News from Draktsho
Our project manager in Bhutan, Ugyen Tshering, has been busy on the ground and has updated us on all the projects and works that have taken place at the Draktsho centres recently. Some fantastic progress has been made in many areas including recruitment of some key staff, improvements to important areas of the school and development of the sustainable agriculture project.
One of our commitments as a charity was to fund extra staff at Draktsho East to serve the children’s needs better and reduce stress for the existing small staff team. We are delighted to report that a number of new staff have been recruited, including (pictured below clockwise L-R):
Mr Karma Tenzin, who will be driver and warden at the centre – driving the children to appointments and for emergency care at the hospital.
Mr Lobzang, who will be benefitting the children with his skills in the kitchen as the new cook,
Mr Phurba Wangchuk, who will be looking after the accounts and administrative tasks at the centre,
Two new special needs teachers to support the children’s learning.
One of these special needs teachers is Tshering Dolkar, who has so far impressed the children and staff at the school with her enjoyable and passionate teaching and fantastic skills working with the children. Tshering shared this message with us:
“As a special education teacher, I feel that teaching children with special needs can be tough, at times I feel tired and hopeless. But then at that moment I remind myself that it can also be rewarding at the end. When i see my students smile, having fun or even when students are able to utter a single word. All these small things make me happy. So, I as an individual want to do all I can for children who need special care. Lastly, special education can be even more successful with positive support from parents and the society".
During Karin and Sue’s November 2018 visit to Draktsho East, one of their concerns was unhealthy smoke produced by cooking in the kitchen. This has now been solved with the creation of a greener kitchen, with the installation of 3 electric cookers in the kitchen in April. This allows the children’s food to be prepared and enjoyed in a much healthier environment and saves trees from being used as fuel too! A fantastic achievement for the centre.
Library and Learning Block Construction
Take a look at our before and after pics below for the library and learning block construction project – we are delighted that 97% of the construction work has been completed and the block is looking fantastic! The two storey building consist of following units:
· Library Room.
· Physiotherapy room.
· Staff office and principal office.
· Meeting room and
· Guest room for the visitors.
Finishing touches soon to be completed include the wheelchair ramp around the building and between floors, as well as the connection of the water supply.
The rooms are spacious for the children and soon to be filled with books!
Sustainable Agriculture Project
Opening Your Heart To Bhutan has part-funded a sustainable agriculture project for the older students at Draktsho East, in collaboration with the German Embassy and Ministry of Agriculture in Bhutan. The project will enable students to learn how to grow a range of edible plants so that the school can become more self-sustainable, as well as supporting students to learn practical life skills
A total of approximately 4 acres of land has been excavated and prepared for cultivation. A volunteer will be working on the project, helping to develop mineral rich top-soil for growing vegetables like beans, carrots and cauliflower.