Dr. Boyd Bosma presents “Refugees and Immigrants—A Political Hot Potato” to FreeThinkers November 22

Madeline and Dr. Boyd Bosma

Madeline and Dr. Boyd Bosma

Fran Berman

Daily we hear heart-breaking stories of refugees and migrants leaving their homelands. The United Nations has helped refugees from 50 countries and speaking 45 languages settle in Tucson. Dr. Boyd and Madeline Bosma will present a program about one of these refugee communities, the Bhutanese citizens of Nepali descent.

More than 135,000 of them, about one-third of the population of Bhutan, were forcibly exiled in 1991-92 to refugee camps in Nepal and India. Ironically, the small Himalayan country of Bhutan is famous for its mountain mystique. Its unique national goal is Gross National Happiness. After 20 years of suffering in deplorable refugee camps, about 600 of these refugees were finally allowed to come to a new life in Tucson, complete college degrees and become American citizens.

Dr. Bosma specialized in human and civil rights with the National Education Association in Washington, D.C. Madeline Bosma was a program manager in the U.S. Department of Education and currently serves as the program director of the Bhutanese Mutual Assistance Association of Tucson. Extensive travelers, they visited Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan in 2014 to learn first-hand about the homeland of Madeline’s clients. Joining them are Ms. Georgia S. Eddy, Program and Project Specialist with the Arizona State Refugee Resettlement Program, and representatives of Tucson’s Bhutanese community who will tell their personal stories.

This program will be at the MountainView Ballroom from 10:00 a.m. to noon, Sunday, November 22. Attendance is free and open to members and non-members regardless of religious or political beliefs. Non-perishable food or cash donations for the Community Food Bank are always welcome.

Meetings of the SaddleBrooke FreeThinkers are usually on the fourth Sunday morning each month, October to April. According to our organizational charter, we “believe in the responsible search for truth and meaning and in the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and the solving of human problems. We believe that tolerance, compassion, equity and civility should characterize the interaction among peace-loving persons and organizations.” For information about SaddleBrooke FreeThinkers, upcoming programs and past programs, go to  www.sbfreethinkers.wordpress.com.