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Initiation to connect communities in a digital setting

Background Of American-Nepalese

Nepalese Americans are Americans whose ethnic origins lie in Nepal, a small landlocked country in southern Asia. Their migration to the U.S. started after Nepal began its official relations with the United States of America in 1947. The first time that they were classified as a separate group was when 56 Nepalese immigrated to the United States in 1974. Before that, Nepalese immigrants fell under the broader category of “other Asians.” The number of immigrants from Nepal to the U.S. remained below 100 per year throughout 1996. Since then, there has been a gradual stride in their numbers as Nepalese began applying for permanent residents visas, student visas, and the DV-99 Diversity Lottery Program.

In 2015, about 9,000 Nepalese immigrants were granted TPS—a humanitarian U.S. government program called Temporary Protected Status—after the devastating earthquake in 2015 that killed nearly 9,000 people, injured more than 20,000, and destroyed more than 750,000 homes.

Today, More than 200,000 Nepalese live in the United States, with the largest population in Dallas, Texas at 15000, followed by New York with an estimated 12000 Nepalese population. Washington is home to nearly 10,000 individuals from Nepal, according to the Pew Research Center.

Top 10 U.S. Cities by Nepalese population

Nepalese immigrants represent quite a minor percentage of the immigrant population in the U.S. According to a study done by Pew Research Center in 2019, the largest communities of Nepalese were in the following ten cities:

  • Dallas, TX – 15000
  • New York, NY – 12000
  • Washington, DC – 10000
  • San Francisco, CA – 7,000
  • Baltimore – 7,000
  • Boston – 6,000
  • Atlanta – 5,000
  • Pittsburgh – 5,000
  • Akron, OH­– 5,000
  • Chicago – 5,000

Reasons Why Nepalese Migrate to America

The disparities seen between the two countries are mind-boggling. Despite its rich cultural heritage, Nepal has been a country plagued by hardship and war. Democracy is a relatively new occurrence in Nepal. Nepali citizens are only just beginning to experience the comforts and liberties that many Americans take for granted. There are many reasons why Nepalese come to the United States and live the “American Dream.” Higher living standards, availability of resources, economic and political stability, academic opportunities, and a sense of security are major factors driving the population to the U.S.

Need of Community Building and Problems Faced By New immigrants

The problems that immigrants face are primarily the same, no matter which country they come from. Moving to a new country and starting a life from scratch can never be easy. Giving up everyone and everything you know and love and shifting to a foreign land surrounded by foreign faces takes a considerable toll on you. For someone to migrate from Nepal to America can be nothing short of a shock. The drastic change in culture, religion, economics, language, general living standards, and even cuisine are things that most immigrants have to cope with. When it comes to Nepal, a number of immigrants also struggle to obtain white-collar jobs due to the low literacy rate in the country. Furthermore, Degrees conferred by numerous Nepalese colleges are not recognized in the United States.

To cope with these differences, Nepalese have formed communities across the U.S. These active communities include white-collared professions such as attorneys, physicians, teachers, and scientists and blue-collared professions such as petrol pump attendants, waiters, and others. As more Nepalese immigrants arrive in the States, the community will need to band together to address these issues. Attempts have already been made to assist new immigrants in finding a place in the country, and due to the tight-knit character of Nepalese people, these attempts will only strengthen in the future.

The Initiative of Khoslo.com

Likewise, an exceptional Web Community has been initiated by Yuv Raj Pantha, a Nepalese-America, residing in Boston, Massachusetts, since 2007. He has acquired a Master’s Degree in Analytics from Southern New Hampshire University in New Hampshire and received Bachelor’s Degree from Cambridge College, Massachusetts.

Pantha aims to bring together the Nepalese American community of all ages – youths and adults and improve their lives while appreciating Nepali cultural heritage, values, and traditions.

Let us look at what he has to say about his community-building journey:

1. First of all, introduce yourself, and what is the sole purpose of this community website?

My name is Yuv Raj Pantha. I was born and raised in Nepal and have been residing in the United States of America since 2007. The sole purpose of this community website is to bring together the Nepalese residing all across the world, particularly in America, and help them with their issues. Another purpose of the initiative is to strengthen our community in America.

  1. How did you start? And what was the idea or vision behind the creation of this community website?

There are a lot of Nepalese that wish to go to foreign countries. Some for a job, some to study, and others to gain residency and a better-quality lifestyle. Being an immigrant and a newbie to an unknown place can make them feel uncomfortable. They might not know the lifestyle, rules, regulations, traditions of that place. Kholso.com is a platform where Nepalese from all around the world are connected, and they help each other to get out of stressful situations. And the people of the community even provide suggestions to newbies.

  1. How can anyone be a part of this community? Are there any eligibility criteria to be a part of this community?

Well, initially, the community was made for Nepalese. But is not restricted to them only. Anyone who wishes to join and help people voluntarily can join the platform. What would be better than that? We have created groups on our platform to categorize people and their designation. For example, if you are a Nepali student studying in the USA, you will fall in the F-1 group. You can communicate with other people of your type, ask them for help/assistance, or even help other people of the same kind. The community is free of cost. There is no money required to join the platform.

  1. What services does your community provide? And how Does this Community Works?

Our platform comprises three major features:

  • Community groups: People can join their respective groups and post their concerns/or ask for information.
  • Forum: They can create a thread to get suggestions from other participants or can respond to others’ threads/questions to help them.
  • Blogs: They can read blogs/articles relevant to their specific situations.
  1. Is this community US-based only, or do you have a global reach?

The platform till now is a US-based Digital Platform. Nonetheless, we are feeling the need to expand our digital groups to incorporate more and more Nepalese communities and make sure to provide our utmost help to every Nepali across the globe.

  1. Do you have any organizations built under the support of this community? Do you have any on-ground presence? 

As of now, we don’t have any on-ground presence; we are still developing. We are planning to expand our community in the near future. Innovations never stop.

  1. Can you tell us about the different community groups on your website and how they work?

We are a community of shared experiences and interests. We have more than 30 community groups on our website. Anyone can become a member of these groups after registering on our website. They may join whatever group they feel is relevant to them. They can post their experiences, connect to other members, and receive much-needed information. If existing registered users within this group are unable to resolve their inquiries, our moderators step in.

  1. Can you tell us about the active members of the community? And How do you respond to their Q&A?

There are many active members of the society you can reach out to by adding them as friends or sending private messages. Also, there is a contact us link on the website; you can visit that page and send us any of your queries. We will be more than happy to assist.

  1. Do you have any Social Media presence?

For now, we do not have any social media presence.

  1. What have you achieved so far through your online community website?

We have helped many Nepalese, who were facing issues in procedures like enrolling in university/college, finding a tutor, finding temples, the best place for a job/dine/shop, etc.

  1. What values do you want from your community member?

Honesty, Discipline, Respect, and Loyalty are the four values we believe in. Moreover, you must have an innate value of being a helping hand to be a part of this community.

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