RENEW: Computer Lab and IT Training for Women and Girls

Friends of Bhutan Austria has been supporting the Bhutanese non-governmental organisation RENEW (Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women) by providing as a start four computers in order to establish a computer lab for disadvantaged women and girls. 

Four new computers funded by Friends of Bhutan Austria

The Bhutanese NGO RENEW provides shelter, counseling and legal services to survivors of domestic and gender based violence. Gawailing Happy Home ist the first emergency center in the country which has the capacity to accomodate up to 100 women and children. Livelihood skills and occupational therapy has been one of RENEW’s core services. Thus, RENEW is also increasing women’s economic opportunities and life choices through vocational trainings which meet the need in the current market. RENEW offers different forms of skills development such as tailoring, weaving, waste management, food production, baking, felting and floriculture. 


Participants of the IT Training

With support from UNDP and the Friends of Bhutan Association, RENEW conducted a basic financial literacy and IT training  from 12th to 14th November 2020.  40 women and 2 male candidates, who participated in the vocational development training, also aquired basic computer skills such as excel, financial accounting, social media as well as record and book keeping.  The training also covered money management, saving schemes and accounting. Marketing and advertising of products as well as order intake will be facilitated by using social media. This will also enhance and upscale production.

The training was very well received. For most of the participants this was the first training of its kind. Thus, many expressed that the training was an eye-opener and will benefit them for the lifetime.

Finally! BESKOP – The first film-streaming platform of CINEMA from BHUTAN

the_container ©BESKOP

Created to

  • Support Bhutanese filmmakers and community
  • Share Bhutanese cinema with the world
  • Create an online archive, history, and community for Bhutanese cinema
  • Inspire, spotlight, celebrate arts, voices, stories


Support Bhutan’s fight against the Co-vid pandemic.
Currently, until further notice, 20% of all proceeds will go towards Bhutan’s Covid Fund which supports those most affected by the pandemic and its lockdowns and closures.

Training for Neuronavigation in JDWNR Hospital

Training for Neuronavigation in JDWNR Hospital

Dr. Maschke trains staff of JDWNR Hospital

The young doctor Dr. Svenja Maschke is specialised in the use of neuronavigation devices. At the moment she is training assistant doctors and technical personnel at the JDWNR Hospital Thimphu in the use of such a device.

During the highly intensive three-week training in Bhutan, the required software skills are to be trained and enhanced in order to be used in the operating theatre. Another major objective is to pass on the knowledge to further interested assistant doctors and technical personnel. Read more

Health Care. A visit to Dagana

Dagana Hospital

Dagana HospitalSix doctors are supposed to work in Dagana. When we visited this southern Bhutanese district in August 2019, we met a lone doctor in the little hospital in the district town. Unfortunately, he was also about to leave to be deployed in Thimphu. Doctors are a “scarce species“ not only in Dagana. Nationwide, there are currently only three doctors per 10 000 citizens. (12th Five Year Plan, S.85f).

Dagapela District Hospital

 We did not meet a doctor in the larger district hospital in Dagapela, but we had the chance to talk to highly professional and motivated nurses. Mr. Prem Neopanay and Ms.Tshering  Dema presented  a well organised and relatively well-equipped hospital regarding human and technical resources. Read more

Longstanding Relations Revived

Longstanding Relations Revived

This summer Karma Dorji, a young Bhutanese student of Criminology at the University of New Brunswick, Canada was offered insight into the work at Criminal Intelligence Service Austria.

Austria and Bhutan have had long-standing relations on police level since two officers of the Royal Bhutan Body Guard and the Royal Bhutan Police participated in a 10-week training of the Austrian Special Operations Unit WEGA in 2002. This was continued by a follow-up some years later and numerous contacts and visits both on professional and private level. Read more

30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Austria and Bhutan

30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Austria and Bhutan
Ehrengast Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck

22 August 2019. Her Excellency, the Austrian Ambassador to Bhutan, Brigitte Öppinger-Walchshofer hosted a reception at the Royal Institute for Tourism and Hospitality (RITH). Her Royal Highness Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck graced the event as the Guest of Honour.

Numerous Ministers of the Royal Government and Bhutanese dignitaries participated in the reception on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Austria and Bhutan.  Austrian musicians entertained the guests with traditional Austrian music. Two representatives of the Friends of Bhutan Association Austria have also been invited to participate in this memorable event.

The venue of the celebrations, the Royal Institute for Tourism and Hospitality (RITH), presents an outstanding example of cooperation between Austria and Bhutan. Construction and refurbishment of the school building as well as the training of the young Bhutanese tourism professionals has been supported by Austria since 2008. Tourism Schools Salzburg have been significantly involved in the curriculum and capacity development of  RITH. Diploma programs offered by RITH are also certified by Tourism Schools Salzburg. Read more

Support for the JDWNR Hospital in Thimphu

Support for the JDWNR Hospital in Thimphu

25 October 2018. Training on a neuronavigation system in JDWNR Hospital Thimphu


With the support of the Association a much needed training on a new neuro-navigation device of the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu was facilitated by the Friendship Association.

Dr. Stefan Wolfsberger of the Medical University of Vienna, who had already trained Dr. Tashi Tenzin from the JDWNR Hospital in Thimphu in the use of this system in Vienna, assisted in the operation of two patients on site.

The neuro-navigation system renders medical interventions more precise and reduces the risks for patients. In future, patients who possibly suffer from a brain tumour no longer have to be referred to India, but will receive high-quality treatment at home in their own country.