Empower Bhutan's Citizens to Engage in Democracy

by The Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD)
Nuns trying out their cameras during the training
Nuns trying out their cameras during the training

Basic Photography for Adolescents

Adolescents from monastic schools, schools, and out-of-school of ages between 14-19 underwent a five-day ‘Basic Photography Training’ with five members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from October 17-21, 2017 at Nazheon Pelri in Thimphu.

The training was held at Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD) media lab at Nazhoen Pelri.

BCMD in collaboration with UNICEF conducted the training to give adolescents including monks and nuns an opportunity to learn ‘Basic Photography’ to be able to express themselves and record issues and concerns affecting their lives and society at large. 

UNICEF has been using training in ‘Basic Photography’ as one of the many ways to empower and enable adolescents to record and document issues and concerns affecting their lives. A total of five nuns from Drubthob Thangthong Dewachen Nunnery and five monks from Dechen Phodrang Lhakhang participated in the training. All the monks and nuns were among the age group of 14-19.

Nuns and monks alike expressed their joy in having been given the opportunity to participate in the training. “I really enjoyed using the camera and meeting new people and interacting with them while taking pictures,” a nun from Drubthob Thangthong Dewachen Nunnery, Tsheltrim said.


Adolescents Conducts Photo Exhibition


Coinciding with “World Children’s Day”, adolescents from monastic schools, out-of-school, and school-going children who have been taking photographs since their recent training, shared their results in a “Photo Exhibition” on November 20-21, 2017 at Royal Textile Academy in Thimphu.
The exhibition was a result of five-day training that BCMD conducted in collaboration with UNICEF Bhutan on October 20-25, 2017 at BCMD’s media lab in Nazhoen Pelri Complex. 

The exhibition, which carried the theme “The World Around Us” #We Are The Future #Children Take Over was an exhibition # By The Children #For The Children to “Celebrate the Creative Spirit of The Bhutanese Children”. 

The exhibition displayed over 40 best photographs taken by adolescents including the nuns from Durbthob Thangtong Dewachen Nunnery, monks from Dechen Phodrang Lhakhang (monastery), school-going, and out-of-school children. 

Besides landscapes, adolescents had documented the myriad of issues such as poverty, sanitation, social media, disabilities, and lack of recreational facilities for children, etc. Speaking at the end of the exhibition, UNICEF Bhutan, Head of Child Protection and Adolescent Development, Aniruddha said that the participants have done extremely well in photography. “They took so many good pictures that we had difficulty in selecting pictures because all the pictures were really good,” he said. 

The same batch of adolescents will conduct another round of photo exhibition in February 2018. BCMD in collaboration with UNICEF Bhutan conducted the training and exhibition for 20 adolescents and five CSO members.


Students Complete Local Action Plans in Paro

BCMD's Community Mapping project in Paro has contributed to the growth of some young active citizens.

Youth were involved in five projects over a span of three months. The Community Mapping was initiated to help build community initiative among the citizens including local residents and students.

After participating in the project, students from Paro schools and college say they have learned to develop a sense of belongingness and ownership in the community they live in. The students say they learned to be responsible, active, and take part in volunteer activities through community mapping.

Khangkhu Middle Secondary School student, Ruth said that their attitude towards the community changed following the community mapping and implementation of a local action plan to address local challenges. “We now have a sense of ownership because we carried out the work and feel the pinch if something goes wrong with our project,” said Ruth. Her school tool up a project to renovate a school canopy on campus.

Students of four schools and Paro College of Education shared their experience while presenting the outcome of their local action plan on December 3, 2017, to the Paro Town Committee.    

Shaba Higher Secondary School (SHSS) student, Kinga shared that he learned the skills to examine more closely the issues affecting the community such as social, economic, and environmental and how to address those issues. The higher secondary school’s initiative has ensured safe drinking water through the adoption of Kesa community’s only drinking water source.

