Bhutan’s shelter for needy children
If you travel through India, it’s a common sight to see a children’s home. Yet in Bhutan until recently there was no place for uncared for children. This changed with the opening of ‘Raynaling’ last October. The place offers not only temorary shelter for orphans, but also for runaways, neglected and abused children. Raynaling wants to create a safe space where these children up till the age of 18 get support and protection. The children get shelter, food, professional counseling (group therapy and family counseling) and medical care for a maximum of 30 days. Once the children are in better shape, they are supported to re-enter schoo or find a job. If needed, Raynaling searches for foster parents and will support national and international adpotion of these children, but only as a last resort. The shelter is one of the concrete actions coming forth from the childcare and protection act, and is being sponsored by ‘Save the Children’, an international child rights organization. Read more

Bhutan suffers forest fires
Like many other places in the world, Bhutan as well suffers from severe forest fires. The past 3 years alone, over a 31.132 acres of forest was destroyed by fire. Yet compared to earlier times, the incident of forest fires and the damage caused by it, has gone down. One of the reasons for the fires is a longer dry season and a short circuit of Electricity transmission Lines, but a lot of the fires are simply caused by people. This varies from kids playing with matches to burning debris, but also road workers, cow herders and lemon grass harvesters. The Forest Fire Management Section has started a campain to raise the awareness among the people of Bhutan. In addition the country is considering more heavy punishments of those caught causing a fire.
Bhutan’s Forest and Nature Conservation Act only allows controlled campfires. The setting of fire is prohibited in all other cases. When someone violates the act, this can lead up to a fine and/or a maximum of 5 years of prison. The country soon will put in place more strict rules governing forest fires. read more

On the modern road to medical help
After a succesful trial, Bhutan’s Ministry of Health this month nationwide launched the health help centre (HCC). The HCC is part of a program to accelerate the country’s socio-economic development. It’s aim is providing access to health services within one hour, 24 hours a day, no matter where in Bhutan the medical assistance is needed. HCC consists of an Emergency response, and the toll free number 112 - a healthcare helpline people can call in order to request an ambulance. There are 61 ambulances – all equipped with GPS or GIS, in 37 locations. In addition there are 59 emergency medical technicians rendering services around the clock. People can also call the number for medical advise, information about healthcare and counseling. The number is also open for lodging complaints or reporting epidemic outbreaks. Base of the HHC was offering equity and justice in the health care services to all Bhutanese. Read more

Hopes for Bhutan captured in special book
If you want to read more about the hopes of a young Bhutan fellow, then the book ‘Beautiful dreams, the joy of life‘ is a must read. In this book, Monu Tamang gives his view on life in this ancient country. This aspiring young writer, just recently graduated, wrote a mix of several short stories and essays on the wide range of life, varying from personal intimate stories to patriotic national stories. Several reflective themes about current social issues, but also about love and romance are woven throughout the book which Tamang wrote in simple language. Message of the book: “Life without dreams is a flower without fragrance. If you dream beautifully, then every day you’ll receive the trophy of success”. Both old and young readers will be attracted to the book. Read more

United Nation program aims at poor countries
In order to stimulate the potential economic growth in Least Developd Countries (LDC), May 13th a United Nations conference was held in Bhutan. Several strategies were designed, one of the mayor ones focussing on foreign direct investments and a smaller role for the national government. At the conference five steps were pinpointed to stimulat economic growth in these countries, like engaging more women in work, strenthening of agriculture, improving governance, a diversification of the economie, a target on official development assistance and a clear focus. UN’s secretary general Ban Ki-Moon clearly stated these countries – there are 48 countries world wide considered an LDC - shouldn’t be seen as weak and poor, but as potentive countries with large reservoirs of great potential. Investing in these countries would not only be an opportunity for the LDC’s, but also for the investers themselves. Presently new debates are organised to come up with a new 10n-year program for these poor yet potential nations. Read more

Movie on afterlife big winner Bhutanese film awards
On May 6th the 10th National Film Awards were broadcasted live nationwide. Big winner was the Movie ‘Bardo’ with 14 awards. The movie which is based on the intermediate state after death, won the awards for the best film, best supporting actor female, best visual editor, best story, best director, best special effects, best lyrics, best cameraman, best actor in a negative role, best art direction best make-up artist, best background score, best choreography and best sound.Thirty-one films competed for the awards in 30 categories. Read more