Bhutanese Community Association of Akron, Inc.

News: Multicultural Program: Bringing People Together

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Contributors to this article:  Amit Baniya, Nilam Ghimirey, Mangali Maya Gold, Terry Kuhn, Ganga Devi Shama, and Phul Rai

Speakers, dancers, musicians, young, old, and middle-aged people were pleased with the highly successful Multicultural Program: Bringing People Together sponsored by BCAA.  The program took place at the Emidio & Sons Banquet Center located at 48 East Bath Road in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio on August 22, 2015.  The association brought together people from different cultures to learn about each other's customs, beliefs, and ways of living and knowing.  Since coming to the United States of America the Bhutanese refugees have learned a lot about life in the United States.  Some have earned their U. S. citizenship.  And many others are studying in classes so they can pass the citizenship class.  This event was an opportunity to meet new people, to visit with friends, and to have fun!

stage view from back
View from the Back of the hall filled with more than 700 attendees

Speakers included
-- Kyle Kutuchief
, Akron Program Director of the Knight Foundation;
-- Esteban Nieto
, Complex HR Manager from Case Farms;
-- Michael Byun
, Executive Director at Asian Services in Action;
-- Jeff Fusco
, Mayor of Akron; and
-- Don Walters, Mayor of Cuyahoga Falls. 

Goran Debelnogich from the Administration for Children and Families at the U. S. Health & Human Services Department in Washington, D. C. attended with his family as did Sandra Hollingsworth, Ohio's Refugee Health Coordinator; May Chen, founder of ASIA, Inc.; and Elina Shakiya, MD.

Bishnu Subba Kyle Kutuchief
Bishnu Subba and Kyle Kutuchief
Participating organizations included:

  - Akron City Police, Captain Sylvia Trundle, Assistant Chief Charles Brown
  - Akron City Council, Jim Hurley, John Valle
  - Cuyahoga Falls City Police, Captain Steve Guldeman
  - Cuyahoga Falls City Police, John Sim and Todd Shafer [security]
  - Greater Akron Hindu Sewa Samittee, Sha B Neopaney
  - Kent State University, Madhav Bhatta
  - Kirat Society of Akron
  - Magar Society of Akron
  - Summa Health System
  - Summit County Clerk of Courts, Dan Horrigan
  - Summit County Public Health Department (Eric Hutzell, and Leak Turner)
  - University of Akron, John Alvarez Turner, Rosa Muthoni Githiora

Several vendors interacted with those attending the program:

  - Billa Angdembay, Mobile Service Center 
  - Udaya Dhimal, Keller Williams Chervenic Realty
  - Edwin Hahn, Chase Bank
  - Russ Iona, American Mortgage Service Company
  - Liz Kuhn, Woven In Exile
  - Lesa Lillibridge and Bhakta Rizal, Keller Williams Chervenic Realty
  - Peace Zone Sporting Club
  - Francisco (Franc) Quezada, Village Discount Outlet
  - Manju Rastogi, DAWN: Developing Alternatives for Women in New communities
  - Kimberly Rounds, Chapel Hill Chase Bank
  - Doug Wurtz, Time Warner Cable

Singer Anna Stirr
Singer Anna Stirr performs Nepali songs

The following pictures show elements of the Multicultural Program: Bringing People Together.
The security officers from the Cuyahoga Falls police force said they had an easy and enjoyable day.

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One vendor said that the "Bhutanese people are being successful in getting home leans, and they pay monthly without delay.  They have been good homeowners and responsible citizens."

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People who attended were lhappy to get comfortable seata, good environment, good dances and musicians, and to have the opportunity to meet friends.

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Kyle Kutuchief said that the Knight Foundation is interested in helping Bhutanese refugee because they are great for the North Hill area of Akron because they are renting and buying houses, starting businesses, and making North Hill a better place to live.

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Jeff Fusco, Mayor of Akron, said "By joining the Akron community, the bhutanese refugees are making Akron a better place ro raise families, increasing involvement in school and community activities."  He said he is looking forward to working with the Bhutanese community. 

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Esteban Nieto, speaking                      Manorath Khanal, interpreting
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Don Walters, Mayor of Cuyahoga Falls, said that Bhutanese refugees are affecting his city in a good way by filling homes with families."  He also said he "learned about the history of the Nepalese Bhutanese refugee people, where they came from, and I am very proud and welcome everyone to the Cuyahoga Falls community." 

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At one point in the program, Otis "Doc" Giltner talked with Terry Kuhn about providing solar lights
for the people in Nepal and Bhutan.  He was looking for someone with funding to back a project like
he has going in the Congo, India, and Uganda.  See Story HERE.
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Esteban Nieto, and his Nepali interpreter Manorath Khanal, said that Case Farms is interested in helping the Bhutanese people because they have formed a very successful partership.  He said that about 30% of Case Farm's employees in its Winesburg facility are Bhutanese/Nepalese. 

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The major criticism of the event was that no Nepali food was available due to building restrictions.  That will not be the case at the next event.

This flier was used to publicize the event:


flyer 2015

A lot of people were brought together.  We hope they enjoyed themselves!!!

...and the BCAA officers are tired and need some rest and family time....

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