A student from the Paro College of Education, Sonam said that his team had rich learning experience despite the challenges of achieving the outcome of their waste management advocacy programme. “My team had learned a lot like communicating with the stakeholders and community, and tackling issues within issues,” Sonam said.

Students of Drugyal Central School stayed late into the night to complete their project on time. The students repaired the dilapidated drains in the school. The mappers from the school also acknowledged a huge turn out of volunteers, some of whom they had to turn down since they already had enough.

Shari Higher Secondary School took up maintenance of water pipes and taps at Shari. A total of about 120 students from four schools and Paro College of Education were involved in the Community Mapping exercises - a joint pilot project Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy initiated by Paro Dzongkhag. IDEA International supported the local action plan projects.

Community Mapping at Samdrup Jongkhar

Students from schools and a college in Dewathang in Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag  (district) have improved road safety and infrastructures such as public toilets through their community mapping initiatives last year.  

Dewathang is one of the gewogs (blocks) located in the southeast of Bhutan, which is about two days drive from Thimphu via India.

Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD) with Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative trained students of Dewathang Primary School (DPS), Garpawoong Middle Secondary School, and Jigme Namgyal Engineering College (JNEC) in community mapping. The training was to inculcate civic consciousness in young minds to take up simple local action plans in their community.

DPS put up road safety sign boards along the Samdrup Jongkhar-Trashigang Highway. The students also painted zebra crossings and speed breakers to ensure safety for school children, teachers, and pedestrians.

Garpawong Middle Secondary School carried out maintenance and clearing of 3.5 km of drains along the Samdrup Jongkhar - Trashigang Highway through mobilisation of about 300 volunteers from the school. Trashigang-Samdrup Jongkhar Highway is the lifeline for people of the east, which connects the region with the rest of the country.

The other group from Youth Development Centre and out-of-school carried out advocacy on waste management and cleaning campaign at National Housing and Development Cooperation. The advocacy programme helped 56 households in understanding waste management and segregation.

Students of Jigme Namgyel Engineering College built 4 units of public toilets for Dudjom House, which is a popular picnic spot and also most visited the place by outsiders.  

The project involved more than 350 people including students and community people. Canada Fund supported the community mapping exercise of Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative.

Training and Empowering CSOs 


Members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and media professionals were trained in recognising sensitive issues and effective story-telling to advocate for issues considered “sensitive” at Media Lab in Nazhoen Pelri Complex in November last year. 

Some of the difficult and sensitive issues covered were substance abuse, domestic violence, even suicide and other issues that pose difficulties for the CSOs that work on them. 

Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD) organised the training, “Communications and Advocacy Workshop” on November 27-28, 2017 for CSOs and media houses. On the first day of the workshop, panelists from Bhutan Narcotics Control Agency, RENEW, National Suicide Prevention Programme, and Kuensel shared their views on what is considered sensitive in Bhutan and how different organisations including the media dealt with these tricky issues. 

“ I realised that we used to simply report on our work, but now we can find the compelling story to show our impact, “ said Cheychey from Abilities Bhutan Society. 

The participants were then introduced to different elements of effective storytelling - how to tell stories that inspire target groups to take action. On the second day, the participants developed advocacy strategies related to their respective agencies’ mission and vision, which they shared at the end of the workshop. 
Another cohort of 12 CSO members was also trained in finance for non-finance, which was conducted to familiarise and educate language finance for professionals from a non-financial background. The training was held from October 28 to November 3 last year. 
Between December 18-29, 2017, BCMD organised another training to empower the civil society organisations (CSOs) on finance management, accounting, and auditing.  The training provided hands-on training in auditing, prudent investment for organisations and methods to establish appropriate internal financial control systems through putting in place regulatory provisions.
The Druk Journal on "Civil Society in Bhutan"

A strategically timed issue of The Druk Journal on “Civil Society in Bhutan” was released on November 23, 2017 to help the Bhutanese understand the importance and the role of Civil Society. 

