Student embraces his diversity by founding nonprofit organization

Diwas Timsina has come a long way. Now studying information sciences and technology at Penn State Greater Allegheny, he is originally from Bhutan, and was raised for 14 years in Jhapa, Nepal, in a refugee camp.  His family and 70,000 other Bhutanese were forced to leave the country due to the interethnic conflict that occurred in the 1990’s.

“We faced so many struggles and challenges like discrimination, crowdedness, floods, fire, hurricane and diseases. The list goes on and on,” said Diwas. In 2008, the Timsinas first arrived in the United States, settling in Atlanta, Georgia, where they stayed for three years before moving to Pittsburgh. Timsina has since founded a nonprofit organization, Children of Shangri-Lost.

On May 22, Timsina will be a featured speaker at TEDx Pittsburgh. He is going to share the story of his journey from Bhutan to the refugee camps in Nepal and to the United States. He will focus, though, on his life in the U.S. and his organization. Children of Shangri-Lost raises awareness and educates people about the history and challenges faced by the refugee and immigrant population through short films and blog posts. They hope to engage youth in community issues and programs as well as inform the public about the experiences of refugee and immigrant populations.   

“I am super excited/happy to be selected to share the knowledge that I have,” said Timsina. “I want to share my ideas, creativity, and experiences to educate and spread the message to people who can help me and collaborate with me to make a positive difference in Pittsburgh and across the United States.”

According to its website, TEDx is an independently organized, community based version of the larger TED-experience. TED is a nonprofit organization and acronym. “It’s a movement devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading in ‘T’echnology, ‘E’ntertainment and ‘D’esign. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. TEDx showcases transformative and thought-provoking ideas on the local level. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.”

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Last Updated April 27, 2016