In order to take the organization to the next level, BCAP is taking another initiative to file for 501(c)3 status. The community members are working on it. BCAP hopes that if the status is granted, that it will empower the organization to help the community in a bigger and better ways.

BCAP has been very successful in bringing many programs that are beneficial to the community.

Some of the programs include:

1. ESL and naturalization classes to the elderly people.
2. Nepali Classes to the new generations.
3. Community Garden Program.
4. Annual Cultural Program.
5. Yoga & Meditation Classes.
6. Mental Health Counseling.
7. Providing resources paths to the high school graduates.
8. Cultural exchanges programs with the neighboring communities.
9. Interpretation & translation services to Limited English Proficient people and
helping them with transportation in medical and other appointments.
10. Helping the families in the incidents of death and many more.