November eNews

Posted by Tempa Wangdi, December 19th, 2019

Paro Schools Complete Local Actions Projects

Students identify issues and solutions in the community.

Paro, 12 November 2019: Just one day before the final exams, student mappers gathered to present the results of their Local Action Projects to the Townhall Committee at the 3rd Paro Townhall Meeting on 12 November.

Over the last few months,  students and teachers from Shaba Higher Secondary School (SHSS) and Drukgyel Central School (DCS) have been busy working on their Local Action Projects that included constructing a volleyball court, fencing the menchuna (hot spring) water source and conducting advocacy on road safety and waste management. Besides presenting their experiences, observations, and lessons from their projects, students shared the knowledge and skills they gained participating in the Community Building Initiative.

“Apart from memorising…We learned how to handle tensions (creatively) and be prepared to change at any time when our plans failed.  We learned that nothing is impossible when we have a willing heart… I’m taking these ideas and values with me to my own community. I will encourage my brothers and sisters, especially the people in my community. I will explain the importance of being active participants in the community,” said  Tenzin Lham from Drukgyel Central School.

Teachers and students recognised their ability to see a problem and find solutions with the community members to strengthen people’s participation and reduce dependency on other agencies.  Two teachers from DCS observed that engaging communities in the projects are far more effective and sustainable to community development than volunteering to “do things” for the communities.

Dasho Dzongdag Tenzin Thinley reminded the town hall participants of the campaign slogan “I am my community” that it is in our hands how we shape our communities. We thank International IDEA and Bhutan Foundation for supporting the Project Mikhung (Project Citizen aimed at strengthening people’s participation in fostering a more democratic society).

YI Website Back Up Again to Encourage Youth Voices

After a three year hiatus, the Youth Initiative (YI) website is up and running again!

The website will serve as a reservoir of youth voice and perspectives on social issues and also document the programme as it grows and matures over time. YI is in its 6th year.

YI gives college and out-of-college/school youths hands-on experience in research, policy review and analysis. The Initiative also equips them with the skills to act on their knowledge to advocate for the issues which they have adopted to ultimately become active and engaged citizens.

“The success of YI shouldn’t be measured only by the concrete short-term outputs of its participants but rather by the kind of thinkers that the participants become over the years,” said Ngawang Gyeltshen, a YI Steering Committee Member.

Samdrup Jongkhar Town Launch Vision Mision

Students of JNEC perform the Four Noble Friends in relation to the community development.

Samdrup Jongkhar 7 November 2019: Residents of Samdrup Jongkhar town — located in the south-eastern part of Bhutan — launched their town vision and mission which they created earlier this year.

The town will now use this vision to be a GNH-based (Gross National Happiness) commercial hub in eastern Bhutan. The town’s mission is to nurture a commercially and culturally vibrant community living in peace, health, and inclusivity.

The town’s vision-mission was launched in the presence of residents and government officials with a drama based on a popular Bhutanese fable, Thuenpa Puenzhi (The Four Noble Friends, an elephant, monkey, rabbit, and a bird).  The play sent out a strong message to the residents and relevant stakeholders on the need to come together for the larger benefit of the community by setting aside their differences and individual goals.

The play also revealed the potential dangers that residents, policy-makers and officials could face by working in isolation without considering the greater good of the community.

“Through this skit of the four friends I learned that happiness does not come from material wealth or connection, you need good intention. If you don’t have good intentions, the results will not be good. If each one of us has good intention, we will naturally contribute to the wellbeing of Bhutan. We need to change our mindset from an individualistic view to a greater good…,” said an official from the Dzongkhag Administration, Sonam Dorji.

BCMD hopes to share this tale of interdependence for the good of society soon on our website. Nine students from JNEC in Dewathang, Samdrup Jongkhar participated in the drama led by Bhutanese actor and a volunteer at Jangsa Animal Saving Trust (CSO), Tshering Dorji.

The Community Building Initiative in Samdrup Jongkhar is funded by UNDP Bhutan. The aim of the project is to enhance citizen awareness of their role in their community and town.

The Druk Journal Shares Recommendations for Tourism in Bhutan


As a result of the conversation on tourism held on 28 October – BCMD’s The Druk Journal shared the summary of recommendations and suggestions from a cross-section of stakeholders, political parties and citizens with the Tourism Council of Bhutan this month. Look out for articles from the Winter issue of The Druk Journal on

This issue was supported by the TCB, DIPD and the UN system. As the DJ continues to reflect on national priorities in Bhutan, the spring 2020 theme will be Technology in the perspective of the current technological revolution taking place and the technology that Bhutan needs to adopt/ adapt. Interested contributors may check this out on our website.

The conversation helped govt. to make more sound and sustainable decisions for the tourism sector.

CSOs Meet Government

Thimphu, 22 November 2019: The Government-CSOs Meet 2019 was the first of its kind organised by Civil Society Organisations Authority (CSOA) under the theme of “Exploring Coordination towards Nation Building” on 22 November 2019.

The meet was attended by Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering along with two ministers, Chairperson of Anti-Corruption Commission, Gross National Happiness Commission, Tourism Council of Bhutan, Royal Audit Authority, Royal Civil Service Commission, Dratshang Lhentshog (monastic body), and members of the CSO fraternity.

The CSO Mapping Report 2019 and an Information Management System were launched at the event which was aimed at assessing the current landscape of CSO as well as putting in place, structures that would improve efficiency and effectiveness. However, the bulk of the event was spent in an interactive Q&A format.

At the meet, in addition to discussing the challenges and seeking to understand each other, PM touched on the need for the government and CSOs to work together; He remarked that this partnership is no longer a need but a must.

Upcoming Activities

1st Youth Summit in the East

Youth Summit is traveling to eastern Bhutan for the first time ever to engage another 120 youths and give them the space to share their concerns and dreams of their ideal Bhutan. In its 5th year, the summit is the most inclusive in its criteria requiring only the interest of the participants to be a part of the summit. Through the summit, the participants are taken on a transformative journey of self-awakening to realize their immense role as citizens in a democracy.

News and Media Literacy

Media Literacy will be held for the teachers from the schools in Paro to impart critical skills to access, analyse and evaluate news and information.

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