On 8 November 2022, the Association of Friends of Bhutan, Austria and Tarayana Foundation in Bhutan signed a cooperation agreement. The City of Vienna awarded our association a grant of 29,000 Euros to enable 35 women mountain farmers from the Lhuentse district to purchase small motorized ploughs with the help of microcredits. Tarayana will implement the project, the goal of which is to enable the women, who currently practice only subsistence agriculture, to expand their agricultural productivity, thereby generating income and improving the livelihood of their families. Read more
As part of the project “Strengthening access to justice for victims of gender-based violence in Bhutan”, also a two-month tailoring course for women was financed (project partner RENEW; with funding from the Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs/JugendEineWelt). The training should promote their economic independence and enable them to generate an independent income. During a project visit of our association in November we could convince ourselves of the newly gained skills of the 19 female participants and the only male participant of the course from Rinchengang. With great commitment, the women are now already making kiras, tegos and wanjus, the traditional clothing of women in Bhutan, as well as other products and are already receiving orders for sewing work.Read more
Together with the Swiss and the German-Himalayan Bhutan Societies we support the Bhutanese non-governmental organization Ability Bhutan Society. It trains facilitators in the Early Childhood and Development Centers (ECCD) in Trashi Yangtse, in the far northeast of Bhutan, in the early identification and early intervention for children with disabilities. 20 ECCD facilitators will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to take appropriate action for the support and inclusion of children and their families. Read more
For two years, the meeting, already planned for 2020, had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Finally, from 14 to 18 September 2022, representatives from 13 European countries and Bhutan met at the invitation of the President of the Hungarian Friendship Society, Zoltan Valcsicsak, and his team. Austria was represented by Claudia Lisa, Christine A. Jantscher and Dr. Michael Raffling. Read more
The third general assembly of the Association of Friends of Bhutan took place on November 11, 2021 at the Hotel Palais Kempinski with the participation of 19 members and guests. As a guest of honor, the President Liselotte Waldheim-Natural welcomed Univ. Prof. Dr. Hermann Mückler, the president of the Federation of Austrian-Foreign Societies – PaN, of which our Association of Friends of Bhutan is a member.
The Ambassador of Bhutan to Austria based in Geneva, H.E. Tenzin R. Wangchuk addressed his message to the assembly via Zoom and presented the De-suung Skilling Program initiated by His Majesty the 5th King, which aims to give young people in Bhutan skills and abilities in various professional fields and thus a start in professional life. We are also looking for trainers from Austria for this program.Read more
Our association member, Heinrich Schmutzenhofer, can look back on a particularly long joint history between Austria and Bhutan. The official development cooperation between Austria and Bhutan began under his initiative. We asked him to tell us his very personal story, about his work and his impressions from this time and about how it all began….
by Sonam Tshering, lecturer RITH
Bhutan recorded its first case of novel coronavirus in the country on 6th March 2020. The Prime Minister announced that the government worked on all arrangements under the direct supervision of none other than His Majesty the King. His Majesty was concerned of the unfortunate traveler and advised the government to take care of him and his partner. With the contacts beings traced overnight, the boarding house of the Royal Institute for Tourism and Hospitality (RITH) was identified by the government as a quarantine facility. The students had to vacate their rooms instantly and the boarding house was cleaned thoroughly to welcome the contacts of the first case into the boarding house for observation. Their wellbeing was taken care of throughout the quarantine period. The Office of His Majesty’s Secretariat provided all the necessary amenities such as water boilers, TVs, heaters and extra blankets to make the stay of the contacts comfortable. Read more
RENEW with support from Friends of Bhutan Austria (FOBA) conducted a three day “Basic Financial Literacy and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Tutorial”, with 30 participants, 28 female and 2 male. The training took place from 12th to 14th November, 2020 at Gawaling Happy Home, Wangsisina, Thimphu. In addition, FOBA provided four computers for the computer lab for disadvantaged women and girls.
- Support Bhutanese filmmakers and community
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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.
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