Ability Bhutan Society
Ability Bhutan Society (ABS) was officially registered on November 10, 2011, under the patronage of Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, as a civil society organization. ABS was founded with the vision for a “compassionate and just society” as laid out by His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. Its founding was driven by the concerns of Bhutanese parents of children with special needs about the opportunities available to them. These parents sought equal access to quality education, safe and nurturing environments for development, and specially trained caregivers to provide the highest level of care for their children. Since its inception in 2011, ABS has worked to meet the needs of the almost 21 percent of Bhutanese children who have a disability in at least one functional domain as identified in UNICEF’s Two-Stage Disability Study conducted in 2011. ABS’s efforts have been most intensively focused on meeting the needs of the approximately 7,000 children with moderate to severe disabilities. This primarily includes providing a free, quality education for all children up to 10th grade, regardless of their special needs, and as ensured in Bhutan’s Constitution. Ability Bhutan Society is working with the Bhutan Foundation and its other partners, including the Anderson Center for Autism, Australian Volunteers for International Development, the Bhutan Canada Foundation, Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan, Draktsho Vocational Training Center for Special Children and Youth, the Ministry of Education, Perkins International, and UNICEF Bhutan, to develop special education programming in Bhutan.
Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs
Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE) is a registered non-government organization in Bhutan. They stand for a just and equitable society in which women recognize their strengths and become successful, empowered entrepreneurs leading meaningful lives as responsible and responsive citizens of Bhutan. The BAOWE reaches out and empowers women and girls, particularly single mothers, unemployed youth, and women working in the informal sector, through entrepreneurship programs.
BAOWE has over 4,000 members across 13 Districts in the form of self-help groups (SHGs) and cooperatives. These women’s groups are engaged in a plethora of agricultural activities ranging from rice, cardamom, turmeric, vegetables, mustard, and aromatic plant plantation to the production of mustard oil, dairy products, and dairy/poultry feed. BAOWE helps its members with branding, packaging, labeling, and marketing of local produce.
BAOWE provides a common platform through which the needs, concerns and aspirations of women entrepreneurs are collectively and effectively advocated, voiced and addressed by facilitating meaningful dialogues with relevant stakeholders, key partners and the business community in general.
BHUTAN ANIMAL RESCUE AND CARE
Bhutan Animal Rescue and Care (BARC) promotes the health and welfare of all animals in Bhutan by proactively rescuing animals in need and promoting animal happiness in support of community happiness.
BARC provides rescue service, picks up animals in need, and organizes transport through supporters. While striving to re-integrate or relocate recovered animals, those animals which are handicapped or suffering from chronic diseases are kept at their shelter. To support a small and healthy stray animal population, BARC conducts weekly sterilization campaigns with DHPPI-L vaccinations. Their program is built upon a network of caring citizens who bring stray dogs from their neighborhood which makes follow-up care and release of sterilized dogs back into the community a successful initiative.
Bhutan Cancer Society
Bhutan Cancer Society (BCS) is a civil society organization founded by Ms. Dechen Wangmo, a public health specialist, and Dr. Ugyen Tshomo, a Gynae-oncologist at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH), under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck. BCS is the only nonprofit organization established for the benefit of the cancer patient, caregiver, and general population in Bhutan with the mission to improve cancer care and reduce the incidence of cancer through cancer control activities (education, prevention, and research) and provide psychosocial support to those affected by cancer. In addition to leading numerous awareness and advocacy campaigns targeted at all segments of the Bhutanese population, BCS works on creating a network of cancer survivors and cancer patients to help create a strong community. The Bhutan Foundation supports the work of the Bhutan Cancer Society to strengthen the population-based cancer registry at the JDWNRH and to provide cancer control services in prevention, treatment, palliative, and supportive care to nunneries in Bhutan.
Bhutan Center For Media and Democracy
The Bhutan Center for Media and Democracy (BCMD) was founded in the transition period that followed the proclamation of democracy in Bhutan in 2008 and is Bhutan’s first registered civil society organization. The transition to democracy was ushered in by a simultaneous proliferation of media. It was in the wake of this dual development that BCMD was established to encourage a higher standard for media in Bhutan that would also promote a culture of democracy through media education and professional support to those in the media sector. BCMD is working on cross-cutting issues concerning Bhutan’s youth, environment, society, education, and governance. In order to engage civil society in a discourse, BCMD has placed a special focus on the youth of Bhutan through their Media Lab program. BCMD and the Bhutan Foundation have worked together on good governance advocacy, completing briefings to parliament to help lawmakers understand the role of media and the relationship between media and democracy. In addition, BCMD and the Foundation have worked together on media literacy and civic engagement education workshops.