As Bhutan moves away from its traditional self-help society, little is known about the importance and roles of the civil society organisations (CSOs) in the country. 

While the foundation of strong governance have been laid and corporations and private sector are growing, these sectors usually do not provide for everyone in the society. Many, mostly the vulnerable groups such as people living with disabilities and HIV AIDS, LGBT community, impoverished rural communities, vulnerable women, and children are left out. 

This issue of The Druk Journal looks at the emerging role of the civil society in Bhutan, which began more than 44 years ago with a group of youth opening radio news and entertainment station to today’s 22 CSOs that received a National Order of Merit (Gold) from His Majesty The King in December 2016. 

With contributions from a number of international and Bhutanese writers, this issue also delves deeper into internal challenges of the CSOs such as funding and human resource constraints as civil society strives to strengthen its role in an emerging democracy. 

Teachers Trained in Media Literacy Training 

Teachers from schools in Thimphu, Paro, Wangdue Phodrang, and Chukha Dzongkhags who attended the three-day Democracy and Literacy Training found the BCMD's training relevant as it comes at a time when there is a proliferation of information through media.

“We would like to thank BCMD for a very insightful and eye-opening session on democracy and news and media literacy,” one of the teacher participants, Kinley said.

Others said that media literacy has become a day-to-day need more than ever with increasing number of children and villagers gaining access to Smartphones, which is a source of infinite information. “I think it's high time that news and media literacy is spread to the villagers since this is where people need it the most,” said another participant teacher.

Democracy and Media Literacy was the first such pilot training for teachers that BCMD conducted from December 19-21, 2017. The three-day training was conducted for 24 teachers. The workshop enabled teachers to explore democracy and roles of active citizen and news media in a democracy.

Though the country saw a growth of newspapers since the inception of democracy, people are yet to understand the power of information and benefits of an open society in a democracy.

Many still express reservations to express their opinions freely. Sharing information even for constructive reasons remains a challenge. BCMD’s training was a small initiative to help people open up and accept different culture, class, ethnicity, and views with respect.

The democracy and news media literacy training was funded by Bhutan Foundation and DIPD.


Public Service Announcements on Democratic Values



Bhutan is going to the polls next year, but many people still do not understand fundamental democratic values like equity, equality, mutual respect, and civic engagement, among others.

Most people still confuse equality with equity. Bhutanese, in general, are also yet to learn mutual respect and how to respect freedom of expression and be inclusive while democracy becomes competitive with election campaigns.

To help people understand and learn about the fundamental aspects of democracy, BCMD in collaboration with IDEA International produced a series of Public Service Announcement (PSA) on eight core values of democracy. The eight short PSAs are on equity, equality, inclusiveness, mutual respect, freedom of expression, transparency, accountability, and gender equality.

The PSA on mutual respect talks about the increasing culture of taking pictures and sharing it online. The film raises the question of whether it is right to take pictures of accident victims to share it online and how posting such inappropriate and disturbing visuals can impact the victims and their families.

The other PSAs also raise a number of questions about democratic values. The film on freedom of expression talks about inculcating a culture of healthy debate to develop tolerance to opposing views.

All eight PSAs that were produced last year were aired on national television, Bhutan Broadcasting Service and were uploaded to our youtube. 

Photos taken by adolescents on display
Photos taken by adolescents on display
The students ensured safe drinking water
The students ensured safe drinking water
CSO members attending the non-finance training
CSO members attending the non-finance training
The Druk Journal on CSOs being printed
The Druk Journal on CSOs being printed
Students clearing the clog in Metsina Stream
Students clearing the clog in Metsina Stream
Teachers found the MDL insightful and useful, too
Teachers found the MDL insightful and useful, too
Community Mapping in Samdrup Jongkhar
Community Mapping in Samdrup Jongkhar
A footage from mutual respect PSA
A footage from mutual respect PSA
Students work in groups in youth summit
Students work in groups in youth summit

Youth Summit (Youth as Change Makers)

BCMD organised its annual Youth Summit: Youth as Change Makers from July 26-28 for youth across the country. Youths from various schools like Rangjung Central School and Sherubtse College in Trashigang, and Yebilaptsa Central School in Zhemgang attended the summit.

