One of our small grant recipients is a Buddhist monk from Wales called Lama Shenphen Zangpo, who has been an inspirational mentor for Bhutanese youth who come in conflict with law and suffer from substance abuse. For his efforts, in year 2015, His Majesty the King, awarded Lama Shenphen the National Order of Merit, Gold. To render further support to his amazing work and as Bhutan is confronted with various youth related issues, we supported rehabilitation program of four recovering addicts and also their skill-related training in the neighboring Indian town of Siliguri.

One of them is Galay Wangchuk. His childhood has not been an easy one. With difficult and dysfunctional family background, Galay soon came in conflict with law and served numerous periods in juvenile center. However, his life turned around when he met Lama Shenphen. After successfully completing his three-month rehabilitation program and skill training on art and painting, Galay returned to Bhutan to open a home-based art gallery in Thimphu. He got another chance for life through our small gesture of support.  

The Bhutan Foundation has been very instrumental in supporting the recovering addicts who have completed their rehab treatment in Siliguri. To date, three guys who had an interest and talent in art were sponsored by the Foundation for three month art classes in Siliguri, and since returning all three have managed to find work that utilizes these skills. At present, another boy who has been sponsored by the Foundation in electrical repair in Siliguri is taking his final exam today.  Bhutan Foundation’s assistance for these recovering addicts has been invaluable. Without it, there would have be a high chance for them to relapse.

Lam Shenphen Zangpo
Guardian