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REFUGEE AWARENESS Event on Sunday June 25th 2017 at 3pm

White Horse Black Mountain is proud to host a benefit for the Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency (CRRA) 
 in partnership with David LaMotte, and Black Mountain Presbyterian Church. 

The program will focus on discussions of  the resettlement process of Refugees from around the world. 

We will be listening to the story of Thakur Mishra, 
who immigrated here from Bhutan after spending two decades in a refugee camp. 

Following Thakur, Marsha Hirsch will discuss the process of resettling families in the United States,
 followed by a question and response moderated by David LaMotte.

Excerpt from an article in the Charlotte Observer:

Twenty-four years later, the memories linger of the day government troops stormed into Thakur Mishra’s house in remote southern Bhutan and arrested his father.
 The country perched between Tibet and India was in the midst of expelling nearly 100,000 mostly Hindu people of Nepalese origin – about one-sixth of the population – to seven refugee camps in neighboring Nepal. Mishra’s family had been in Bhutan for four generations, yet after the country’s king imposed a “One Nation, One People” policy, they were considered illegal aliens.

“It was ethnic cleansing with the government, ruled by Buddhist elites, forcing Hindus to leave the country,” Mishra, 31, said.
The military jailed his father and dozens of neighbors raising a voice for freedom. They tortured his father and after 91 days released him – only after he agreed to leave Bhutan within a week.

Mishra, his mother and seven siblings set out on foot for the Indian border, where his father met them. India, refusing to grant them asylum, loaded them on trucks and drove them to eastern Nepal and ultimately to the Beldangi refugee camps, where for the next 18 years, Mishra lived in shelters.

At age 14, he began writing for a camp newspaper and advocated for press and speech freedoms in Bhutan.
“I learned about those freedoms in school in the camp,” he said. “I started to feel that the dream of democracy in Bhutan was far from reach until we have media freedom first.”
When Mishra was 18, he and a few friends started the Bhutan Reporter, an Internet newspaper that linked people in Bhutan with news from the refugee camps. His reporting continued when he left the camp in 2005 for Kathmandu – Nepal’s capital – to go to college.
He fielded threatening emails against his family in the camps as he dreamed of moving to America. He got that chance in 2010, flying to New York, where he lived in the Bronx for a year, then moved to Raleigh. In 2011, he moved again to Charlotte.

Marsha Hirsch, Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency
The freedoms he advocated for in the camp he’s found here.
“It is energizing to practice the freedoms I want for Bhutan,” he said. “I still have hope for Bhutan.”

The Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency (CRRA) provides resettlement services to refugees and asylees who are escaping violence, persecution, and repression.

The organization believes all refugees and asylees deserve the chance to begin successful new lives in the United States. CRRA’s mission is To receive, to connect and to empower newly arrived refugees in the Charlotte area so that they begin successful and self-sufficient lives in the United States