Youth Summit Changed Me – Reflection
Needup Pelmo from Jampeling Higher Secondary School shares her experience from the first-ever Youth Summit
in the east, Kanglung Gewog (block), Trashigang Dzongkhag (District).
Needup Pelmo (right) wants to encourage youths to join the summit.
Honestly speaking, I was not keen to join the Youth Summit at first because none of my friends had signed up for it. I joined the summit because my father made me sign up.
On my first day, I wondered if I could learn amid strangers. It was also hard to experience my first time at Sherubtse’s hostel since I was away from home for the first time though I lived close to the college.
But things changed on the second day. Soon the summit was getting exciting and I was learning through self-reflection and interaction with new friends. I began to feel a huge change in myself. I realised that we have plenty of friends in our life and it depends on ourselves to choose the right kind of friends, especially as a youth.
Further, it made me realise that even a teenager like me can make a change in our communities. Like me, many other youths could think for the first time on how to become a ‘Responsible Citizen’.
The summit made me think about how to be the best me in order to contribute in my ways in building a stronger nation. The summit also made us believe that there is no harm in trying out things even though we may fail sometimes. Everything that was taught to us during those four days prepared us for a better life. Therefore, I would encourage other youths to participate in the upcoming Youth Summits.
From Kunzang Cheki, JHSS, Kanglung in Trashigang Dzongkhag (District Administration).
BCMD’s Youth Summit was held twice last year, reaching out to about 240 young people from across Bhutan. Thanks to CIVICUS and Bhutan Foundation the Youth Summits could happen in 2019. We are now fundraising and looking for support which will enable us to offer both Summits this year. So far, BCMD is able to offer only one such Summit.
School Teaches Media Literacy
Teachers who attended the BCMD’s Media Literacy workshop in December 2019 initiated similar sessions during a Value Orientation Week in February at the Shaba Higher Secondary (SHSS) school to share what they learnt. More than 500 students attended the workshop.
“Both students and facilitators (teachers) enjoyed the sessions,” stated a report from the school. Seven teachers organised different sessions of media literacy using BCMD’s News and Media Literacy Guidebook. Students were introduced to some basic skills, knowledge, and ideas to help them find the right information and news and judge media messages critically. According to the report, students found the sessions on social media relevant to enable them to act responsibly online, and how to remain protected from the dangers and risks of virtual reality.
Citizen Participation in Community Research
The project survey students and schools that have participated in building community initiative.
Research on citizen participation at the community level was conducted as a part of our Project Mi-Khung, a citizenship education project that the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy has initiated in Paro Dzongkhag (District).
The study aims to measure the citizen’s understanding of their roles and responsibilities in a democracy and also to understand citizen’s participation and democratic culture at the local level. Towards that end, a combination of both qualitative and quantitative approaches is employed to arrive at a more holistic understanding of the situation.
The project surveys students and schools that have participated in BCMD’s Building Community project. The activity in this project teaches young people to map their local communities and work with local residents and the municipality in addressing some local issues such as the need for youth recreation or protection of water sources. We thank the Bhutan Foundation for supporting Project Mi-Khung and the research.
CSO Music Video
BCMD’s most recent resource production is a song promoting civil society titled ‘Lha yuel ngo ma zo gey’ (Let’s create heaven on earth) that has been recorded with the intention to deepen Civil Society Organisation (CSO) fraternity and the sense of solidarity and to reach a wider audience as a call to action.
The lyrics of the song aims to enhance the awareness of a wider audience on the role of civil society and the impact of their initiatives within Bhutan’s changing democracy. The music video will also feature CSO contributions and services to the nation. The video will be uploaded on the BCMD youtube page and shared with the CSO fraternity. The production has been made possible through our support from the EU/Helvetas Bhutan.
Check out other BCMD videos on our youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheBcmd
Youth Initiative Resource Guidebook
As the programme evolves and matures over the years, efforts have been made to institutionalise the Youth Initiative’s learnings and outcomes by developing a website (http://bcmd.bt/yibhutan/). Further this time the YI Guidebook was updated and developed as a resource to further strengthen the programme.
The guidebook will offer the members and anyone interested, a reference resource to understand the programme and to provide essential information about the YI and what is expected from the participants. It also gives guidance on the basics of policy research and how to go through it.
BCMD’s Youth Initiative (YI) has now been successfully running for seven years and it has been developing a cohort of highly motivated and engaged youth who can explore, critically examine and understand the socio-political landscape of Bhutan. This year, the YI members learnt how to review and provide feedback to the National Youth policy. CISU supported the publication of the YI Guidebook.
Lastly – a Reflection from the BCMD Team
Dear friends of BCMD,
Amidst such confusion and uncertain times, when we are inundated by global news focusing on lock-downs and deaths, inadequate health care and fears. Together with our own fears surfacing, it’s been a very disruptive month as Bhutan works hard to stave off the coronavirus.
As we learn to deal with uncertainty, capturing stories that try to provide solutions and share the strength of people who are coping with challenges is not only useful, it is important.
BCMD’s dialogues, fellowships and media training have always focused on featuring more pro-social and strength-based stories; identifying role models in Bhutan. Today, we see volunteerism and integrity in abundance in Bhutan.
Deepest appreciation goes to His Majesty the King for his timely leadership and to the government for being so attentive. BCMD acknowledges the amazing people who are doing their best – health workers, news reporters, security personnel, bus and cab drivers, people who turn up every day to ensure that life goes on as usual. This is citizenry at its most evident!
BCMD calls on all our friends — podcasters, media club members, media nomads, photographers, journalists and writers to focus on these amazing examples. We ask our youth, GAOs, women and teachers who have undergone BCMD’s media literacy & media production courses to focus on the good in society.
Send us your pictures with captions, for those who can get stories without going into crowded places… Send us your podcasts and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org or message it to us @Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy on our Facebook Page. We shall share it on BCMD’s FB page!
As we wait for the coronavirus to blow over let’s observe and celebrate the strength in Bhutan. Together we can highlight the ordinary people who are contributing to the battle against the virus because it is our Gyenku – natural responsibility.
Call your local newspaper if you come across anyone worthy of being featured in our daily news. Let’s build a community! Stay healthy!
This note if you have someone in self-isolation and to those of you in self-isolation and quarantine, we have some interesting resources online to keep you engaged and occupied. We thank you for your endurance to keep us safe.
The links are shared below: