Boston Collge’s Behavioral Research team conducting research among Bhutanese population in Massachusetts formed Bhutanese Community Advisory Board (CAB) on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at Springfield Interstate Mart.
Back row from Left: Lal Khadka, Devi P. Pradhan, Kumar Bhujel, Chandra Bhattarai and Padam Mahat.
Front row from Left: Bhumika Giri, Chandra Acharya, and Ganga Pariwar
The CAB supports an ongoing research project on mental health needs among resettled Bhutanese youth and families. The CAB is a range of perspectives and includes both men and women and people of various professional and educational backgrounds to present a collection of diverse viewpoints amongst the representatives and is critical for the functioning of the group as representative of the entire local community.
The insight and guidance provided by the CAB will lend legitimacy to the research and greatly enrich the findings, said Jenna Berent, Program manager.
She further added, “The Community Advisory Board members will serve as an important community voice to provide thoughts and input on the program. During meetings, members will be given updates about the research and may be asked to offer insights into cultural contexts or related issues. CAB members will also bring any community concerns to the researchers’ attention or introduce other relevant topics of discussion. Conversely, members are expected to report back to the community with any important communications from the meetings”.
Jenna provided the overview of Family Strengthening Intervention, roles and responsibilities of CAB members, the role of gender and female participation, and best approach for recruiting new staff. She mentioned that the program has recruited 40 families so far and scaling up to 150 Bhutanese families with Children between the ages 7-17 years.
Similarly, Bhuwan Gautam, community co-investigator for the project read the CAB description translated in Nepali answered CAB’s questions related to the community based participatory approach and touch-based the history university’s partnership with the Bhutanese community.
Kevin Darjee, trained family interventionist provided the overview of what interventionists role how families are selected. He stated that there are 10 modules containing different topics like communication, transportation, parenting skills, etc.
Taran Tiwari, research assistant shared his role with the project. He stated he collects data and forward them to the interventionists. He does baseline assessment among the families.
The discussion was very interactive. Devi Pradhan, CAB member stated that he has an interest in what the university is doing to help the community. He shared that there are many incidents the community is facing and hopes that through this research the project’s intervention will tackle those problems. Other CAB member asked about the long-term benefit of this project to the community.
The CAB members include: Chandra Bhattarai, Ganga Pariwar, Devi Prasad Pradhan, Bhumika Giri, Muna Tiwari, Padam Mohat, Lal Khadka, Kumar Bhujel, Gokul Budathoki and Chandra Acharya.
The study is being led by Theresa S. Betancourt, ScD, MA, Professor in Global Practice at the Boston College School of Social Work and Director of the Research Program on Children and Adversity (RPCA).
The CAB is expected to meet every two months. The next meeting is scheduled for March 31, 2018.
BSWM hosted two educational events on the Veterans Day weekend. On Saturday, October 11, 2017, Harvard School of Public Health’s Research Program on Children and Global Adversity (RPCGA)’s Family Strengthening outreach event was successfully organized in Springfield, MA from 11 am to 1 pm.
Dr. Betancourt talking about the project, Mr. Gautam interpreting during the session. Photo/Suruchi Khand.
The research team members including Dr. Theresa Betancourt, Principal Investigator, Jenna Berent, Project Manager, Bhuwan Gautam, Co-investigator, Taran Tiwari, Research Assistant, Prasad Dulal, Family Strengthening Interventionist, Kevin Darjee, Family Strengthening Interventionist, Suruchi Khand, Harvard MPH intern and 50 community members were present.
Narad Adhikari, Research Assistant from Harvard School of Public Health’s another project ‘Bhalakushari’ was also present.
According to Mr. Adhikari, Bhalakushari project studies the refugees age 50 and over about their life experiences from Bhutan to Nepal to the United States.
Mr. Gautam welcomed the participants and the team members and spoke about the history of the program.
He stated that the partnership between the community and research institution has become an important area in addressing the health and mental health of the Bhutanese community through the community based participatory research and intervention methods.
From Left: Jenna Berent, Project Manager, Suruchi Khand, Harvard MPH Intern, Prasad Dulal, Family Interventionist, Kevin Darjee, Family Interventionist, Taran Tiwari, Research Assistant, Dr. Theresa Betancourt, PI and Bhuwan Gautam, Co-investigator.
Dr. Betancourt provided the updates about programmatic overview, goals and achievements. Jenna shared the timeline and RAs and FSIs shared their roles on the project.