Bhutan Ecological Society
The Bhutan Ecological Society (BES) was founded in 2010 under the leadership of Her Royal Highness Ashi Chimi Yangzom and Dasho Paljor J. Dorji to promote environmental conservation efforts in Bhutan. The mission of the Bhutan Ecological Society is to promote conservation research and sharing of ecological knowledge in Bhutan through publication, seminars, and trainings. The vision for this sharing of knowledge is to operate in an advisory role to guide policy makers, government institutions, and Bhutanese citizens on current and emerging environmental issues in Bhutan. BES’s work is focused on educating, engaging, and inspiring youth and the public to discover nature and participate in conservation efforts. It is BES’s belief that only through the engagement of all stakeholders in the process of conservation will the goal of maintaining a diverse and robust ecosystem be possible. The Bhutan Foundation, the Bhutan Trust Fund, the Karuna Foundation, Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment, and WWF Bhutan currently support the work of the Bhutan Ecological Society. The Bhutan Foundation continues to support BES through the Annual Environmental Research Symposium and Fair in Bhutan.
Bhutan Media Foundation
The Bhutan Media Foundation (BMF) was founded in February 2010 as a non-profit under the Royal Charter of His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. BMF works to sustain and encourage the development of democracy and civic participation through the development of meaningful media and quality journalism. BMF believes that media can play a transformative role in governance and citizen participation and so is a proponent of free and open media in Bhutan. BMF’s beneficiaries include all Bhutanese citizens as well as all licensed and operating media agencies in Bhutan. The Bhutan Media Foundation works toward the development of media literacy, awareness, sustainability, and professionalism in Bhutan. In addition, BMF encourages the use of national language in media and the creation of an enabling environment for media development. The Bhutan Media Foundation works in partnership with the Bhutan Foundation, the International Republican Institute, and the US Agency for International Development to promote good governance programming in Bhutan.
Bhutan Baseball and Softball Association
The Bhutan Baseball and Softball Association (BBSA), with the support of the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC), was founded in 2013 by Karma Dorji and American resident Matthew DeSantis with the mission to promote a sporting culture and create awareness of physical fitness in Bhutanese youth and adults. BBSA is Bhutan’s national governing body for baseball, softball, and baseball5. It provides the opportunity for thousands of players, coaches and umpires across the Kingdom to participate in the sport at the youth and senior levels.
The BBSA supports six clubs in Bhutan – the Thimphu Red Pandas, Paro Ravens, Wangdue Cranes, Phuentsholing Crocodiles, Gelephu Tuskers, and Samtse Rhinos. The organization and its full-time staff are based in Bhutan’s capital city of Thimphu, and conduct free weekly training clinics for students and are open to the general public.
In the summer of 2021, the world governing body for baseball and softball – World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) – approved the membership of Bhutan to become a WBSC member along with official induction by the Baseball Federation of Asia and Softball Asia.
While the BBSA has made great strides in introducing the sport to youth in urban and rural areas, access to fields, equipment, and coaching staff has become too limited to support the demand. To introduce leagues for boys and girls in younger age groups, establish clubs in the remaining fourteen districts, and offer camps and league play in those districts, please consider donating today to help raise funds to provide the opportunity for all interested youth and adults to participate in the sport.
Current sponsors include the Bhutan Cultural Exchange, MyBhutan, Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan, Pitch in for Baseball and more.
Bhutan Nuns Foundation
The Bhutan Nuns Foundation (BNF) is a nonprofit established in 2009 under the patronage of Her Majesty Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. Its mission is to improve the well-being and education of nuns in Bhutan so that they may in turn contribute to the promotion of cultural and spiritual values in broader society. BNF advocates the importance of the role of women in Bhutan so as to ensure that all girls and women are valued and have equal access to quality education and a fulfilling life regardless of income, status, or geographic location. Today, there are approximately 1,000 young women and girl nuns living in 26 nunneries throughout Bhutan. The achievement and work toward this goal strongly supports and echoes those of the values of Gross National Happiness toward the promotion of cultural, and sustainable and equitable, development. Thus, BNF seeks to make nuns and nunneries leading agents and self-reliant institutions for women. The Bhutan Foundation supports the work of the Bhutan Nuns’ Foundation to serve the girls and women in the nunneries throughout Bhutan by providing access to water supply, providing workshops on sanitation and nutrition, and promoting BNF’s work.
Bhutan Youth Development Fund
The Bhutan Youth Development Fund (BYDF) was founded to support the youth of Bhutan in realizing their full potential as productive citizens. BYDF sustains various youth programs through the formal school curriculum, through extracurricular activities that promote the preservation of culture and traditions, and through recreational and sporting events. BYDF also provides programming such as career counseling and skills development to enhance employment opportunities for youth, special programming for physically and mentally challenged children, scholarships for disadvantaged youth, and support for participation of youth in international events, as well as addresses the needs of juvenile delinquents and school dropouts. BYDF has partnered with the Bhutan Foundation to provide assistance on projects with a particular emphasis on disadvantaged youth, including those who are disabled, unemployed, out of school, juvenile delinquents, and others from remote or otherwise marginalized areas. In particular, the Bhutan Foundation has supported YDF’s Bhutan Souvenir Production and Training Center and programming aimed at helping children with special needs.
Bhutan Water Partnership
Bhutan Water Partnership (BhWP) is a consortium of water professionals working towards achieving Integrated Water Resource Management goals through coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources to maximize economic and social welfare without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. BhWP was established on 27th August 2001 as an inter-ministerial body to coordinate all water resource protection, development, and management programs.
BhWP is a not-for-profit organization affiliated with Global Water Partnership and Since 2007, BhWP was housed at the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN). Currently, BhWP is governed by a ten-member steering committee comprising water and the environment from both government and non-governmental organizations.
The Bhutan Foundation collaborates with BhWP in implementing two communities project under our small grant program towards improving access to water for drinking, sanitation, and small-scale irrigation through the promotion of roof rainwater harvesting and installation of water infrastructure.
Chuniding Food is a social enterprise on a mission to preserve and promote the Bhutanese food culture. It was created with a passion for promoting local food culture and the concern about degrading traditional and local food practices caused by rapid globalization. While Chuniding works on preserving Bhutanese traditional cuisine, reviving long-forgotten recipes and waning food practices, they also see the importance of innovation in food products in order to support a healthy holistic modern lifestyle. As a small-scale enterprise, Chuniding incorporates all principles of the Royal Government of Bhutan’s policy to substitute imports, increase export, use local products, and generate employment. Chuniding focuses on the revival, preservation,
Clean Bhutan was established in February of 2014 as a volunteer-based non-profit organization and became registered as a Civil Society Organization (CSO) under the Civil Society Organizations Authority later that year. Its mission is to change the mindset of every Bhutanese individual to be a responsible citizen and practice sustainable consumption by using available resources most efficiently.
Clean Bhutan raises awareness for Bhutanese citizens about the effects our behavior and habits have on the environment in order to manage and reduce waste generation. As Bhutan is beginning to experience rapid socio-economic development, waste management is becoming a major concern. In response to that growing issue, Clean Bhutan informs the citizens of Bhutan through advocacy programs about negative impacts on the environment and human health from waste. It also aims to develop mechanisms on how to manage and reduce waste at the source. Today, the organization provides a wide network of registered members and volunteers who participate in creating awareness throughout the country.
College of Natural Resources
The College of Natural Resources was established in 1992 as Natural Resource Training Institute under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests to promote economic development and nature conservation. With the establishment of the Royal University of Bhutan in 2003, the institute formally registered as a constituent college under the Royal University of Bhutan. Today, CNR offers broad-based programs in natural resources management at the diploma and undergraduate levels. The college has also started to provide Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) beginning July 2014, and recent college has already begun to provide Master’s in Natural Resources Management.
CNR’s vision is to generate knowledge through research in Natural Resource Management, Rural Development, and Environmental Science and become a dynamic, internationally recognized, and reputed center of learning that will contribute to its sustainable development education, research, and professional services.
Starting the 2020-2021 academic session, Bhutan Foundation has initiated a scholarship program supporting two in-service Bhutanese candidates from government and civil society organizations annually to study at CNR at bachelor’s degree or master’s degree level in the environment, climate studies, forestry, and natural resources management programs
Disabled Persons' Association of Bhutan
The Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan (DPAB) was founded in 2010 as public benefit organization. It works in close partnership with the Royal Government of Bhutan toward the advancement of the disabled people of Bhutan. DPAB works to provide better tools, facilities, and services to disabled citizens and to equip them with strategies and techniques to enable them to live fulfilling and productive lives. In addition to these tangible efforts, the Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan also builds public awareness about the rights of all people regardless of ability and works to diminish the stigma associated with these members of Bhutanese society. Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan is working collaboratively with the Bhutan Foundation to improve access to resources for individuals with disabilities. In addition, the Bhutan Foundation supports DPAB’s efforts to help transition individuals with disabilities into jobs to live independently.
