In the early 1990's the government of Bhutan forced thousands of Bhutanese people to leave their home country. They were evicted for demanding rights and freedom, and for protesting against racist and discriminatory policies. The majority of these people took refuge in Nepal and lived in refugee camps managed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), while others took asylum in India.
For many years, annual, bilateral talks were held between the governments of Bhutan and Nepal for repatriation, but no progress was made. The government of Bhutan was and is still determined not to allow any of its exiled people to return, thereby, effectively rendering more than one hundred thousand people homeless, stateless and hopeless, and without hope for the future.
The governments of the United States of America, and some other donor countries, graciously offered to resettle these people in their respective countries on humanitarian grounds, so that they could rebuild their lives for a better and brighter future. Under the auspices of the Third Countries Resettlement (TCR) program, International Organization of Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, many Bhutanese refugees are being resettled in several countries, including the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Norway, New Zealand, Denmark and the Netherlands.
In the United States, Bhutanese refugees are being resettled in towns and cities all over the nation, including a large number of families in Akron, Ohio and its neighboring areas. The Bhutanese Community Association of Akron, Inc. has been established to provide a common platform for discussion of issues affecting the Bhutanese community including Bhutanese culture, traditions, language, and religion, as well as challenges and opportunities available in the United States, including information about local customs and laws. It also coordinates common efforts and responds to critical social needs of the Bhutanese community. By drawing on the community's collective strengths it strives toward the consolidation of brotherhood, thereby achieving social harmony and securing happiness.
In these ways, the association facilitates and promotes the smooth transition and integration of the people of Bhutanese origin into the general population of the United State of America.
In 2009 an interim committee was formed to create an association. The interim committee created bylaws, acquired an Employer Identification Number (EIN), wrote the initial articles of association, incorporated the association with the Ohio Secretary of State and the Internal Revenue Service, and conducted a general election to select officers and approve bylaws.
We believe all humans can embrace who they are,
where they belong, and can change the world.
The mission of the Bhutanese Community Association of Akron, Inc. is to educate members regarding common efforts and possible responses to the critical needs of the Bhutanese community.
By drawing on our collective strengths we will strive towards the consolidation of brotherhood, achieving social harmony, and securing happiness.