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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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

Muenselling – education for visually impaired children

Muenselling Institut in Trashigang, Bhutan

Access to digital technology for visually impaired children at Bhutan’s school for the blind

Logo MueMuenselling Institute in Trashigang, located in the east of Bhutan is the only school for the blind in the country. Today, 24 students are enrolled. Improved access to digital media will make students become more digitally literate and ensures an inclusive and equitable quality of education for Bhutan’s visually impaired children.  Together with the Austrian Agency for Development Cooperation (ADA), the Association of Friends of Bhutan, Austria supports the Muenselling Institute in Trashigang with 12 smart TVs and associated equipment. The project is a contribution to SDG Goal 4 Inclusive, equal and high-quality education.

Learning and Teaching with modern equipment

Using a computer, getting information and exchanging information via the Internet has become a matter of course for us. Whether in professional or private life, the use of modern information and communication technologies (ICT) has become an integral part of our everyday lives. For visually impaired people, modern ICT open up new opportunities to participate in everyday life on an equal footing. In education, there are new perspectives for visually impaired children to access learning materials. Modern technological devices applied in special needs education can further help to improve the learning outcomes of visually impaired children.

What is a Smart TV?

A smart TV allows visually impaired persons to participate equally in social life. It offers additional features such as a voice guide, color intensive mode, magnification mode among other features to easily access content. Reading is easier because texts can be enlarged and learning materials can also be accessed acoustically. Additionally, equipping a classroom with smart TVs offers   up-to-date teaching methods for teachers and provides them new opportunities of interaction with the visually impaired students. 24 students are benefitting from this project. The smart TVs and associated electronic devices ensure that visually impaired students have better access to learning materials.

Background

Bhutan signed the UN- Disability Rights Convention in 2010 and is working on its ratification. The convention stipulates, that blind and visually impaired persons must have the same opportunities in the education system as everyone else. This project makes a valuable contribution to supporting Bhutan on its way to an inclusive society, especially regarding SDG 4.

Project name: Enhancement of ICT access and learning for students with vision impairment, Khaling
Financing: Small project fund of the Austrian Agency for Development Cooperation (ADA)
with a budget of 9.596 Euro (82%) and a fund from Friends of Bhutan Association, Austria with 2.010 Euro (18%).
Project phase: 13 July – 15 October 2021
Thematic focus: Inclusive Education & Social Justice
SDG Tracker: SDG4 Inclusive and equitable education, SDG 10 Reduce inequalities

RENEW Strengthening legal access for victims of domestic violence in rural Bhutan

Sarpang, Tsirang, Dagana, Samtse and Chukha

Legal access for victims of domestic violence in rural communities of Bhutan

Domestic violence is widespread in BhutRENEW Logoan. However, social stigmas silences domestic violence victims. Most girls and women are suffering in silence. Particularly, in rural areas women and girls face more difficulties to access justice. This project aims to strengthen legal access for victims of domestic violence in the following rural districts: Sarpang, Tsirang, Dagana, Samtse and Chukha. With funding from the Federal Ministry for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection and together with the Austrian organization Jugend Eine Welt, our association supports the Bhutanese women’s rights organization RENEW. So that girls and women will feel save in rural areas of Bhutan. Read more