Background of the Community
Almost all the Bhutanese Community population of Lethbridge have arrived about two years ago. They all came from Refugee Camps in Eastern Nepal. They have spent about 20 years of their life in these UNHCR managed camps since being evicted from Bhutan beginning early nineties. They have limited knowledge of the developed society. The majority of these people have problems speaking and understanding the English language.
The Canadian Bhutanese Society, Lethbridge is a not-for-profit, registered charitable organization that works to preserve and enhance intercultural relationships between Bhutanese and the general community to support integration and ease the transition of resettlement by providing education and recreation programs; settlement support services; and cultural and festival programming in Lethbridge.
Enhancement of cultural preservation through community participation. (सामुदायिक सहभागिता मार्फत सांस्कृतिक संरक्षणको संवर्धन।)
Need for an Organization
The resettled Bhutanese in Lethbridge have found the city to be a new environment from language, culture, education systems, modes of transportation, government system to weather and things that govern our lives. To adjust and adapt to this new community, we felt a need to work together with other societies and organizations. To identify ourselves and bridge the gap with other communities as a distinct ethnic and cultural group, we decided to establish Canadian Bhutanese Society. It is a not-for-profit organization established to preserve our culture. It shall guide the Bhutanese Community to integrate to the Canadian Society.
Community Hall / Hindu Temple
We are helping the newcomers by translating Alberta Driver’s Hand Book in Nepali, which helps finding jobs and get off the federal and provincial welfare program. Meeting place for torture victims and depressed individuals to express each other, we understand it will to help rehabilitate them in the main stream society instead of staying idle. A place for Social, recreational and Cultural activities for youth and Children. A meeting place for Seniors where they can share their experiences and be a part of the community. They are not able to avail the facilities of main stream community of Lethbridge due to language barrier. Above all, in the long run there is a need for religious temple which could be used for various community gatherings including marriage ceremony and funeral rites, weekly prayer etc. Hindu Temple can be used by all of us in Southern Alberta including Hindu and non Hindu communities.
Recently we approached Mayor Rajko Dodic, city of Lethbridge with a proposal to establish a Community Hall / Hindu Temple. It is a big project to buy a building /land for the purpose of building a community hall / Hindu Temple. As such the CBS is looking for funds for such a purpose and any grant / donation is proposed to be utilized in line with the funds raised from our community. The facility will also be used for cultural programs, seniors programs, youth and children’s programs as well as driver education program of the Community.
To buy a hall or Purchase a piece of land for building the hall / Hindu Temple To renovate available building from the city to use for the above purpose Register a trust and avail mortgage and use the fund for down payment. Run the day to day activities of the Organization with the part of these funds.
Our Community of about 425 in population, have started a donation drive to raise funds on a monthly basis. About CAD 5000.00 has been collected so far in CBS account. There are funds available at hand from the private donors from within the Community which could be used for the above needs. (CAD 50,000.00)
- A permanent place / room which can accommodate about 50 people
- A gymnasium for the weekends where Community youths can participate in recreational activities
- A hall for 3 to 4 annual Cultural events which can accommodate about 450 people