Philanthropic Works by the Tarayana Foundation

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The Tarayana Foundation was founded by Her Majesty the Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck and was formally launched on May 4, 2003 by His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

Trainings provided by the Tarayana Foundation for the low income group. (Source: http://www.kuenselonline.com)

The Tarayana Foundation was founded by Her Majesty the Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck and was formally launched on May 4, 2003 by His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

Aims of the Tarayana Foundation

The public benefit organisation works in remote, rural villages to bring about holistic community growth and development.

Through the foundation’s social and economic development programmes, Tarayana works towards community mobilisation, enhancing access to basic needs, increasing opportunities for education and enhancing livelihood prospects.

Trainings provided by the Tarayana Foundation for the low income group

To empower low income generating individuals, the Tarayana Foundation conducted a two-week long training on basket weaving using waste in 2016. In addition to the training, two weeks of training on weaving, tailoring and designing were also conducted this year in January and February.

Dechen Choden, 44, is one of the 54 trainees. Apart from housewives of the armed forces, divorcees and the unemployed, some parents of children with disability also took part in the training.

Dechen Choden said that since her divorce in 2005, she weaves to make a living for herself and to provide for her two children. “I was with a cousin at Changbangdo. That is when people from Tarayana came looking for trainees. I just registered and they called me later for meetings.”

Trainings provided by the Tarayana Foundation led to employment at Clean Bhutan

She showed a steady interest in weaving with waste and got employed at Clean Bhutan. She is one of the three employed by Clean Bhutan who weaves baskets and work on other designs using waste.

Dechen Choden said that she has been working with Clean Bhutan for eight months and the job has helped her eke out a living. Two other women who were also trained by Tarayana were also employed by Clean Bhutan.

The waste management training was part of the project ‘Decentralised Coordination and Partnerships for Gender Equality Results’ that started last year. Tarayana will continue to provide training to other groups of women until 2019.

As part of an additional support to the project, training in cane, bamboo and textile weaving were also provided.

Tarayana’s programme officer, Wangmo, said that in Pemagatshel, the foundation has trained 16 individuals in cane and bamboo weaving and 26 in dyeing with local experts. “They even got the products here at the fair and at the Tarayana shop. They sold cane and bamboo products worth about Nu 75,000.”

She added that similar trainings would be conducted in Tading, Samtse for basket weaving and making bamboo furniture.

The training was part of a single project under Tarayana’s income generating activities. Last year, 58 self-help groups were formed in eight dzongkhags with 771 members. The trainings and activities will continue under the project until 2019.

Finding markets for the products made under the Tarayana trainings

Similarly, under the economic development programme, through market facilitation and micro finance activities, the products will find a market with the Tarayana fair and Tarayana Rural Craft outlets.

In 2016, community members who participated in the annual fair made Nu 1.3 million collectively.

Along with the economic development programme, the foundation also works towards vulnerability reduction by providing learning opportunities with green technologies.

Other programmes and assistance provided by the Tarayana Foundation

For vulnerability reduction, activities under housing improvement, surgical camps, annual pilgrimage for senior citizens and community radio are being conducted.

Wangmo said that the foundation provides wages for the labourers and materials for some of the selected households. “Some houses need renovation and we help do that.”

Last year, 181 houses were constructed under the programme and 48 were renovated. To improve sanitation and hygiene, the Tarayana Foundation constructed 390 toilets across the country.

Wangmo said that to provide health assistance in the rural areas, surgical camps are also conducted twice a year. “The people here get health assistance easily, but the people in the rural area do not.”

In the past, surgical camps for cataract corrections, cleft lips, cleft palates, patients with burns and people mauled by wild animals were conducted.

Surgeries provided by the Tarayana Foundation

The activities of surgical camps started in 2007 and has continued until today. This year, eye camps and surgical camps for cleft lips, cleft palates and burnt patients were conducted. The foundation will conduct another surgical camp in November this year.

Through the eye camp, 844 individual were availed of services and 87 received surgeries this year. For cleft lips, cleft palates, patients mauled by animals and burnt patients, 61 people received surgeries this year.

Educational programmes supported by the Tarayana Foundation

Under the education programme, Tarayana has supported 112 students for further education. The foundation has supported 20 students for further education this year.

Education support is also provided through the construction of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Centres in the remote areas of the country. Tarayana has constructed 33 ECCD centres across the country to date.

The foundation also engages more than 4,000 students in various activities through the Tarayana clubs in different schools and colleges. Although the foundation is one of the oldest civil society organisations in the country, funding is one of the major challenges faced by Tarayana.

By Phurpa Lhamo (This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on Kuensel.

 

 

 

 


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