National Refugee Project
Sathya Sai Young Adults
United States of America
Project - Background
Nearly two decades of crisis in Bhutan sprang from
the ethnocentric policies and feelings of the
Government against the Nepali-speaking citizens of
southern Bhutan, called Lhotshampas. They have
become victims of the government’s “ethnic
An estimated 107,000 Bhutanese refugees of
Nepalese origin have been living in seven U.N. camps
in southeastern Nepal - their home for the past 17
The UN is now relocating these refugees into
several countries including the US. Around
60,000 refugees will be displaced to the US up
Project - Overview
The UN, through various non-profit organizations, is sponsoring the refugees
for 5-6 months. This support includes food, housing, and basic training. The
families expected to be independent by the end of this time-period.
Because of the current economic situation, very few families have been able
to locate jobs, and are therefore not able to become self-sufficient within this
5-6 month timeframe.
Sai Centers and local Sai groups in Nashville, Boston, Memphis, Dallas,
Cincinnati, Denver, Phoenix, and other cities are working to assist these
refugees through the partner organizations in becoming independent.
Our purpose is to support the local groups all over the country
as they assist refugees in their areas.
The project may expand to refugees beyond those from Bhutan in the future.
The National Refugee Project has two roles:
1. Support Local Groups from across the country that have identified various needs that they
and the refugees they serve have.
2. When a new Local Group is forming in new cities (like Protland, OR, Seattle, WA, Oakland,
CA), the NRP will provide support in the form of best practices and materials.
NRP will facilitate the formation of “working groups” in each of these Local Groups that
will focus on and help address each category of need.
NRP Team Structure
LOCAL WORKING GROUPS
-Healthcare Education Group
-Financial Education Group
-Basic Computer Training Group
Working groups represent young adults from all over the country working on
needs of the local groups in various cities.
Current Categories of Needs
The below list is only a small sample of all the needs. The needs will change from city to city.
Create pamphlets or lesson plans for different domains such as finance, health,
schooling system etc. These materials will help local groups provide the right
information for the refugee families.
2. Job Search
Research job opportunities available for the refugee families.
Help gather tangible items necessary to support the refugee families. For
example, computers, software, clothing, household items etc.
4. Information Exchange
Create an effective means to store and share information among various groups.
Needs: 1. Education
Opening bank account
Applying for loans
Basic computer skills
Acquire donated computers for the families.
Acquire useful software (MS Office, etc.).
Work with Comcast/other ISP to get free/reduced internet access
Needs: 1. Education
English Language Training
Rosetta Stone has a good computer-based English learning system, however this
costs $250. Contact Rosetta Stone to try and get 100-200 copies donated.
Acquire Nepalese-English dictionaries
Healthcare System Awareness
Describe how the healthcare works
Needs: 1. Education
Education System Awareness
Describe how the schooling system works, including grades, standardized tests
(SAT, MCAT..), libraries etc.
Car driving lessons
Local transportation awareness (subways, buses)
Tutoring assistance for children (Math and Science)
Home cleaning/appliance trainings (using dishwasher, vacuum
cleaners, microwave, etc.)
Advise youth on applications, admission processes, financial aid for college.
Advice on career opportunities
Needs: 2. Job Search
Applicants looking for jobs with their resumes
Most of them have had no opportunity to acquire job skills
Refugees have no work permit restrictions (almost like a US citizen)
Look for jobs only in the cities they are living
Examples: Airports, Fitness centers
Needs: 3. Supplies
Computers, printers, software
Home appliances (microwave, iron press, kitchen appliances, utensils)
Needs: 4. Information Exchange
Share lesson plans, brochures, pamphlets
Communication between refugee families and also Sai Families/NRP
Information of families
Current issues in various cities
Interactive webpage with project details.