March 6, 2023

Today, the Foundation signed two grant agreements as part of the Small Grants Program with The Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative (SJI) and the Wangsel Institute for the Deaf.

The Foundation will provide financial support to SJI to help expand their mustard oil extraction unit. The project objectives include the provision of proper filtration and packaging facilities to support the expansion of the unit, the promotion of locally produced oil through the development of a viable market, and the creation of an alternative source of income for mustard growers.

Wangsel Institute, with the support of the Foundation, will develop a mobile application for Bhutanese Sign Language (BhSL). This mobile app will be invaluable in helping to improve the proficiency of BhSL teachers, giving children with hearing impairment early access and acquisition of the language, and aiding communication between parents and their children. In the long-term, Wangsel Institute aims to extend the reach of BhSL across the community of those with hearing impairment in Bhutan, thus promoting a culture of inclusivity.

The Foundation has also supported Happy Farmers from Bartsham, Jigmechu Campsite in Chukha, and Tendruk Central School, making a total of five small grant projects totaling to USD 55,335.19 for the fiscal year 2022-23.

The Foundation’s Small Grants Program, established in 2014, provides financial assistance to projects with restricted timeframes and budgets. It has been created to answer urgent, arising needs in Bhutan, to promote local projects and to increase the Foundation’s ties with its partners. The program also funds projects which can lead to bigger changes and gives the Foundation the chance to research and develop new long-term core programs. By providing funding for smaller initiatives, the Foundation is able to extend its support beyond its core program areas.