Draktsho Vocational Training Center for Special Children and Youth
The Draktsho Vocational Training Center for Special Children and Youth was founded in 2001 under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck. Draktsho was established to provide educational and vocational training opportunities to the children and youth of Bhutan who often do not have such opportunities. Draktsho is tasked with providing programming for developing vocational and life skills in children and youth with disabilities to enable their self-reliance and independence. Draktsho also offers opportunities for employment that will enable youth to live fulfilling lives as productive members of society. They work to initiate dialogue on inclusion and to end the stigma of ineptitude often associated with persons with disabilities. Their mission also sees the importance of providing counseling and training to the parents and families of children with disabilities. Draktsho was the very first advocacy organization of its kind in Bhutan working to fill the gap and supplement the special education programming and training opportunities offered through the Ministry of Education. A large part of its work is dedicated to building partnerships and collaborative networks with various stakeholders (government, institutions, and industries) to promote equal opportunities for the inclusion of individuals with special needs. Draktsho is currently working to expand its operations further in eastern Bhutan with Draktsho East to serve the needs of disabled persons in the more remote areas of Bhutan. The Bhutan Foundation supports the work of Draktsho through building capacity of their teachers as well as supporting awareness programs.
Druk Holding and Investments
Druk Holding and Investments (DHI), the commercial arm of the Royal Government of Bhutan, was established in 2007 upon issuance of the Royal Charter in 2007 “to hold and manage the existing and future investments of the Royal Government for the long term benefit of the people of Bhutan”. DHI, the largest and only government-owned holding company in Bhutan, has shares in 10 different companies operating in the manufacturing, energy, natural resources, financial, communication, aviation, trading, and real estate sectors. Of the 21 portfolio companies, 10 are fully owned, four are controlled and seven are linked companies. The Ministry of Finance is the sole shareholder of DHI.
Their vision is to be the leading wealth management and creation organization that helps transform Bhutan into a globally competitive economy guided by the principles of GNH. The mission of the DHI is to safeguard and enhance national wealth for all generations of Bhutanese through prudent investments.
The DHI is working with the Bhutan Foundation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other relevant stakeholders on STEM development in Bhutan.
Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited
The Food Corporation of Bhutan (FCB) was established initially as a government agency under the Royal Charter issued by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, on 16 August 1974. It was established with the aim to have a centralized procurement and distribution system for the supply of essential food across the country. On 8th July 1992, FCB was registered as the first State-owned Enterprise under the Companies Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) had diversified its business by engaging in the trading of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in 1997 to enhance revenue generation for supporting and sustaining the increasing social obligation and responsibilities.
FCBL has a Head Office and three regional offices with 23 depots, five retail outlets, and 173 farm shops catering supply-related business and services to relevant clients across the country.
Under the COVID-19 response program, the Bhutan Foundation is supporting FCBL in enhancing efficiency in the delivery of essential food items across the country.
Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan
Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB) was established in 2015 to develop human resources for health-care delivery systems in Bhutan. The University’s vision is to become “a premier centre of excellence in medical education, research, and quality healthcare.” The University will develop training and research programs based on the latest principles and health needs, as well as produce health professionals who embody compassion, wisdom, values, and traditions of the unique health-care system of Bhutan. To fulfil the aspirations and the mission of the University, the Bhutan Foundation is partnering with KGUMSB in supporting faculty development, training programs, and health research in Bhutan. Together, we are working to launch Bhutan’s first health journal, Bhutan Health Journal, in November 2015. The Foundation is also helping KGUMSB establish partnerships and linkages with renowned academic institutions and organizations in the United States.
Kuzoo FM is a youth-based radio station headquartered in Thimphu was established in 2006. It is the second-largest radio station with coverage in all 20 districts of Bhutan. It broadcasts programs daily in English and in Dzongkha. It airs STEM shows such as Space Break, which talks about the solar system and broadcasts special programs like International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
The vision of Kuzoo is to nurture a loyal and growing youth audience by providing the highest quality broadcast of music, entertainment, edutainment, news, ideas, and current issues programs. It also aims to make a meaningful impact to enrich and improve the lives of our young listener base.
Kuzoo’s long term mission is to be the best youth-oriented radio station in Bhutan.
Kuzoo is working with the Bhutan Foundation and relevant project stakeholders to disseminate awareness programs and educational programs on STEM through their radio programs.