Students from College of Natural Resources, Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Science (KGUMS), and other youths from nearby schools and graduates also took part in the Youth Summit. Few teachers from these schools and faculty members from some colleges also actively participated in the summit as facilitators. 

During the three-day summit, the 91 youths who were divided into six different family groups proposed six step down action plans. All the six action plans are oriented to the communities around their colleges and schools.

Six action plans were proposed by six family groups, which were formed regionally for the ease of implementation of the projects.

Names of the six groups were derived from the word “Change” since this year’s summit was themed “Youth As Change Maker.” Each group had its name from a letter each of the word change.

Creative (Yebilaptsa Central School, proposed to protect drinking water source. 

Hope (KGUMS): Make pre-hospital First Aid training to students.

Accessibility (CNR Graduates): Work towards reducing automobile workshops effluents from running into a stream at Metsina in Punakha.

Nightingale (CNR Students): Work towards reducing automobile workshops effluents from running into a stream at Metsina in Punakha.

Gender (Students from different schools and LGBT members): Teach English in nunneries.

Explorers (Sherube College and Rangjung Central School): Help the unattended old people in the villages of Trashigang with clothes, food and medical care.


Youth Initiative Camp Trains Youth 

A teacher trainee from Paro College of Education wanted to use texts, audio, images, and video skills she acquired from YI Camp conducted from July 17-21 to improve her teaching skills.

 Inspired by the training, she said that using multimedia skills could be one way to make classroom environment livelier. “I can use these skills to make teaching more attractive to students,” the teacher trainee said.

During the three-day training, participants were taught multimedia, which includes the use of texts, images, film, and audio. At the end of the training, each group produced a one-minute long programme on different subjects.

Other participants also had different ideas to use these skills to bring out struggles of farmers. Some college students wanted to hold a documentary competition to keep them in touch with their skills.

The YI Camp also covered sessions on News and Media Literacy. This session included news neighbourhood and power of information. Participants were also educated on judging news credibility and how verification, independence, and evaluation actually separate journalism from rest of the news outlets.

Participants also learnt about fairness and bias, the two vital aspects of journalism. Since social media is become an indispensable part of modern media, the session also covered the issue of social media and ethics surrounding it.

Multimedia Training of Trainers

Fourteen participants from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Youth Initiative (YI) members and teachers produced four two-minute audio-visual productions with the theme “local hero” during a training from July 12-14.

They featured four different characters that were locally inspirational. They included a specially disabled man practicing woodcarving, a man selling balloons for a living, and another physically challenged man pursuing body building and the life of a young musician, rapper.

All featured characters were from Thimphu city. The Training of Trainers included photography, scripting, story pitching, research and interview, among others.

BCMD trained 14 participants from Civil Society Organisations, Youth Initiative Members and teachers on multimedia production to enable them to conduct such trainings at their own respective organisations and schools in future.

TV Series, ‘Jurwa’ and Music Video ‘Dear Prime Minister’ Launched

Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD) launched its first ever television series on “Jurwa” and released a music video “Dear Prime Minister” to commemorate the International Democracy Day on September 15, 2017, as the country’s young democracy entered its 9th year.

Representatives of all the five political parties and Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) came to talk about the state of Bhutanese democracy at the launch to mark the democracy day. The National Council members, government officials, foreign delegates, press, and members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) graced the occasion.

Teachers and students of democracy clubs from various schools in Thimphu also came to observe the launch to celebrate the democracy day. Both music video and Jurwa TV series were launched as independent productions on democracy to educate people about democracy and its values such as the rights, duties, and civic engagement.

