Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Away from home



KASHISH DAS SHRESTHA
After struggling for more than 18 years in refugee camps in east Nepal, Bhutani refugees are now trying to resettle in the US. Language barriers, lack of education and cultural issues make the first months in their new home difficult. But what is more challenging is overcoming their fear.

With the help of the US government, the resettlement committee has been giving financial assistance to the refugees. Each person receives an allowance of $ 425 for the first month and $ 200 for the next seven months. Health insurance is also included.

However, after eight months the allowance is cut. Those looking for jobs are left in a lurch because unemployment in the US is at record high this year. For instance, more than 60 per cent of the refugees in Baltimore remain jobless. Kaji Gautam, who writes for an online newspaper about refugees' situation, says "In Syracuse, New York, only 42 people out of 300 are employed. Due to the financial crisis in the US, jobs are scarce."

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has been assisting the refugees in their job hunt on the basis of language and educational level. Danielle Kun, program officer of the New York based IRC says, "Compared to the first three months, they are progressing in every sector now. We are assisting them in finding employment, so there's is no need to worry".

It is especially difficult for those who are between the ages of 35-40s. "We have a place to live but no jobs," says Bhim Bahadur Dahal, who is over 50 years old, "The young can adjust easily - it is us old people, who can't."
IRC's main priority right now is providing language classes for both adults and children. Baltimore Community College has been giving literacy classes free of charge. Krishna Dahal, a 17-year-old high school student says, "While this is challenging for us, it is also a great opportunity."



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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