The Lhomon Society
The Lhomon Society was founded in 2010 by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, a highly revered Buddhist master and scholar, and, in 2012, it was formally registered as a civil society organization. The mission of the Lhomon Society is to “uphold, support, and promote sustainable development in the Kingdom of Bhutan through grassroots, holistic education and training initiatives.” “Lhomon” is evocative of the connection deeper than government and national borders, which unites the people of the region south of the Tibetan plateau. The central projects of the Society are the Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative and the Lhomon Education Initiative. The Society aims to combat the modern wave of consumerism, wastefulness, and conflict that seems to pervade our daily lives through grassroots initiatives and trainings to help the citizens of Bhutan chart an independent and sustainable course that encourages equitable economic development, environmental conservation, cultural promotion, quality education, and good governance. The Bhutan Foundation continues to support the Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative (SJI) in their focus areas of organic agriculture, zero waster, youth engagement, and Lho Mon Education. SJI continues to do important work in rural areas in Bhutan to establish food security and self-sufficiency, protect and enhance our natural environment, strengthen communities, stem rural-urban migration tides and foster cooperative, productive, and entrepreneurial spirit.
The Loden Foundation
The Loden Foundation dedicates itself to fostering an enlightened and happy society in Bhutan through promotion of entrepreneurship, education and transmission of cultural values. Dr. Karma Phuntsho, a leading scholar on Buddhism and Himalayan cultures, established the Loden Foundation in 2000 and the Loden Entrepreneurship Program started in 2008. The Loden Foundation’s main projects include the following: the Loden Entrepreneurship Program, the Loden Student Empowerment through Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) Program, Scholarships for young children and higher education, Early Learning centers and Documentation and study of Bhutan’s written heritage and oral traditions. By 2017, the Loden Foundation has trained over 3200 young people on entrepreneurship and funded 145 entrepreneurial ventures including 42 female entrepreneurs. It promotes ethical entrepreneurship and has developed a unique mentoring program which helps young entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. The Bhutan Foundation supports Loden Entrepreneurship and Mentorship Program.
Ministry of Agriculture and Forest, Department of Forest and Park Services
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests is tasked with the promotion and protection of the environment and Bhutan’s forests. The Ministry’s mission encompasses a vision for “sustaining Bhutan’s forest resources and biodiversity for the happiness of the present and future generations.” The Department of Forests and Park Services focuses its efforts on conservation and management of natural resources and biodiversity to ensure social, economic, and environmental well-being. The central goal of its work is to maintain a minimum of 60 percent of the land as forest and jungle at all times. Its broader goals also include ensuring adherence to both regional and international commitments, conventions, and treaties through policies, legislations, and specific strategies and programming. The Ministry’s programming is nationwide but also includes community-centered educational programs and trainings on conservation and self-sustaining rural initiatives. The Department of Forests and Park Services has partnered with the Bhutan Foundation on wild-cats programming, including conservation of Bhutan’s mountain tigers and the Jomolhari Snow Leopard Conservation Program.
Division for the Conservation of Architectural Heritage Sites, Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs
The Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites (DCHS) was founded under the direction of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs of the Government of Bhutan. The Division is responsible for the creation of an inventory, surveyance, and publication of the history of the structures recognized as heritage sites throughout Bhutan; providing technical and administrative support to all 20 Dzongkhags; establishing and regulating the guidelines regarding the construction of new cultural buildings; and the restoration, renovation, and conservation of heritage sites and structures. The Division for Conservation of Architectural Heritage Sites is working with the Bhutan Foundation, Tsao & McKown Architects, World Monuments Fund, and the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation on the restoration and adaptive-reuse of the Wangduechhoeling Palace. Additional projects that the Foundation has worked with DCHS include restoration of Drametse Lhakhang and fire mitigation at Trashigang Dzong in Eastern Bhutan in partnership with the World Monuments Fund and the Prince Claus Fund.
ECCD and Special Education Division, Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education is tasked with upholding the requirements of the Bhutanese Constitution to provide a cost-free, quality education for all children through the tenth grade, regardless of socioeconomic background, ability, and/or geographic location. The Division for Special Education and Early Childhood Care is responsible for ensuring that all children and youth with disabilities receive education. The division develops programs in twelve schools to serve the needs of children and youth with special needs throughout Bhutan. The success of Bhutan’s Special Education Program is being achieved through a partnership with Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan, Ability Bhutan Society, Anderson Center for Autism, AVID (Australian Volunteers for International Development), The Bhutan Canada Foundation, Draktsho Vocational Training Center for Special Children and Youth, Perkins International, UNICEF Bhutan, and the Bhutan Foundation. The Bhutan Foundation has continued to work with all partners involved in the Special Education Program in Bhutan for the last eight years and has primarily partnered with the Ministry of Education in developing the Special Education Program in public schools across 12 schools throughout Bhutan.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH, ROYAL GOVERNMENT OF BHUTAN
The Ministry of Health works to provide the highest quality medical services to all citizens in Bhutan through both traditional and modern means. The Ministry aims at ensuring sustainable, responsive, equitable, accessible, reliable, and affordable socialized health services to all in Bhutan. The Ministry of Health and the Bhutan Foundation have partnered together on a wide range of health-care service projects throughout Bhutan. These projects have involved mainly emergency, trauma, and lifesaving training. The Foundation has been able to improve the Emergency Medical Services of Bhutan through the support of our international partners, such as the Clinical Data Management, DBA Trauma Program Services LLC, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Health Volunteers Overseas, and Phelps Memorial Hospital Center.
