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Bhutan refugees renew farming in Philly

Bhutanese women farmers in Philly

At the age of six, Bishnu Kamar (left) fled her native Bhutan where, she says, the government was trying to kill its own people. She lived the next twenty-two years in a bamboo house in a refugee camp in Nepal, to where many ethnic Nepalis fled, under harsh, cramped conditions. She and her companions, Dropada Kafley (middle) and Mon Maya Bastola (right), now live with their families in South Philadelphia. With the help of an American friend they started a community farm and now tend nearly 100 beds. In Nepal, they had farmed rice, corn and “all kinds of vegetables.”

On Thursdays the threesome takes the bus up to the Weavers Way Henry-Got-Crops Farm in Roxborough to better learn American farming techniques.

In addition to farming, Kamar takes care of her mother-in-law, works in a pre-school and, after an intensive 6-month study of English, also works as a Nepali language interpreter in a hospital. 

HOW IS IT GOING FOR YOU NOW IN SOUTH PHILADELPHIA?

“It’s awesome. Because we spend our life -is a very good way. We are good now. And I think my future can be good. I can try hard…”

Watch video here.

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