Ghana Dulal

Ghana Dulal

State: Utah

City of Residence: Salt Lake City, Utah

Country of origin: Bhutan

Arrival in the U.S.: 2008

Mr. Gyanu Dulal was a 20-year-old college student when he was forced to flee Bhutan in 1991. He spent the next 18 years living and working as a teacher in a refugee camp in Nepal. In 2008, Mr. Dulal was resettled to Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife and two children. He now works as a Community Resource Specialist at the Department of Workforce Services, Refugee Services Office. He is …

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Bertine Bahige

Bertine Bahige

State: Wyoming

City of Residence: Gillette, Wyoming

Country of origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Arrival in the U.S.: 2003

Mr. Bertine Bahige fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the age of 15 when rebels raided his house and tried to forcibly recruit him. Traveling alone, he undertook a dangerous journey to a refugee camp in Mozambique. In 2003 he was selected for resettlement in the United States, and was originally placed in Maryland. In 2006 Mr. Bahige was offered a scholarship to the University of Wyoming …

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Vermont: Puspa Luitel

Vermont: Puspa Luitel

State: Vermont

City of Residence: Charlotte, Vermont

Country of origin: Bhutan

Arrival in the U.S.: 2008

Mr. Puspa Luitel is a refugee from Bhutan who was resettled in the United States in 2008. He currently resides in Charlotte, Vermont with his wife and daughter. Mr. Luitel recently graduated from Vermont Law School, and he has used his experience to volunteer with several community organizations, including Vermont Legal Aid, Vermont Asylum Advocates, the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, and his local school district and community center. He was recently appointed to …

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Connecticut: Esmail Dezhbod

Connecticut: Esmail Dezhbod

State: Connecticut

City of Residence: Naugatuck, Connecticut

Country of origin: Iran

Arrival in the U.S.: 2000

Mr. Esmail Dezhbod fled religious persecution in Iran and was resettled to Connecticut with his wife and three young children in 2000. When the Iranian Revolution began, the university he was attending was shut down and the leaders of his place of worship, St. Paul Episcopal Church in Tehran, were arrested. With no one to lead his church, he stepped in and fulfilled the role for almost a decade. Mr. Dezhbod was prevented …

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Fatuma Elmi

Fatuma Elmi

State: Minnesota

City of Residence: Columbia Heights, Minnesota

Country of origin: Somalia

Arrival in the U.S.: 1991

Ms. Fatuma Elmi fled the civil war in Somalia and came to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1991, where she was granted Temporary Protection Status. Immediately after arriving, Ms. Elmi began volunteering with Lutheran Social Services to help new refugees adjust to life in the United States. She was eventually hired and has been working there for the past 19 years. Ms. Elmi is most proud of contributing to her community by assisting more …

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Pennsylvania: Joseph Sackor

Pennsylvania: Joseph Sackor

State: Pennsylvania

City of Residence: Levittown, Pennsylvania

Country of origin: Liberia

Arrival in the U.S.: 1999

Mr. Joseph Sackor was two months away from graduating college when war broke out in Liberia and he and his family were forced to flee to neighboring Guinea. Before being resettled, Mr. Sackor served as the president of Liberia Refugee Students organization in Guinea, which provided support to UNHCR refugee schools in the early 1990s. He was resettled to the United States in 1999, and earned his GED shortly after. Mr. Sackor went …

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Ohio: Norah Bagirinka

Ohio: Norah Bagirinka

State: Ohio

City of Residence: Columbus, Ohio

Country of origin: Rwanda

Arrival in the U.S.: 2005

Ms. Norah Bagirinka is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide and was resettled to the United States in 2005. In Rwanda she directed a program with the International Rescue Committee that aided female victims of violence. Now in the United States, Ms. Bagirinka has continued her humanitarian work by advocating for refugees and immigrants in Ohio, collaborating with organizations such as CRIS Ohio, US Together, World Relief, and the Women’s Federation for World …

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North Carolina: Kamal Dhimal