“Jurwa, Changing Times” is a television series filmed in a rural setting of Gakithang village, a hamlet in the fringes of Thimphu. As the series unfurls, an election is around the corner. A young civil servant, Sangay Penjor, the lead character in the story sees an opportunity in politics.

But his political journey isn’t going be a walk in the park. Scepticism looms from the start as the news of Sangay’s wish to contest the elections spreads in a traditional village largely dominated by the elders. Sangay’s love, Yeshey Tshomo doesn’t seem to like the idea of him leaving a secure government job for murky politics, either.

Her father, Ap Doley’s distaste for Sangay further deepens when he hears about the former’s intentions to compete against the latter’s nephew and the incumbent Member of Parliament from Gakithang, Sonam. Sangay’s own childhood friend, Kuenga Rabten who is also in love with Yeshey Tshomo and is in the good books of Ap Doley is seething with jealousy when he hears the news of Sangay’s political aspirations.

But Yeshey’s mother feels otherwise. She thinks Sangay could prove to be a better leader despite his disadvantaged age. She feels Sangay could even be a better man than Kuenga Rabten for Yeshey Tshomo.

As democracy lets its frenzy times lose, the small close-knit community is gripped with tumultuous political events. Subsequent political events push everything including their relations with family, friends, and neighbours to the brink. Opinions are divided even among the family members. Chaotic is the new times of democracy.

As Sangay Penjor ventures into politics, his political voyage highlights some of the challenges Bhutan is facing as a young democracy, today. Much of his experience can be related to issues, political and social ills, we face in everyday life, since Bhutan’s venture to the new form of government in 2008. With elections bound next year, in 2018, there is only so much we can learn from Jurwa.

Dear Prime Minister” is a music video informing people that our ties of family, relatives, friends, community, and nation are far more important to be divided by mere political differences.

As the song is played out – a number of questions are raised about democracy and politics, that everyone can relate to their lives. It relays a message that the Bhutanese democracy can be a vibrant and unique one, in a sense – it should rather blend people together as families, friends, community and nation than divide.

During the launch marking the International Democracy Day, ECB representatives and members of the five political parties spoke about the state of the Bhutanese democracy to over 200 participants.

Paro Town Committee Attend Local Action 

Students from Paro College of Education (PCE) and four schools from Paro presented findings of their community mapping exercises to Paro Town Committee during a seminar on September 8.

The second town committee meeting in Paro was held with a seminar on “Supporting people-centred community development through action research” led by the Faculty of Sociology, Kansai University Professor Takayoshi Kusago. Dzongkhag sector heads, CSO members, teachers, students and residents attended the seminar of lessons on how action research community development has contributed to community building in Japan.

Following the seminar, teachers, and students from schools including, Shaba and Shari Higher Secondary Schools, Drugyal Central and Khangkhu Middle Secondary Schools, and the Paro College of Education shared their experience and knowledge of having engaged with the communities. They also presented findings from the mapping exercises to the Paro town committee.

The mappers have identified relevant and urgent issues in Paro communities and pitched ideas to address the problems. The schools are going to work on the following projects in coming months:

  • Shaba Higher Secondary School – Conservation of Spring Water Source
  • Khangkhu Middle Secondary School – Renovation of Canopy on the school campus
  • Drugyal Central School – Construction of Drains in the school
  • Paro College of Education – Construction of Public Toilet at Bondey
  • Shari Higher Secondary School – Advocacy on Water Shortage at Shari.

 Celebrating Civil Society

Little is known and covered about the contributions of Civil Society Organisation (CSO) to towards the nation-building. Many still misunderstand CSO as one of the government entities mostly either because of ignorance of the people or because it fairly is a new organisation to the country largely dominated by governmental support. 

But CSO Fraternity is making a consistent effort to reach out to a larger audience and create awareness of civil society. Last year, CSO fraternity has come up with an annual event called CSO Fair. This year, maintaining the previous year's theme "Celebrating Civil Society," over 33 CSOs including the Mutual and Public Benefit Oganisations came together to mark the event on October 13-14, coinciding with the Royal Wedding Anniversary of Their Majesties. 

