Goran Debelnogich Consultation

Goran Debelnogich Consultation

27/August 2011

On Saturday, August 27, 2011, officers of the Bhutanese Community Association of Akron met with Goran Debelnogich, a personal friend of Bhutanese refugees, to discuss possible future efforts that could help BCAA members. Mr. Debenogich was formerly employed at the International Institute of Akron, Inc., and had been President Amber Subba’s supervisor. Because of this relationship and extensive background with grants and refugee resettlement, he was able to suggest how BCAA might be leveraged to acquire grants and expand its influence to help its refugee members.

Amber Subba, Goran Debelnoich, Terry Kuhn, and Bhim Dhungana (left to right) after their meeting at Panera Bread in Akron



Mr. Debelnoch said that in order to apply for grants BCAA would need to be able to describe its

Organization — size, profiles, data, experience, volunteers, etc.

People — number, ages, gender, 52,000 as of last week, so influx will diminish greatly in next year or two as the 60,000 max is reached

Needs and challenges — social, economic, educational, moving from refugee to independent status, time running out, needs will change as volunteers burn out, older people die, and young people become Americanized, housing needs will change

When responding to a grant invitation, answer every question carefully, objective reviewers will be rating the application

Current Services — who, how, where, what, transportation, elderly picnics, soccer, citizenship classes, community garden, weaving and sewing activities

Current Outcomes of Services — impact, number served, worthwhile activities, build self-esteem, provide communication opportunities to lessen sense of isolation, how BCAA is now working with refugee population

Desired Outcomes for Future Services — BCAA would like to provide more services and expand its programs

General Conditions — area, employment, housing, cultural, distances create isolation compared to refugee camp life, area employment is difficult, housing is in deteriorating parts of city, note crime rates in settled areas

Points in grant must be SMART: Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound.

Other Refugee Populations — needs

Approaches for Services — could utilize professionals to guide volunteers, volunteers, get space for public events in schools, universities, churches, libraries, hospitals; will need support letters, how BCAA is working with communities

Mechanisms for Data Collection

Mechanisms for Outreach

How does BCAA communicate with members — who do we reach, mailing, phone, phone tree, clusters, describe mechanism, email, languages used

Record Keeping — BCAA must document its activities, informed # members, invited # members, # who participated, who participated enders, youth activities, names of people

Need for specialist — will need professional help to write grants

Begin with local grants as stepping stone to federal grants — help implement programmatic efforts, GAR Foundation, Deputy Mayor of Akron

Do public events — target many populations, invite local politicians and people in top management (esp those with Nepali background), programs in libraries [keep records on who attended, number who attended]

Check into Individual Development Accounts — be an extension of them, by matching people can double their savings, agency can be an extension of IDAs

Ohio Refugee Council — get active with this group at the State level


Small Business Ventures

Goran gave a brisk overview of how to go about seeking support for starting a small business. He said we would need to describe:

The Idea — what, where, who, why, how

Resources needed to develop the business — how to get supplies

Community —

Benefits for Community — Nepali and general

Needs — space, support, accounting, equipment; time, money, staff could be paid for with grant

Once these items are clear, write letter to request a meeting (with the Deputy Mayor)

Check out efforts to revitalize Akron, free space may be available, help with space, advertising, accounting, auditing, other support

Look into high risk populations and prevention programs — involvement, employment, money, suicides, job center, start-up costs (how much needed and how much do you have?)


Other things that could be mentioned include:

Big Growth of Bhutanese Refugees in this area —

2014 will be the last of the Nepali refugees — shift from settling to staying —

Cultural Presentation —

Events BCAA has sponsored —

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