Resettled Bhutanese join Gutterres to celebrate refugee day

Published on Jun 22 2009 // Main News

Washington DC (USA), June 22: The Bhutanese citizens, Khagendra Baral and wife,Ganga spoke on behalf of fellow-Bhutanese at a gathering at National geographic Society ,Grosvenor Auditorium on the occasion of World Refugee Day on June 18.

Khagendra (right) with the UNHCR good-will ambassador (middle) and his wife, Ganga
Khagendra (left) with the UNHCR good-will ambassador (middle) and his wife, Ganga

“We were invited to give a small presentation by Catholic Charities and we shared our stories and experiences”, said Khagendra.

Ganga said that though she got only five minutes to speak, it was really an inspiring moment where even the Chief of the UNHCR, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Gutterres was present.

There were representatives from State government, UNHCR’s good-will ambassador Angelina Jolie and Rose Mapendo, the recipient of humanitarian year award in the occasion. Mapenda is a refugee woman from Congo.

An American website wrote that they spoke movingly of their desperation in the camps and their gratitude to America for giving them a home.

“But that was not the end of their struggle, they said, as they described how they had to look for jobs, a home, and medical coverage,” carried the news portal. 

The UNHCR’s ambassador said, “Refugees are the most vulnerable people on Earth. Every day, they are fighting to survive. They deserve our respect.”

The connection and referral were made by Catholic Charities while the UNHCR sponsored their to and fro transportation and other itineraries.

Khagendra and Ganga, who were resettled in America under third country resettlement program in 2008, have been assisting the Bhutanese and other nationals for building news life in Arizona.

By Kazi Gautam, New York