The Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD)

The mission of BCMD is to nurture a culture of democracy by strengthening media, expanding public discourse, and providing essential training and education for key persons who will have a direct impact on Bhutan's democratic transition and the creation of democratic institutions.
Oct 18, 2016

Empower Bhutan's Citizens to Engage in Democracy

Training on Advocating for a cause
Training on Advocating for a cause

Advocating for a cause:

The Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD) organised a one-day training on August 23 at the BCMD Media Lab on “Advocating for a Cause” for the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Bhutan. The training was in continuation to the ‘Communicating for a cause’ training held from July 28 - 29.

Civil Society Organisations in Bhutan focus their work mostly on advocacy initiatives to bring about social change in the lives of the people of Bhutan. The one-day workshop provided the participants with the skills to improve on their advocacy initiatives and to understand the processes involved in developing an advocacy plan for their respective organisations.

The participants will be developing advocacy plans for their respective organisation and meet in September to discuss further on their plans. 

Communicating for a cause:

The Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD) organised a two-day training from July 28 - 29 at the BCMD Media Lab on “Communicating for a Cause” for the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Bhutan.

The two-day training provided the participants with an insight into new media tools and essential skills in preparing a communication plan for their respective organisation. The training also provided an opportunity for the CSO members to share and learn through the interaction they had during the various group activities.

The resource person for the two-day training is a media production specialist and trainer. 

The Health Minister also paid a surprise visit and following his visit, officials from the health ministry also paid a visit and expressed their interest in collaborating with the CSOs in Bhutan.

Youth Initiative (YI) summer training:

summer training for the 2016 batch of Youth Initiative (YI) was held for three days from July 9- 11 at the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy's Media Lab.Participants were oriented on sessions such as service learning, team building and active listening. The other two integral part of the summer training were the reflective sessions on the local actions such as waste management in Paro, project clean Samtse and young writers' society. Members also discussed what they learned being youth representative.

On the last day, youth representatives met the YI steering committee members and discussed about the way forward for YI.

"YI has given the youth an opportunity to acquire new skills which has helped them be better decision makers in their personal life. YI has helped youth improve their communications skills, their ability to discuss topical issues, their organisational skills, their understanding of how to become more active young citizens. These skills go beyond the initial focus on debating issues."    

- A steering committee member.

Goggle Apps training for Youth and Civil Society Organisations(CSOs):

The Google applications training was held from June 6 - 9 at the Media Lab at Nazhoen Pelri Complex. The 30 participants were instructed by Judith Lau from Google and Gregory Lamoureux, who manages a driverless train control system project in Singapore.

Even though participants had heard about and used Google apps such as Gmail on a regular basis; they learned about Google’s other services including Search, Sites, Docs and more. Through this workshop, participants also learned how to use and apply Google Apps like Google Contacts and Google Drive.

As part of the program, groups of participants prepared presentations on what they learned. The participants who ranged from college students to Civil Society Organisation members can now use Google apps in the workplace and to promote their companies. Participants can also do research using Google Scholar, make better presentations and manage their work online- while storing and sharing their works in the cloud.

Google Apps training
Google Apps training
Training on communicating for a cause
Training on communicating for a cause
Jul 20, 2016

Empower Bhutan's Citizens to Engage in Democracy

Dear friends, donors and supporters,

 

We are glad to inform you all that our Media Lab has now become a functioning enterprise. With our dedicated team at the organisation and youth involved in the lab activities, the media lab is successfully running activities related to media production and to hosting of conversations and discussions, and continues to inspire people from all walks of life. This is a result of all the support we have received from you and we take this opportunity to thank each and everyone who have supported to our cause.

We count on Global Giving to continue to support our work at the lab and at BCMD! Your support has helped us reach out to many youth and civil society members in Bhutan's evolving democracy.

What have we been up to? Here is a glimpse of few activities we have led at the lab in this quarter-

Youth Initiative Summer Training:

Engaging youth in meaningful activities by providing them the right skills to be a responsible and active citizen is the main aim of the Youth Initiative (YI) summer training workshop.

The summer training for the third cohort of youth representatives from the Youth Initiative was successfully held from July 9 to 11, 2015. The training focused on enhancing skills of the youth representatives and also on providing them with a platform to discuss on their local actions. The workshop also explored a way forward for the Youth Initiative (YI) with its Steering Committee.

The Youth Initiative summer training provided about 30 Youth representatives with the opportunity to learn the skills of service learning, active listening, team building, build their presentation skills and how to conduct research. The training provided the representatives with the skills to identify and address issues in their respective communities to promote active citizenry.

