Bhutanese in Utah benefited from ‘PORTAL’

By Biren Dulal
(UT,USA)
PORTAL is a set of programs brought forth by the Utah branch of International Rescue Community(IRC). Programs Optimizing Refugee Transition and Adjustment to Live in Utah (PORTAL) activities are indeed the  great concept of this resettlement Agency. The PORTAL calendar designed by the master-minded Jonathan and Jessica, the  IRC coordinators,clearly defines and depicts the activities that are being  executed one after the other exclusively for the good of the  refugees resettled in this part of the United States. The activities are also targeted towards helping the newly resettled refugees  who are having trouble adapting to their new change in lives.

 A small group of resettled Bhutanese in Utah.

A small group of resettled Bhutanese in Utah.

Designed according to the suggestions that the refugees provided during their cultural orientation classes   in the beginning, the PORTAL activities have been expected to  bring noticeable changes in the lives of these Refugees from the tiny Himalayan nation,Bhutan.  According to the survey  carried out by us recently in the Bhutanese Community in Utah, the new arrivals are found much more  benefited from the PORTAL activities. Through the Program, the new arrivals are taken for tour, trip and  excursion by the IRC to different places like  Hindu temples, zoos, resorts, parks and different recreational areas. They are taught how to use the public transportation for commuting,  access the public library, how to introduce and  interact  with the members of other communities,etc.

The direct effect of the PORTAL activities can be distinctly  seen on the Elderly  people of the Bhutanese Community who despite being in the foreign land far from their country of origin, now feel homely and satisfied. Parshu Phuyel, one of the early resettled Bhutanese says  he had faced a lot of  difficulties  in the beginning since there were less number of  Bhutanese here nor had he been to any places such as  temple, parks and the like.

After visiting one of the Krishna temples in Utah, Puspa Bajgain,  the second  Bhutanese migrant in Salt Lake City, who moved from San-Diego, Calif, says that he had never expected he would find such a holy place in America.

Apart from these, the PORTAL activities have  also helped some of the Bhutanese here  making them capable of searching and finding job on their own.

(Mr. Dulal is the  member of the Bhutanusa.com core group)

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