During the two-day fair, CSOs displayed some of their products to generate some revenue through the sale of their products. While few CSOs like Bhutan centre for Media and Democracy put up on sale some of its publications including, The Druk Journal, Monarchy and Democracy in 21st Century, other CSOs like RENEW, Tarayana and YDF tried to sell some of their handicraft products. Lhomon displayed some of its bags and purses made from the recycled pet bottles and plastic wrappers. 

 The event also conducted a photography contest on the themed "Our Gyenkhu" translated in literal meaning as 'Our Responsibility.'

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay enjoys music video
Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay enjoys music video
Participants During the Training of Trainers
Participants During the Training of Trainers

Community Mapping Trainers Keen to Share Ideas

Following a weeklong training on “Community Mapping”, 16 teachers who participated in the training are now eagerly waiting for the schools to resume to share what they’ve learnt to create more engaged citizens.

Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD) trained 16 teachers from different schools on community mapping as an exercise that trains youth to assume the role of being “active” citizens and reach out to the community they live with.

Brimming with ideas in building community, these teachers are now going to teach students in their schools on how to find simple effective solutions to local issues. Once, they identify issues and solutions, these teachers can help both students and community to come up with their own action plan to resolve problems.

Teachers also identified pertinent local issues at Paro during their six-day Training of Trainers from July 6-11. The issues identified included how to deal with stray dogs, lack of toilets in a town area and vegetable sheds and how to strengthen community-school relationship at Drukgyal.

Members of parliament addressed the group of teachers and talked about the important role of citizen participation in building community. Upper House Member, Dasho Tashi Wangmo, and National Assembly member, Dasho Kezang Wangmo noted the challenges in getting people’s participation because of a lack of understanding in how to engage in local issues.

Their action plan was shared with people from various sectors including the Paro District officials on July 14

Youth Talks about Youth Issues on National TV

While it’s usually either policy-makers or government officials talking about youth unemployment, this time a group of youth from BCMD’s Youth Initiative went on national television to talk about youth unemployment.

The youth programme was broadcasted on July 2.

During the panel discussion, students talked about the government’s initiative of overseas unemployment. “We asked about the sustainability of government led programmes such as the overseas employment scheme,” said Sushma, a YI member who is a Sherubtse College graduate.

The youth also spoke about the mismatch between the education and employment opportunities. They pointed out the flaws of sending students for the same courses, which have no relevance in the Bhutanese job market. They urged the government to align the education system and vocational skills in line with the job market requirement.

The discussion called for equal pay for blue-collar jobs and white-collar jobs.

Google Trains Youth and CSO Members

BCMD in collaboration with Google trained around 17 people including Bhutanese youths on vacation and Civil Society Organisation employees on enhanced use of Google Applications from June 19-21 at the BCMD’s Media Lab in Nazhoen Pelri Complex, Thimphu.

The participants learnt on how to use applications like the Google calendar, contacts, drive, maps, translation, upload videos on Youtube, among others, to make work and personal life more organised. Google also touched on smart ways to handle online hate speech and fake news, among other cyber issues.

Multimedia Training of Trainers

Fourteen participants from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Youth Initiative (YI) members and teachers produced four two-minute audio-visual productions with the theme “local hero”.

They featured four different characters that were locally inspirational. They included a specially disabled man practicing woodcarving, a man selling balloons for a living, and another physically challenged man pursuing body building and the life of a young musician, rapper.

All featured characters were from Thimphu city. The Training of Trainers included photography, scripting, story pitching, research and interview, among others.

BCMD trained 14 participants from Civil Society Organisations, Youth Initiative Members and teachers on multimedia production to enable them to conduct such trainings at their own respective organisations and schools in future.

