A post by Sarah Taylor, CRIS’ summer communications intern
On a stormy summer evening in July, CRIS staff member Sarah Miller and CRIS contract worker Kileshshwari and their entourage of elderly Nepali women voyaged from Shanley Drive apartments in Columbus to Bharatiya Hindu Temple in Powell.
For the women of the Nepali-Bhutanese community, the thirty-minute drive to Powell is long, and most of the women cannot make the trip. Instead, they often perform puja, a daily, traditional Hindu ceremony, in the convenience of their own homes.
Sarah Miller organized the trip as a part of a community adjustment program, developed by an organization called Pathways to Wellness, that focuses on improving refugees’ health and wellness as well as helping them to adjust to culture shock. At the beginning of the eight-week program, Sarah asked her group of Nepali-Bhutanse elderly refugees where they would most want to go. According to Sarah, senior refugees are particularly isolated and marginalized because they lack transportation and English language proficiency. Both the men’s and women’s group said “they said they wanted to go to a Hindu temple, so we tried to make it happen.”
On July 3rd Sarah brought a group of men to the temple and brought a group of women on July 8th. After visiting the temple, both groups expressed their interest in continuing to go every day and to even bring their families along. Sarah hopes to try to organize at least one more trips to go to the temple before the end of the eight-week program.
To read about the field trip the Nepali refugees took to the Park of Roses, click here.