UNHCR welcomes European Commission donation for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal

Over 58,400 refugees from Bhutan have already started their lives in new countries as part of the UNHCR’s resettlement programme. Some 54,900 remain in the camps, compared to about 108,000 before the resettlement programme began. Among the remaining population, over 41,300 persons have already declared an interest in resettlement.

The European Commission and UNHCR concluded an agreement recently under which the Commission will contribute EURO 2,950,000 (equivalent to NPR 330 million) to UNHCR’s programme for the refugees from Bhutan in Nepal.

“This contribution for the period 2011 to 2014 will go towards meeting the ongoing protection and material needs of the refugees from Bhutan in camps in eastern Nepal under all sectors of assistance, including health and nutrition, education, legal assistance, sanitation, shelter and water, including the camp consolidation process,” stated a press release issued by the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal.

The European Commission has been continuously supporting UNHCR’s activities in Nepal since the beginning of the programme for the refugees from Bhutan.

“We are profoundly grateful for this generous donation which is a clear sign of the strong commitment of the European Commission towards the cause of the refugees,” said Stephane Jaquemet, the UNHCR Representative in Nepal.

Jaquemet added, “This important contribution comes at a crucial time when we are in the process of closing down some of the refugee camps and hopefully introducing development projects to benefit both refugees and host communities in Jhapa and Morang districts.”

The European Union (EU), consisting of the European Commission (EC) and the 27 EU member states, is one of UNHCR’s most important donors globally.

“The fate of refugees, in Nepal and all over the world, is a matter of particular concern for the European Union, and we are glad to be able to cooperate with professional implementing partners like the UNHCR which is, alongside other organizations in this project, obtaining a remarkable success in its programme for the refugees from Bhutan in Nepal” said Gérard Van Driessche, Chargé d’Affaires, EU Delegation to Nepal.

The administrative consolidation of the three Beldangi camps and the closure of Goldhap camp were completed in early 2011 while Timai camp is in the process of being closed. By the end of 2012, Khudunabari camp will be closed, leaving only two camps (Beldangi and Sanischare) remaining out of the original seven camps.

Mano Rathi Gurung

MANO RATHI GURUNG (1942 – 2011), beloved wife of the late Mohan Sing Gurung, of Lethbridge, passed away at St. Michael’s Palliative Care on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at the age of 69 years.

She is the loving mother of Santa (Tika), Man Bir (Dhan Maya), Bir Man (Sandevi) and Hasta Man (Lali Maya). She was predeceased by her husband Mohan who passed away in Bhutan.

Mano moved from Bhutan to Nepal under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to survive the political instability. She loved to take care of her four boys, spend time with her many friends, knit and cook. She moved to Lethbridge in April of 2011 where she stayed in an apartment with family for four months, where she was then moved to St. Michael’s until her passing.

A Funeral Service was held at CORNERSTONE FUNERAL HOME, 2800 Mayor Magrath Drive South, Lethbridge, on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 1:30 P.M. The rites were performed in typical Buddhist rituals lead by Monk Birkha Gurung and his associate Dilip Gurung.

Canadian Bhutanese Society of Lethbridge Alberta joins in prayers with the bereaved family of Mano Rathi Gurung. We would also like to inform the Bhutanese Community to join them on Sunday for the final rites to the departed soul.

New Year 2012/Annual Meeting

More than 50 members of Canadian Bhutanese Society of Lethbridge Alberta attended the quarterly General Meeting. It was held in West Lethbridge on the 11th of December 2011. Among several other issues, the meeting agreed to celebrate the New Year 2012. More importantly we also agreed to conduct the Annual General meeting at the same function. The event will be hosted in coordination with Alberta Bhutanese and Nepali Arts Organization.

After a massive search for bigger Halls, Lethbridge College has kindly agreed to rent their hall for the event. (D.A.Electric Barn). It can hold up-to a maximum 300 people. The cost of the Hall is CAD 1160.00 ( Including liability insurance and taxes). Therefore, part of the reason we called the general meeting was, whether we can come up with some contribution for the above funding. Henceforth all participants at the meeting agreed to contribute CAD10.00 per family of attendance to the event. If it is not sufficient to cover the cost , rest of the amount shall be covered from CBS funds available at hand. The cost of overhead projector and fuel cost for the transportation arrangement to all participant shall be covered from ABNA funds. The fuel cost shall be paid in the form of a donation to the River of Life church. The Church has promised to provide us with return transportation arrangement with two volunteer drivers for the evening. We need volunteers for transportation arrangements for participants at Downtown and college. We also need volunteers to provide safety and security and to guide the new arrivals as well as the children during the event. ABNA is also expecting some guest participants from Calgary on the occasion as well.