BCMD and Google Partner to Train on Google Apps
BCMD and Google Partner to Train on Google Apps
The Participants Getting Trained on Audio-Video
The Participants Getting Trained on Audio-Video

The Media Lab-Giving youth a Voice

BCMD's Media Lab provides the space where youth can pick up skills of self-expression through media production. In doing so, they also learn critical thinking, and the code of ethics of media production and expression. These contribute to fulfilling the overall aim of the lab that is “To create a dynamic, intentional learning space that engages youth” and “giving youth a voice”.

Starting in April, the Media Lab has been getting members to join the lab and to participate more regularly in activities. On offer are courses on photography, multimedia and film-making. Our volunteer professional filmmaker Kim Paul  Nguyen  from FWB(Filmmakers Without Borders) will train youths and CSO on multimedia and filmmaking. He will help facilitate in conducting programs at the Media Lab.

BCMD is introducing membership opportunities to youth and Civil Society Organisations. The membership opportunities for the Media Lab aims to provide the members with the space and equipment. The registration will be open throughout the year. Members will be eligible to attend at least 2 workshops for free and use the lab on specified days.The target group are out of school youth, Youth Initiative members, CSO and Media Club members.

Launch of Graphic Novel 'Jurwa' 


BCMD creates resources and content for teachers, parents, political parties, students, and members of civil society to deepen their understanding of democracy. The print, online, and audio-visual material help to share ideas generated by BCMD forums and discussions, and help to sensitise people to democratic ideas, discussions and thinking.  


Our latest publication is a graphic novel on democratic change -- adapted from the story of Jurwa, which began as a 43-episode radio series. The graphic novel was designed especially to encourage our young readers in the country to not only read but to also learn about a culture of democracy. The novel is being distributed to schools and college libraries.

The novel and TV Series was launched at an important national conference-Women in Governance, Leadership & Politics in Bhutan on 9th March by our partners and supporters: the  Elections Commissioner, Dasho Deki Pema, National Council member, Dasho Wangmo and DIPT Director Rasmus Petersen.



Jurwa Graphic Novel Cover
Jurwa Graphic Novel Cover

Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy’s efforts to inspire active citizens through youth engagement has seen positive outcome over various podcasting and multimedia workshops. Because of the positive responses reveived over the years, BCMD has organised one more podcasting workshop called 'Sharing and Engaging Youth Voice' from 5-8th Decmeber 2016 where thirty one youth participants from across the country participated

The youth learned about sound, sound production, editing, interviewing, script writing, transcription, photography and team work.The workshop also focused on the context of the social and environmental issues that Bhutanese community face. 

The outcome from this workshop was that youths were able to produce ten podcasts. After learning about technical skills, the youths identified various issues that they want to focus and voice on. A variety of stories based on the participant’s interest were covered. Some of the stories were about Different Healthy Life Style Doma, the Eighth Parliament Session, Good Parenting, Youth’s Engagement During winter break. The youth also interviews few Members of Paliament on 

Participants shared that they gained news skills in interviewing, photography, sound, and handling the recorders, cameras and editing software. They also shared about how they will now be able to take back the skills they acquired in this workshop and use it in their lives to share stories and help their friends share their stories as well.

The participants realized the importance of teamwork and how having good interview skills will help them achieve good interviews. They stressed on how important the 5 W’s and H (who, what, where, why and how) were while interviewing people. 

Over the four day workshop, the participants felt that they can bring about positive change in their community and it were also equiped them with the necessary skills and knowledge about sound, photography, interviewing skills, storyboarding and at the same time learning the importance of how powerful sharing their voice through podcast and multimedia can be.

The workshop ended with the participants screening their final finished podcasts. 



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Organization Information

The Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD)

Location: Thimphu, N/A - Bhutan
Website: http:/​/​www.bcmd.bt
Project Leader:
Pek Sioksian Dorji
Thimphu, N/A Bhutan
$1,315 raised of $10,000 goal
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$8,685 to go
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