We can't really say thank you enough. To all of you, to our funders, to all our partners in Bhutan, to our indefatigable CEO and Founder Ani Pema Deki who continues to spread kindness to children in Bhutan and around the world. To our Project Manager Ugyen Tshering who holds it all together in Bhutan. To everyone at Draktsho Vocational Training Centres. To everyone around the world who ran, cycled, baked cakes, organised dog walks, gave their personal money, organised events, taught yoga, sold scarves, bought books, gave us opportunities to talk about the charity and sell goods made at the training centres we support, and countless other initiatives. To our Board of Trustees who don't just attend board meetings to steer the ship but travel to Bhutan in their own time on their own dollar to help, as well as being very active in fundraising. All of the generosity received means Opening Your Heart To Bhutan has now raised £275,000 in three years to benefit some of the most vulnerable young people in Bhutan. We are still run completely by volunteers in the UK and have one paid Project Manager in Bhutan, Ugyen Tshering, pictured above on the right with project partner Namgyel Wangchuk (centre) from the Royal Tutorial Project and Tendin Tshering, on the left, one of the senior pupils at Draktsho Vocational Training Centre in Thimpu - one of the schools we support.
When we wrote to you in the Spring, we had just started to fundraise for the Library and Learning Block at Draktsho East. Within months we were able to give the go ahead for the build and when trustees Karin and Sue visited the school in November it already looked like this:
This new learning block will be finished early in the New Year. Thanks to recent generous donations we are also able to install modern kitchen facilities in the newly built and completed kitchen and dining hall at Draktsho East. And Opening Your Heart To Bhutan is committing to funding extra staff at the school to help look after the buildings as well as drive pupils to regular physiotherapy appointments, and more teachers to be able to serve the children's needs better as well as reduce stress for the current small staff team. Very few charities nowadays are willing to pay for staffing costs but this is really what is needed now more than anything. And we hope we can rely on all of your ongoing support to keep helping where help is most needed.
Sue and Karin also delivered some stress management, self-compassion and resilience training whilst in Thimpu in November for the teaching team at Draktsho East. This was very well received and attended.