As the year 2011 is coming to an end, so is the tenure for our Executive Committee members of Canadian Bhutanese Society. During the New year the present Executive Members will conduct a general assembly and deliberate the happenings of the year 2011 including the financial balance sheet. But in the mean time it is time to process for the Election of New Executive Members. Therefore the election process has been kindly assigned to the election committee with full empowerment to execute. The committee shall proceed and elect the new members as per the constitution of Canadian Bhutanese Society and its By-Laws. The elected members shall be handed over the executive powers during this General Assembly.

So Let us all get together and help the organizing committee to make this event successful. Let us take out some time and use this opportunity to meet our new arrivals and make them feel homely.
Canadian Bhutanese Society would like to wish you all a Happy Holiday and a wonderful New Year 2012

English to Nepali Translator

We are delighted to inform the Canadian Bhutanese Community in Lethbridge, that Alberta Transportation have approved our application for a English to Nepali Translator.

If anyone needs help to translate the class 7 driver’s test, please contact Purna Nanda Adhikari and make arrangements as and when he is available. For further information please contact him in his email pnkashyab@gmail.com Goodluck.

CBS meets the City Officials

In continuation to the discussion from our last meeting (October 16) with Mayor Rajko Dodic, Hemlal Timsina and Usha Tamang attended the follow-up meeting with City Officials. The present meeting was arranged by Kathy Hopkins, Director – City Manager’s Office and attended by Bary Beck Director of Community Services, Mr. Ashley Matthews General Manager Recreation and Culture and Diane Randell Manager Community and Social Development Group. The meeting took place in the City Hall on the 2nd of December 2011.

As this was the follow up of the previous proposal put forward by us to Mayor Dodic, we presented a revised and summarized proposal for immediate need and a long term need of the Bhutanese Society. The proposal is posted under the title of “Who we are” and it can be viewed at this site. We explained the issues and challenges for the Community and requested for solutions if any.The City Officials were optimistic regarding our proposal and asked for more time to find out the avenues for the solutions.

Therefore we all agreed to meet again in the second week of January next year. We also requested the City Officials to introduce us to the MLA of Lethbridge in our next meeting.

Satsang-Kirtan Gathering

The on going weekly Satsang / Kirtan gathering of CBS Lethbridge was held on last Sunday, the 27th of November 2011. The event was hosted by Jit Bahadur Gurung and Family at North Lethbridge. About twenty five participants were present for the occasion. The function was combined with singing of religious chorus and deliberations of Hindu sermons by different individulas including Tek Bdr. Gurung, Prajapati Dahal and Deepak Gurung. The event started at noon and ended with Aarati presentation at around 3 pm .The function was completed with Prasad and tea offered by the host Family.
The next week’s gathering is proposed and accepted by Padam Sharma and Jayanta Dhakal from West Lethbridge. It shall start at the same time. All interested memmbers are welcome to join the Saatsang / Bhajan gathering. Anyone needing more information feel free to contact us.

Word on the street Festival

We all had a fantastic time at the Word on the Street festival on last Sunday. The weather was perfect for a open street program. I thought it was great to see each other with our traditional dresses. We also got a chance to buy our traditional Alludam, Shell Roti and Tea on the streets of Lethbridge, Which reminded us of old memories back home.

I would like to thank everyone who volunteered to make this event successful. Especially the cultural dance was totally awesome. Even though we had only couple of dances scheduled we did fit in more on demand as the audiences were still waiting. Performers deserve a great appreciation from all of us. All in all it was really enjoyed by everyone present including the Lethbridge locals as they were cheering and shouting. I also would like to thank the food stall volunteers dressed in our traditional dresses, perfect for selling our traditional dishes. Poster presentation was amazingly done, the chronology of us being here today.

We manage to sell 50% of the food items on the day. Almost half of all the dishes were left over, which we did put in frozen and can be utilized for our next celebration. The total sale amount was 213.50 and the purchase cost for the groceries was 221.62. There are also few left over items like plates, cups and tea bags, which could be used again.

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