Programs & Services
- Senior Citizens Engagement:
- Social Services
- Employment Services
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- After School Program
- Youth Engagement
- Women’s Engagement Program
- Nutrition Education Program
- New Health Insurance Education and Outreach
- Mental Health
- Media and Communications
- American Sign Language
- Legal Assistance
BCNH aspires to support and educate fellow Bhutanese to achieve meaningful integration in all aspects of life. BCNH operates from two offices, Concord and Manchester. Our programs are unique but diverse, designed effectively integrate and strengthen communities by supporting families and individuals to achieve self-sufficiency.
We offer social services, employment services, senior citizens engagement projects, English as a Second Language programs, citizenship and naturalization projects, after-school programs, youth engagement projects, health insurance enrollment, mental health support, media and communication, American Sign Language, and legal assistance to refugees and lawful permanent residents in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. Some of these programs and projects are funded and some of them are on a volunteer basis.
Senior Citizens Engagement:
This program offers services for senior citizens, helping over 185 senior annually. The program includes rides to appointments, case management, spiritual trips, excursions, English classes, orientation on naturalization, home visits, and yoga classes. This program provides an outlet for seniors to socialize and integrate meaningfully.
This program offers daily case management and employment services. The program provides ongoing referrals and daily case management for over 1250 individuals annually. Some of the services include crisis intervention, counseling and negotiation, and educating and counseling refugees and immigrants on post-resettlement needs for medical, employment and family issues.
This program offers job readiness, job coaching and job placement and retention. Annually, we place over 150 New Americans into job market. Some of the activities carried out through this program are one-on-one job counseling, assistance on job applications, group sessions of employment orientations, establishing network and partnership with local employers, offering employers with education on refugees and their specific cultures, and coordinating job fairs with staffing agencies.
English as a Second Language (ESL):
The major objectives of this program are to develop skills of English language reading, writing, speaking, and listening to enable the students to analyze the elements of language and understand linguistic components. The teachers diagnose weakness in speaking and writing English and adopt appropriate strategies to address the issues. Currently we are operating three English classes, including weekends, per week. These classes help individuals prepare for naturalization and job readiness.
After School Program:
This program is designed and implemented to assist children in their studies and to increase parents’ involvement in their children’s studies. This project reduces the generation gap, increases children’s enthusiasm in their studies, and encourage a connection with their culture and heritage. Children aged 6-13 receive after-school homework help and Nepali language instruction. This program is on hold during winter due to transportation issue.
Realizing the importance of engaging youth in productive activities and the need to prepare future leaders, BCNH leadership established a Youth Council. Immediately after it started, the council organized the first two-day Youth Leadership Summit at Southern New Hampshire University. Over 160 youth participated in the summit. In 2014, the council organized an Annual Cultural Event, “Euphoric Night-II.”
Women’s Engagement Program:
BCNH leadership, including key female leaders in the community, established the goals to improve access to health and human services for Bhutanese women and to increase their representation in leadership positions in the community. To meet this goal, activities include home visits, counseling and daily case management. This allows Bhutanese women to integrate more fully into the ongoing services and activities provided by BCNH. To sustain these goals, a Women’s Council was also established with female leaders engaged in a variety of professional development and training.
Nutrition Education Program:
To address growing issues of obesity and to provide nutritional education to community members, BCNH partners with UNH Cooperative Extension to introduce nutritional education program. This program offers nutritional education, food resource management, physical activity, and food safety education. The program further offers an opportunity for participants to learn more about purchasing and preparing nutritious meals.
New Health Insurance Education and Outreach:
In 2014 the State created the New Hampshire Health Protection Program (NHHPP) as part of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). To offer education and outreach to diverse groups of immigrants and refugees about this new healthcare law, the BCNH has received funding from New Hampshire Health Plan. The organization has served over 650 refugees and immigrants in the state of New Hampshire in educating about this new healthcare law and assisted 219 individuals’ enrollment facilitation into the health plan in the first phase alone.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that global suicide rate is 16 people per 100, 000 and the rate for the U.S. population is 12.4 per 100,000. However, the rate is 20.3 among U.S. resettled Bhutanese refugees, and 20.7 for the Bhutanese population in refugee camps (CDC, 2012). The CDC also estimates that one in five U.S. citizens suffer from a debilitating mental illness during their lifetime (CDC, 2012). Realizing the acute need to support mental health, the BCNH produced a video (viewed by people in 40 countries) involving faith leaders and psychiatrist to bring awareness about suicide prevention and emotional wellbeing. The video was shared through social media, websites and Google groups. The organization has also trained three individuals from the community as Suicide Prevention Trainers through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), referred individuals at mental health risk for professional help, and offered three sessions on Mental Health First Aid Training to staff at BCNH and other interested individuals.
Media and Communications:
Understanding the need for media and communication, the leadership of BCNH sent five individuals from the community to be trained as TV technicians through Concord Community Television. As a result, the organization has introduced through the community television station the only Nepali TV program in New Hampshire , “Haamro Aawaj” that is broadcasted once a week. All episodes of this program are made online so anyone can view the program through the internet. Recent research showed that this program has been viewed by people in 40 countries. The organization shares information and links with the public through its website, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
American Sign Language:
A significant minority of Bhutanese refugees, including those who have resettled in New Hampshire, are deaf or hard of hearing. They arrived with a wide spectrum of language skills: some speak or understand spoken or written Nepali; some communicate with Nepali Sign Language; some have never learned any formal language and rely on a “home grown” system that they and their families have developed. None of them knew American Sign Language when they arrived and few have learned it to date. Some in this group have co-occurring disabilities, such as a cognitive or vision impairments. To educate these folks, the BCNH hosts American Sign Language (ASL) classes for deaf and hard of hearing Bhutanese adults in Concord and Manchester.
Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire has years of experience in helping refugees and other Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) apply for permanent residence and naturalization as well as providing citizenship English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to resettled refugees and other LPRs. Bhutanese, Africans, and Iraqi refugees began arriving in New Hampshire (and in the United States) in 2008. Burmese-Rohingyan began arriving in 2011 and continue to arrive in large numbers. As a precursor to naturalization, the BCNH immigration attorney has assisted 750 refugees with legal filings since 2010. BCNH was honored to be highlighted in the White House Task Force on New Americans Report on 2015 for its outstanding service in offering bilingual American history and civics classes.