Who We Are?
The Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio (BCCO) is a community-based non-profit organization founded in 2009. It is a 501(c)3. BNCC is dedicated to helping newly resettled Bhutanese refugee population from Nepal. It is a vibrant, open, and very diverse community. The Bhutanese community encompasses different religions, languages, and sub-cultural groups within itself.
BCCO offers post-resettlement services to recently arrived refugees from Bhutan and a small number from Pakistan. Majority of our clients get the referral from resettlement agencies like Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), Us Together, and World Relief as well as from Franklin County office of Job and family services, other social service agencies, local schools, and hospitals. The BCCO wants to build a relationship with other communities through cultural exchange, language and learning, and through partnership building. The BNC aspires to become part of the mainstream culture at the same time preserving its cultural values, language, and tradition.
It is estimated that up to 30,000 individuals have settled here in Greater Columbus area through a secondary migration and primary migration. Simply put, people move to be closer to their extended families, job opportunities and a sense of community.
Our mission is to serve community members -- Bhutanese Community Residing in Central Ohio -- with culturally appropriate social services and empower them through education and advocacy.
The Nepali-speaking Bhutanese became the victims of the ethnic cleansing policy of the eighties in Bhutan. Bhutan introduced “one nation one people” policy in 1985 which ultimately undermined the cultural, religious, and linguistic heritage of the people of the south who are minority Hindus in a majority Buddhist nation. Over one hundred thousand people were forcefully expelled who were deemed unworthy under the new policy from the land where they have spent more than five generations.
After spending about two decades in the UN refugee camps in eastern Nepal, the only option out of repartition and assimilation, third country resettlement process started in 2008. So far nearly 90 thousand have been in resettled in the United States, including Canada and six other nations with a share of over 15 thousand.
Although in the beginning people were resettled in different States and Cities, through internal migration (secondary and tertiary), Columbus now has the highest Bhutanese population anywhere outside Bhutan. There is steady growth, and it is projected to reach 30 thousand in the next five years. Currently, the Ohio State University estimates 23,437 Bhutanese-Nepali in central Ohio.