The Ministry of Works and Human Settlement
The Ministry of Works and Human Settlement was established in 2003 with the two main technical Departments, the Department of Roads and the Department of Urban Development and Engineering Services. Today, the ministry has three departments – Departments of Roads, Department of Engineering Services and Department of Human Settlement.
Ministry of Works & Human Settlement carries out the following functions:
- Formulate policies and develop plans related to physical infrastructures in the country;
- Develop and implement Acts/regulations/standards related to physical infrastructure;
- Engage in and coordinate the capacity building of technical human resources in the country;
- Set policies to promote appropriate construction industry;
- Promote research and development that would serve to maintain a synergy between technology, environment and traditional values; and
- Develop plans and policies for proper human settlement through growth centers
The Ministry is working with the Bhutan Foundation and other relevant stakeholders on urban planning and development project.
Music of Bhutan Research Centre
The Music of Bhutan Research Centre (MBRC) is a registered civil society organization that was founded in 2008 by renowned musician Kheng Sonam Dorji to research, document, preserve, and promote the traditional music of Bhutan. Historically, the people of Bhutan have shared a distinctive oral culture, creating remarkable songs and dances to observe their most important rituals, to celebrate and socialize, and to accompany and ease their labors. From generation to generation, people have used these artistic forms to express and transmit knowledge, experiences, and values at the core of Bhutanese life. Yet with the recent influx of development, globalization, and technology, Bhutan is changing. There is a critical need to document and support Bhutan’s intangible musical heritage, which is known fully only by aging elders and in the most remote communities, before it is lost. The Music of Bhutan Research Centre (MBRC) is leading this effort. MBRC aims to break new ground by professionally researching, recording, and archiving the full geographic, historic, linguistic, and ethnic range of musical traditions in the country. The organization also documents the finest living Bhutanese master musicians in performance. The Bhutan Foundation is supporting the MBRC in a three-year project to document, preserve, and promote age-old songs and endangered musical traditions and practices across Bhutan. With our support, MBRC will travel to 14 dzongkhags (districts), reaching out to several villages to document many traditional songs and dances.
Phensem Parents Support Group
Phensem Parent Support Group was established informally by a group of parents in 2017 and registered as a CSO in 2020 with the vision of empowering parents and families of children/persons with disabilities in Bhutan. The group also aspires to advocate for positive change on the challenges faced and support parents, families and persons with disabilities. Phensem currently has about 100+ families registered with CWDs and PWDS ranging from 2-28 years of age.
RENEW is a Bhutan non-governmental organization dedicated to the relief and empowerment of disadvantaged women and adolescent girls. RENEW stands for Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women. The organization was established in 2004 by Her Majesty Queen Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). RENEW envisages being the leading institution in the nation for shaping the role of women in Bhutanese society and has as its mission “To empower disadvantaged girls and women in Bhutan and integrate them back into their own communities as independent, socially and economically productive members of the society.” The main beneficiaries of RENEW are out-of-school adolescent girls, disadvantaged women and those women who are victims of domestic violence, women and adolescent girls who are victims of rape or sexual abuse, commercial sex workers, and women and adolescent girls who are HIV-positive or victims of drug abuse.
River Guides of Panbang
The River Guides of Panbang (RGP) is Bhutan’s first community-based rafting company established in 2011 by a group of passionate youths with the financial and technical support of the Bhutan Foundation. The primary focus of the group is to develop and promote environmentally sustainable ecotourism packages including white river rafting. They offer a wide range of services including rafting trips for both local and tourists and hospitality services at Marang Jungle Camp. They accord the highest priority to the safety of guests and are responsible members of the community highly committed to conserving the natural beauty and sanctity of surrounding mountains, valleys and rivers.
RGP provides employment opportunities to the youth while working closely with the Panbang community and schools in promoting organic agriculture, environmental education and awareness, waste management, and sanitation programs.
