Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Support Group: Our Story

We are volunteers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Druid Hills High School, and Emory University; and from the Indian, Nepali, and Jewish communities; and others.

A teacher's emergency call to aid newly arrived Bhutanese students lacking adequate clothing and supplies triggered our grassroots effort of steadily widening response.

We seek solutions, and there's much to do:
  • Troubleshoot employment, housing, and transportation issues 
  • Promote collective enterprises to help feed their families
  • Manage special medical cases
  • Help navigating bureaucracies
  • Run a tutoring program for high school students
  • Obtain and deliver clothing and household items
  • Join in cultural events and celebrate U.S. holidays together
  • Partner with organizations to build community gardens and to organize focus groups to learn about pressing issues for women
  • Arrange field trips to museums, theaters, landmarks, and nature preserves
We also get out the word on community needs, accomplishments, and individual profiles through the media, workplaces, houses of worship, and friends, neighbors, and family.

About our new Bhutanese neighbors
Theirs is an ancient rich heritage infused with sterling values — respect for hard work, education, self-reliance, elders, and community. A recent history of trauma, endurance, and survival exiled these resilient, patient, and gentle people to U.N. refugee camps in Nepal, where they were living nearly 20 years — victims of ethnic cleansing in Bhutan, their homeland.

Now in the U.S., thanks to American policies, programs, opportunities, and personal acts of kinship and kindness, they are moving forward in our nation of immigrants.

Learn more. Get involved. Contact us.

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