According to Dr. Betancourt, they are studying among the Somali Bantu population in Boston and Bhutanese population age 7-17 years in Western Massachusetts.The study hopes to bring more intervention among the resettled refugee communities to improve communication and parenting skills among the children and parents. Dr. Betancourt stated that the community advisory board, both the adult and youth play a vital role in advising the research team, which includes the voice from the community members on the various phases of the research to make sure that the outcome of the study is beneficial to the community.
Mr. Tiwari spoke about his role in recruitment and assessment. Similarly, Mr. Darjee and Mr. Dulal spoke about their roles as interventionists.
The participants were fully engaged in the question and answer session. Light refreshment was served during the lunch time. A FAQ document translated into Nepali was shared among the attendees.
From Left: Bhuwan Gautam, Narad Adhikari, Taran Tiwari, Magda Rodriguez, Sgt. Toledo, Lal Khadka, Durga Giri and Chandra Bhattarai.
Similarly, another information session was organized on Sunday related to reported burglaries, assaults, theft and other crimes.
The representatives from Springfield Police Department Sgt. Ariel J. Toledo and Magda Rodriguez answered questions from the community members.
The questions were taken from the participants as well as facebook live.
According to Sgt. Toledo, for all emergencies, including reporting burglaries, domestic violence, and any other forms of crimes, 9-11 can be dialed.
However, for non-emergency issues can be reported by calling the numbers listed for each city. For Springfield, non-emergency number is 797-6302.
The police encouraged the community members to report any forms of crime by contacting police department without waiting.
For greater community involvement with the law enforcement officers, community members can attend community policing meetings in their areas. The calendar is available at Good neighbor handbook.
The flyer for C3 Park police unit with contact information, the Good neighbor handbook and a souvenir containing a compass, light and police contact information were distributed among the participants.
The detail conversation is recorded and published on BSWM’s facebook page www.facebook.com/bswmusa.
२६ मार्च २०१७, स्प्रिंगफिल्ड । पश्चिम मेसाचुसेट्समा बसोबास गर्ने भूटानीहरूको एउटा टोली सहभागी रहेको तीनदिने “डिजिटल स्टोरी टेलिंग (डिजिटल कथा प्रस्तुती)” तालीम आज सम्पन्न भएको छ । यूनिभर्सिटी अफ मेसाचुसेट्स (यूमास) जनस्वास्थ्य विद्यालय एमहर्स्ट र भूटनिज सोसाइटी अफ वेस्टर्न मेसाचुसेट्स (बीएसडब्लूएम्) द्वारा संयुक्त रूपमा सञ्चालित उक्त्त तालिम अघिल्लो शनिबार र आइतबार दुई दिन सञ्चालन भएको थियो भने तालिमको बाँकी भाग आज सञ्चालन भएको थियो ।
तालीमका सहभागीहरूका साथमा प्रशिक्षकद्वय सेरा लोई तथा भुवन गौतम
तालिममा स्प्रिंगफिल्ड निवासी तरन तिवारी, भानु तिवारी, बिराज अधिकारी, हरि खनाल र वेस्ट स्प्रिंगफिल्ड निवासी आशीष तामाङ्गले प्रशिक्षार्थीको रूपमा भाग लिएका थिए । यूमास जनस्वास्थ्य विद्यालयको तर्फबाट सेरा लोई र बीएसडब्लूएमका बोर्ड अध्यक्ष भुवन गौतमले प्रशिक्षकको रूपमा सहभागीहरूलाई उनीहरूको आफ्नै जीवनमा आधारित विषयवस्तुको छनोट, कथा सामग्रीको तयारी तथा रेकार्डिंग, भिडियो निर्माण, सम्पादन तथा उत्पादन लगायतका सीपहरू सिकाएका थिए ।
भूटानी समाजमा देखा परेको मानसिक स्वास्थ्य समस्यालाई डिजिटल कथा प्रस्तुतीको माध्यमबाट न्यूनीकरण गर्न दक्ष जनशक्ति उत्पादन गर्ने उद्देश्यले उक्त तालिम सञ्चालन जरिएको तालिमकी मुख्य प्रशिक्षक सेरा लोईले तालिम समापनको अवसरमा सहभागीहरूलाई बताइन । यसैगरी अर्का प्रशिक्षक एवं बीएसडब्लूएम्का बोर्ड अध्यक्ष भुवन गौतमले तालीमबाट प्राप्त ज्ञान र सीपलाई आफूसँग सिमित नराखी समाजको हितको निम्ति सदुपयोग गर्नु उपयुक्त हुने बताए । तालीम पछि सहभागीहरूलाई प्रमाणपत्र पनि वितरण गरिएको थियो ।
The above report has been reproduced from Sandesh Samachar Online.