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Apurva Kasam helps Bhutanese journey to success

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May 2013
Apurva Kasam helps Bhutanese journey to success

Apurva Kasam, a 10-year Girl Scout from Northview High School in Johns Creek, GA, undertook a project to help Bhutanese refugees. She collaborated with Sewa International, a Hindu faith based nonprofit that has been serving the Bhutanese community since 2008 in 38 cities all over the USA.

The Bhutanese refugees were originally Nepalese who immigrated to Bhutan for better opportunities as early as the 16th century. Recognition was given to the Nepali language and culture. In the 20th century, however, the government reversed this policy, and ethnic cleansing forced people to flee to refugee camps. After almost two decades, the U.S. offered to resettle 60,000 of the estimated 107,000 Bhutanese refugees of Nepalese origin. Around 5,000 came to the Atlanta area and are struggling to survive.

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Apurva raised about $1600 from family and friends and designed a project to help body, mind, and spirit. She organized yoga classes to help refugees cope with stress and provided yoga mats for classes; she organized a workshop on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and set up a library with 250 books; and she provided Indian musical instruments for their weekly bhajans in the temple. This thoughtful project earned Apurva a Gold Award, the highest in Girl Scouts.

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