Climate Resilient Water management in Rural Bhutan

With a grant from the City of Vienna, Friends of Bhutan Austria supports a project of the Bhutanese organization Tarayana Foundation for an integrated, climate resilient water management in Goshing, in the district of Zhemgang.  The aim is to combat the drying up of water sources and thus improve the livelihood and food security of the inhabitants of the village of Lichibe. First of all, a hydrological mapping of the spring catchment area of Lichibe will be carried out. Together with the inhabitants, ditches will be dug and water reservoirs will be built. In addition, a water user group will be established and education on improved sanitation and hygiene will be provided. Finally, the villagers are also building pour-flush toilets in each of the 54 households. Read more

Cultivating Healthy Social Media Habits

Friends of Bhutan Austria, together with the Society-Switzerland-Bhutan and the German-Bhutan-Himalaya Society, supports the Bhutan Center for Media and Democracy to create awareness in the communities through parent and youth education on safe and responsible use of the digital space.

There are 13 youth centers in the country providing safe space catering to children’s and youth’s recreational and social needs outside of the school system. The project will benefit the youth center coordinators, parents, youth and children residing in the communities around the center through imparting digital media literacy.

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Ability Bhutan: Successful completion of Training

Teilnehmer*innen des ECCD Trainings
Teilnehmer*innen des ECCD Trainings

To address the exclusion of children with disabilities, the project of Ability Bhutan (ABS) trained 26 ECCD facilitators and 3 primary school teachers from Pemagatshel district to enrol and provide early intervention services to children with disabilities in their centres.

One of Bhutan’s challenges is ensuring that all children with special educational needs and disabilities receive appropriate education and social services. Poor awareness of current resources, negative attitudes, and negative cultural beliefs about disabilities still persist in communities.  Besides, most parents/caregivers and community workers don’t realize the importance of early intervention and miss out on the golden opportunity to reduce the impact of disability.

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Mini-Motor Ploughs for Female Mountain Farmers through Microcredits

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

Project visit: Tailoring Training for Residents of Rinchengang

Women present their models

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.

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Early Identification and Intervention for Children with Disabilities

© Ability Bhutan

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

Meeting of the European Bhutan Friendship Associations

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

General Assembly of the Friends of Bhutan Association Austria on the 11th November 2021

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.

H.E. Tenzin Rondel Wangchuk addressed the Assembly via Zoom

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.

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