North Carolina: Kamal Dhimal

State: North Carolina

City of Residence: Charlotte, North Carolina

Country of origin: Bhutan

Arrival in the U.S.: 2010

Mr. Kamal Dhimal is a Bhutanese refugee who was forced to flee persecution in Bhutan at the age of six after his father was imprisoned and killed. He and his family lived in a refugee camp in Nepal for twenty years before being resettled in the United States in 2010. Mr. Dhimal now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he works as a business owner. He has established the Bhutanese Community …

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Sheriff Samsudeen Phatey

Sheriff Samsudeen Phatey

State: Georgia

City of Residence: Acworth, Georgia

Country of origin: Gambia

Arrival in the U.S.: 2008

Mr. Sheriff Samsudeen Phatey came to the United States from the Gambia by himself in 2008 at the age of 18. Mr. Phatey was born into a political family in the Gambia, and at an early age he hosted a radio program where he talked about children’s rights and ethical issues, and appeared on live television to report to the government about human rights matters. The corruption, human rights violations, and lack of …

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Indiana: Myo Myint

Indiana: Myo Myint

State: Indiana

City of Residence: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Country of origin: Myanmar

Arrival in the U.S.: 2008

Mr. Myo Myint is a refugee who fled Myanmar after being persecuted, imprisoned, and tortured for his support of the National League for Democracy. He arrived in the United States in 2008 and now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Mr Myint is a Certified ESL teacher and medical interpreter who assists Myanmarese refugees with their integration in the United States. He also helps fund, edit, and publish a bi-monthly Myanmarese magazine. He …

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Iowa: Zeljka Krvavica

Iowa: Zeljka Krvavica

State: Iowa

City of Residence: Des Moines, Iowa

Country of origin: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Arrival in the U.S.: 1993

Ms. Zeljka Krvavica is a refugee from Bosnia and Herzegovina who was resettled to the United States in 1993. She currently lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband and works as a Refugee Specialist with the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services. In addition to her professional work with refugees, Ms. Krvavica volunteers with CulturAll and the Iowa Refugee Alliance, and serves as a board member for the Iowa International …

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Montana: Wilmot Collins

Montana: Wilmot Collins

State: Montana

City of Residence: Helena, Montana

Country of origin: Liberia

Arrival in the U.S.: 1994

Mr. Wilmot Collins is a refugee from Liberia who was forced to flee the Liberian civil war after the ceasefire collapsed and two of his brothers were killed by rebels and government soldiers. Mr. Collins arrived in the United States in 1994, and he now resides in Helena, Montana with his wife, daughter, and son. He is a Child Protection Specialist, an adjunct instructor at University of Montana-Helena, and serves as a member …

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Hawaii: Valdir Solera

Hawaii: Valdir Solera

State: Hawaii

City of Residence: Wailiku, Hawaii

Country of origin: Brazil

Arrival in the U.S.: 2013

Mr. Valdir Solera came to the United States from Brazil in 2013. He now lives in Wailiku, Hawaii where he works as a tourist guide and environmentalist. He volunteers every week to protect the endangered green Honu turtles at Ho’okipa Beach and educate tourists about them. In 2013 he created a Facebook community called “Brasileiros em Maui, Havai,” a space where Brazilians in Maui help each other look for jobs and housing, and …

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Tika Acharya

Tika Acharya

State: New Hampshire

City of Residence: Manchester, New Hampshire

Country of origin: Bhutan

Arrival in the U.S.: 2009

Mr. Tika Acharya and his family fled Bhutan in 1992, after seeking freedom from the oppressive regime in Bhutan. They lived as refugees in Nepal for 17 years before, he and his wife, parents, and grandmother were resettled to New Hampshire in 2009. He now lives in Manchester, New Hampshire with his wife and two sons, where he works as a small business owner. In 2010, he helped to found a …

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Tek Darnal

Tek Darnal

State: Illinois

City of Residence: Evanston, Illinois

Country of origin: Bhutan

Arrival in the U.S.: 2008

Mr. Tek Darnal and his family fled Bhutan in 1992 to escape persecution, and were resettled to the United States in 2008. Now he owns his own home and business in Evanston, Illinois, where he resides with his wife and two sons. Mr. Darnal is quite active in his community helping other refugees as both a resettlement aid for Catholic Charities, and as an active member of Bhutanese Community Association of Illinois (BCAI). …

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