With double digit state unemployment rate, several Bhutanese who are resettled in two of the cities of SF bay area-Oakland and Alameda, are having hard times pay their rent, bills and survive. The cost of living is pretty much high here. So,with no job on hand, many of them have to depend on the assistance provided by the government.
But, some times the government benefits like cash, medical benefits, Cal works and food stamps are stopped or denied that deteriorates their situation. Despite the fact that they are eligible for such state and federal aids, many of these newly resettled refugees from Bhutan are facing trouble due to the sudden discontinuation of assistance partly because they don’t fill up their quarterly reports or don’t submit the papers they ought to.
Keeping this in view, the CA based Bhutanese organization, BASCO in close collaboration with the International Rescue Committe(IRC) and Bay Area Legal Aid(BALA) conducted its first Training of Trainers(TOT) here in Oakland a few days back.
Seven members of the organization who attended the training are expected to impart the knowledge to the affected families and enable them to continue the benefits, failing which the attorneys from BALA have volunteered to look into the legal avenues in getting the benefits restored based on the rules, regulations and criteria established in the State of California and the federal government.
Meanwhile, another organization of the Bhutanese in Northern California, BACC partnering with Street Level Health Clinic(SLHC) has started Nepali language classes for the children since last Sunday. The language class runs every Sunday from 11AM to 1 PM at Street Level Health Clinic, 2501 International Blvd, Oakland.
This campaign of BACC has been highly appreciated not only because it preserves our language but also because it helps our kids, who have almost forgotten their mother tongue, learn and at least speak and write their names in Nepali.
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