Youth representatives from the three communities of Thimphu, Paro and Samtse presented their plans to take action to serve their communities in their local areas. The Thimphu community group is developing a ‘young writers’ society’ to promote reading and writing. The Paro community shared about their project on ‘waste management’ at the vegetable market, and the Samtse community about their project on ‘clean Samtse’, another waste management programme.

During the training the youth representatives were able to learn from the other participants about the good practices and also share the challenges that they faced in their communities while carrying out their local actions. These actions were identified in the winter YI workshop as actions youth would take to make a difference in their communities. It is a demonstration of civic action in a democracy, one that shifts a person from being a recipient of services to being a citizen willing to offer time and action to bring about improvements in their own communities.

The Youth representatives also met with the YI’s steering committee on the final day of the training to discuss the way forward for Youth Initiative (YI). They discussed why YI should continue with its work, explored actions to be considered by YI , future collaboration with other youth groups/ programs, recruitment, membership  and sustainability of YI.

“ It’s marvelous to see YI continuing. Many things start and disappear in Bhutan but the fact that YI is still going is a good sign. And its role gets bigger and bigger and more and more important year by year. YI provides an opportunity for young people to make their voices known in a way that’s acceptable and beneficial to society. Not in disruptive ways with appalling consequences as we see globally on the news with protests and so forth. YI is an important initiative in Bhutan. “ Michael Rutland, OBE British Honorary council.

The unanimous decision made among the founders of YI, the youth representatives and BCMD decided to take community- based action rather than deliberating on the issues.

Youth Initiative (YI) has come a long way since it first started in 2013. In the past two years (2014-2015), YI has conducted two-winter residential training and two-summer training for the youth representatives. YI has engaged 49 youth representatives, out of which 15 were female and 34 male. For 2016 Youth Initiative (YI) Summer Training, we had 30 youth representatives out of which 17 male and 13 female. The youth representatives who serve a term of one year comprised of high school students, high school graduates, college students and college graduates

The youth Initiative (YI) summer training has been made possible with the Fund support from UNICEF Bhutan.

 

Social Media Conversation

Media, like everything else, continue to evolve and change. In the past communications in Bhutan was largely oral, through word of mouth. People learned to read and write and this were followed by advancements in audiovisual broadcast technology. Today we live in an age of the digital media, which is sometimes known as social media. And BCMD has been priming our youth and teachers in how to use social media meaningfully with some impact. We have reached youth and government representatives in the local development offices scattered across Bhutan with our discussions on social media. 

The aims and objectives for such conversation is i) to educate the youths about Internet safety and how best to use it. ii) To encourage critical thinking which is very important and useful for the younger generation?  

This year the Social Media Conversation was conducted at the Media Lab for Luntenzampa Media Club members. Twenty-two students and 3 teachers from Lungtenzampa MSS attended Social Media conversation on 27th February at MediaLab.

The Conversations basically covered about the uses of the Internet, Staying safe online and Advantages & Disadvantages of social Media in this modern era of Technology.

Social Media is growing all over the world and most of the young people spend time engaging online. Most of the participants are from classes 7-10 and they are not really aware of impacts of social Media and neither do they receive guidance from their parents who are also first time users of the internet that was introduced in Bhutan only in 1999. Participants found conversation was effective and useful. They agreed to take back what they have learnt from the presentation and share it with their family and friends regarding social media issues.

 

Google Apps Training:

In June, we had volunteers from Google train more than 30 communications officers from civil society on how to use google apps.

The participants had hands on sessions using the computers at the lab. The participants were divided into groups and made to prepare a presentation on all the lessons that they have learned from the 3 and half-day sessions. This included how to use it for not just word processing, but for spreadsheets, presentations and more. For many CSOs, this was an eye-opener and a most useful learning experience to use apps more effectively to keep in touch.

 

 

 

 

Apr 20, 2016

Stories for Change

A participant taking background shots.
A participant taking background shots.

Stories for change creates a win- win situation for youths with basic knowledge of multimedia production and CSOs in need by connecting these two groups. The initiative by the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy has seen seven stories of CSOs produced.

In Bhutan, there are many meaningful initiatives of Civil Societry Organisations (CSO) for positive social changes. However, due to lack of resources, these activities have not been known to the public. On the other hand, there are motivated youths who are ready to help CSOs with their skills. Until now, the BCMD has held several workshops to offer opportunities for youths to learn how to produce multimedia news, photography and journalism skills.

CSOs can promote their activities with video and photo works of youths. And the youths can have chances to produce their own works and present these to the public. Furthermore, it can benefit the public who look for information about NGOs in Bhutan and inspiration for their own engagement.

In the next phase of Stories for Change, videos on Bhutan Foundation, Tarayana Foundation, and Construction Association for Bhutan will be produced. 

 
   

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