When we met Bhakta and Kousila at Asian Services in Action (ASIA), they had only been living in Cleveland for a month, having recently moved from Georgia where Kousila was having difficulty receiving health care and medication. They now have the support of family and the local Nepalese community, but nonetheless are struggling to pay rent because neither have found a job yet.
The couple are part of a large percentage of Nepalese refugees that ASIA serves, and came to the US originally after 19 years of living in a refugee camp. As part of the ethnic cleansing and interethnic conflict in Nepal, many Bhutananese refugees have few options. When the Nepalese government refused to support local integration and the Bhutan government denied the relocation (also known as voluntary return) of refugees, the United Nations Refugee Agency agreed to resettle refugees in countries like Canada and the US, among others.
This third country resettlement is what has provided Bhakta and Kousila a new life, and now, in Cleveland, ASIA is helping provide them the resources to gain footing. The nutritious food that your donations help provide are vital for families like Bhakta and Kousila’s. They rely on the food provided by the Food Bank and our partners and are working to apply for SNAP benefits to assist them further. Kousila also expresses excitement about eventually applying for citizenship.
We’re glad that, with your support, the Food Bank is able to make this transition easier for this family who has been through so much.