Rotary Club of Thimphu
The Rotary Club of Thimphu (RCT) was established in April 2012 to expand Bhutan’s foreign relations through the Rotary Club’s expansive network of 1.3 million members across the world. The Rotary Club operates in more than 220 countries and geographical areas and focuses on supporting projects in education and life skills, health and well-being, and farming and food security. A fairly young club with 28 Bhutanese members, RCT believes in the alleviation of poverty by empowering the people of Bhutan and improving services in their focus areas.
RCT has completed over sixty projects in Bhutan since its establishment, from supplying water filtration systems to supporting schools all over Bhutan to providing eyeglasses to those with visual impairment. The Rotary Club of Thimphu partners with various clubs all over the world and is a partner of the Bhutan Foundation.
Royal Society for Protection and Care of Animals
The Royal Society for Protection and Care of Animals (RSPCA) Founded in 1999 under the Royal Patronage of Gyalyum Tshering Yangdoen Wangchuck as the first organization of its kind, set up fully dedicated to the welfare, protection and well-being of animals in Bhutan. The Organization’s mission is to inculcate a sense of moral responsibility for the proper care and humane treatment of animals through increasing awareness on the plight of animals in Bhutan and; manage a constant and healthy free-roaming dog population; at the same time ensure animal welfare is not compromised. RSPCA is actively engaged with the rescue of Stray animals and provide them with care, stability, medical assistance, rehabilitation and lifelong homes, while also solving the stray dog problems and reducing canine-related diseases in order to maintain a healthy, safe and manageable stray dog population and work to promote the general welfare of animals by raising awareness through public education and advocacy campaign.
Royal Society for the Protection of Nature
In 1987, the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) was established as a citizen-based NGO devoted to the conservation of Bhutan’s unique environment under the royal command of His Majesty the Fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The vision of the RSPN encompasses a mission to inspire personal responsibility and works to involve local communities, institutions, and student groups in its initiatives throughout Bhutan. The Queen of Bhutan, Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck is the Royal Patron of the organization. RSPN’s work revolves around conservation of endangered species like White-bellied Herons, Black-necked Cranes and other flagship species, community-based sustainable livelihood, waste management, emerging issues related to river, water and climate change. They also include broader projects to enhance the capacity and scalability of environmental education and advocacy, ecological research, and natural resource management. The Bhutan Foundation supports RSPN in its mission to conserve Bhutan’s rich biodiversity by supporting some of its priority projects.
Royal Thimphu College
With a vision of Inspiring Education in Bhutan, Royal Thimphu College hopes not only to provide an education that will inspire our students to achieve their full potential, but also to positively effect changes in the landscape of tertiary education in the Kingdom. To enable enrollment of more highly qualified but needy students, the College has set up the RTC Scholarship Fund. This fund finances students from under-privileged and under-represented backgrounds. All proceeds go to worthy students, without any administrative overhead for the college. Please visit their website to learn more about the program. The College has been accredited A+ (Excellent) by the Bhutan Accreditation Council, becoming the highest rated college in Bhutan.
Royal Tutorial Project
The Royal Tutorial Project (RTP) is a professional creator and producer of educational television programs. The programs are broadcast on national television once a week. Their educational programs deal with topics including, but not restricted to, Science, Mathematics, English, and Dzongkha. Currently, they produce about 15 tutorial programs in a year. As a part of the dissemination of their programs, they also visit a number of schools every year.
The RTP is one of the project partners in STEM development in Bhutan.
Royal University of Bhutan
The Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) was launched on 2nd June 2003 to provide tertiary education in Bhutan. The overall rationale of the University as set out in the Royal Charter and Statutes is the “dissemination of knowledge and the advancement of learning through a balanced, well regulated and sound tertiary education system for the economic and cultural development of the Kingdom of Bhutan and to promote the cultural enrichment, personal development and well being of our people.”
The specific objectives of the University are:
- to develop and provide programs of study at tertiary education level, of relevance and good quality which will fulfill the needs of the country for an educated and skilled population, and
- to promote and conduct research, to contribute to the creation of knowledge in an international context, and to promote the transfer of knowledge of relevance to Bhutan.
The vision of the RUB is to become an internationally recognized university steeped in GNH values.
