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Jamuna Shrestha and Poonam Pokwal Visit Ohio

26 June 2017

Although at times the needs can feel overwhelming, even the life story of one person can seem more than any one person could bear, the love and transformation witnessed in just a few hours together doing these activities makes everyone’s heart leap for joy and restores hope in all of us and in all of humanity.

Poonam Pokwal joined Jamuna Shrestha in Pittsburgh on 20 June 2017 as a traveling companion and to learn as much as she could to take back to her new home in St. Paul, Minnesota. They arrived in Columbus Ohio on Monday, 26 June 2017 at 4:45pm, and stayed with Poonam’s relatives.

At the request of the Bhutanese Community Organization of Akron, they visited in Akron with people suffering from domestic violence and community leaders. In Akron they also met with a Bhutanese youth volunteer group who really want to participate in AVP workshops in the future.

On Wednesday, they met with organizers, Mr. Bhuwan Phunyal and Mr. Hari Upreti, and discussed the AVP program, venue, participants and snacks with tea and water. Bhuwan and Hari took a three-minute video of Jamuna to send as a Facebook message to gathering participants. She spoke about Friends Peace Teams and the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), focusing on changes in ourselves and us as a people, and what we can do right now. They have 30 youth volunteers who really want to participate in AVP as well. They are planning to arrange to meet with head of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in Columbus. Jamuna shared about the Power of Goodness Story Pool, and they submitted a story by Mr. Bhuwan Pyakurel. A Bhutanese family invited them to dinner with great conversations. He was also very interested in doing AVP.

Most Bhutanese are visiting different states where their relatives are living to celebrate the long weekend for Independence Day, 4th of July holidays, so many of them are busy or leaving. Still, on Thursday they did a workshop with a group of ten Bhutanese women in one of their living rooms, and after the workshop they celebrated Asar 15, the mid rice planting time.
Friday they plan to do a workshop with children and Saturday with adults. Jamuna will send another update after those workshops.