The Tarayana Foundation works to uplift and enhance the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged persons living in communities in rural Bhutan. His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, crown prince at the time, along with Her Majesty Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, founded Tarayana in 2003 as an NGO. Tarayana seeks to reduce poverty by adopting the national goal of “taking special measures in support of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, as well as efforts to ensure that those who have been largely bypassed by the benefits of development are drawn more fully into the mainstream of the development process.” Despite the extensive pro-poor development strategies that the government is employing toward the small communities in rural areas, there remains a gap in its efforts. It is this gap that Tarayana attempts to bridge through its work directed at sustainable self-sufficiency and other targeted, small-scale, and individualized interventions in these communities. The Bhutan Foundation supports the Tarayana Foundation in promoting equitable and sustainable socio-economic development, particularly in the areas of education and poverty alleviation. The Bhutan Foundation supports Tarayana’s Scholarship Program to provide basic education for children from economically disadvantaged families. In addition, the children were also supported through the purchase of school uniforms, shoes, books, and supplementary meal costs. The Bhutan Foundation has also supported the Tarayana Foundation in promoting skills development projects in rural communities throughout Bhutan.
Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research
The Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER) was founded as part of the tenth development plan by the Royal Government of Bhutan to promote stewardship, education, and research on sustainability and conservation of forests and the environment. UWICE orients their work around a three-tiered goal: (1) to contribute to science and knowledge by conducting research and policy analyses in relevant problem areas; (2) to mainstream scientific research findings into environmental policy and decision-making processes through publication and conferences; and (3) to train the current and future generations of conservation and environmental leaders, practitioners, and academics. Additionally, UWICE provides an environmental conservation certificate program in conservation biology, sustainable forestry, and water resources with professionals training in the field. It also provides research opportunities for undergraduate students working to complete their honors studies. The Bhutan Foundation has supported UWICE in the past by helping develop their library through a contribution of more than 100 books. UWICE has also partnered with the Bhutan Foundation, Jigme Dorji National Park, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, National Geographic Society, the Snow Leopard Conservancy, and the University of Montana to work on projects for the protection and conservation of the wild cats and snow leopards of Bhutan. Lastly, the Bhutan Foundation and the Karuna Foundation are working with UWICE on the Himalayan Environmental Rhythms Observation and Evaluation Systems (HEROES) project, a climate-change monitoring project throughout Bhutan.
UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) is a United Nations program headquartered in New York City that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental support to mothers and children in the developing world. UNICEF was created with the mission to realize the rights and well-being of the most disadvantaged children (and their mothers) around the world. This is all based on the belief that proper care and developmental support is the best foundation for a person’s future. UNICEF seeks to address the deficiencies in early childhood program development and continued adolescent academic and health education to provide a brighter future for the world’s most vulnerable children. UNICEF is active in 190 countries and territories through country programs and National Committees. UNICEF works closely with its member governments and local NGOs to remove the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease, environmental hazards, and discrimination place in a child’s path. UNICEF began its work in Bhutan in 1974 in support of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme. Since 1974, UNICEF Bhutan has expanded its projects and programs in Bhutan with the support of the Royal Government, its partners, and other NGOs to improve the lives of children, youth, and women in Bhutan. Its programs in Bhutan are focused on issues of health (HIV/AIDS prevention, maternal and newborn care, and immunization), nutrition and sanitation, education, child protection, and youth participation. Additionally, UNICEF Bhutan is focusing efforts on supporting Bhutan’s youth population, which makes up 50 percent of the population and is increasingly finding itself in conflict with rapid globalization and urbanization, high youth unemployment rates, and the pervading use of mass media and traditional ways of life.
VAST Bhutan was founded in 1998 by a group of professional artists. VAST Bhutan was established with a vision to encourage Bhutanese youth to develop their artistic talents, while simultaneously acknowledging their social responsibilities through community-based projects. These projects promote social awareness, culture, health, hygiene, and the environment through community engagement. In addition to these larger projects, VAST Bhutan also offers classes on drawing, sketching, watercolor painting, oil painting, ceramics, traditional arts, photography, as well as audiovisual and computer design. The Bhutan Foundation has supported VAST Bhutan in several different projects, including cleaning campaigns, training programs and camps for children, and the creation of an art park. The Bhutan Foundation supports VAST Bhutanas they provide creative solutions for youth to stay engaged during their free time and strategically away from abusive behaviors like alcohol and drugs.
World Wildlife Fund - Bhutan
The World Wildlife Fund Bhutan (WWF Bhutan) began its conservation work in Bhutan in 1977 providing training opportunities for Bhutanese nationals. WWF Bhutan works to create a sustainable environmental future in Bhutan and to conserve Bhutan’s rich biodiversity. Today, WWF Bhutan focuses its programming on establishing and managing a system of protected areas, while developing the nation’s capacity to manage its natural resources by strengthening relevant institutions, developing human resources, and promoting conservation education and public awareness. WWF Bhutan and the Bhutan Foundation have worked extensively together on environmental conservation projects over the years, including more recent projects, such as the Kora Tigers preservation project and Bhutan For Life initiative.