The Media Lab: Giving Youth a Voice

by The Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD)
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The Media Lab: Giving Youth a Voice
The Media Lab: Giving Youth a Voice
The Media Lab: Giving Youth a Voice
The Media Lab: Giving Youth a Voice
The Media Lab: Giving Youth a Voice
The Media Lab: Giving Youth a Voice
The Media Lab: Giving Youth a Voice
The Media Lab: Giving Youth a Voice
The Media Lab: Giving Youth a Voice

Project Report | Sep 28, 2023
Giving Youth a Voice

By Kinley C Tenzin | Programme/ Communication Officer

Youth Summit
Youth Summit

Building Inclusive Communities: Empowering Youth Voices

Between May and September 2023, the Media Lab's "Giving Youth a Voice" project embarked on a mission to foster inclusive communities and empower the voices of youth. The project focused on several key initiatives to achieve this goal.

In one initiative, 28 young individuals from four different schools in Samdrup Jongkhar in Eastern Bhutan participated in a transformative five-day experiential learning programme. This programme aimed to help them explore their identities as young members of the community and understand their vital role in its development.The summit created an environment that empowered these young individuals to express their viewpoints freely.

Simultaneously, 15 local leaders and sector heads from the Dzongkhag (District) administration took part in a Training of Trainers program, equipping them to promote youth engagement in community development. An elected young local leader from Orong highlighted the need for a "cultural shift" to include youths in local government consultations. Furthermore, the Administrative Officer of Dewathang Gewog (sub-district) expressed plans to introduce youth representatives as observers in the Gewog Tshogdu (Community Meeting).

Media and Literacy Empowerment for Children and Parents through Youth Centres

A three-day workshop was conducted for 18 Youth Centre coordinators and volunteers from Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, and Wangduephodrang Dzongkhags in Western Bhutan. The workshop focused on "safeguarding children and youth online by cultivating healthy social media habits." Participants emerged from the workshop with a newfound ability to critically evaluate news, distinguish authentic information from raw data, and navigate digital content confidently and accurately. These empowered individuals are now prepared to organise further training sessions in their respective Youth Centres, extending their knowledge to kids and parents in their communities.


Youth Initiative Summer Camp: Exercising Rights with Responsibility

The 2023 Youth Initiative Summer Camp gathered 27 children from various schools in Paro, Thimphu, and Haa Dzongkhags at the Paro College of Education. Over four days, the camp empowered participants to understand their rights and responsibilities under the Child's Rights Convention. The camp fostered discussions on the importance of exercising rights with responsibility, emphasizing the role of different stakeholders, including businesses, in ensuring the well-being and safety of children, particularly concerning the sale of alcohol and drugs to minors. 

This camp serves as a platform for young voices to actively engage in discourse around topics and issues concerning community development.

Nurturing Creativity and Talent in Young Minds

To make the summer holidays enriching, the Media Lab organised a photography camp for 14 children aged 9 to 13 years. This camp aimed to foster creativity and provide a platform for young enthusiasts to explore their potential in photography. Throughout the camp, participants delved into the art of photography, learning about composition, framing, storytelling through photographs, and digital literacy.

The camp concluded with an impressive photo exhibition, showcasing the children's remarkable work and celebrating their achievements.

Spreading Spiritualism through Photography: A Workshop for Monks

The Media Lab also conducted a special two-day photography workshop for 17 young monks from Chokyi Gyatso Institute and Lhomon Education in Eastern Bhutan. Beyond technical skills, the workshop focused on utilising photography to convey the teachings of Buddhism through captivating storytelling. Monks explored their spiritual journeys, capturing the profound wisdom of their faith in each frame. 

Through their lenses, they shared the essence of Buddhism, promoting devotion,  and discovered the potential of photography as a powerful tool to share their spiritual beliefs, touching the hearts of many with their visual expressions.

Community Empowerment Programme: Citizen Participation in Samdrup Jongkhar

A six-day workshop on Gross National Happiness (GNH)-based community analysis and participatory planning empowered local government leaders in Samdrup Jongkhar. Following its success, the "Community Empowerment" programme was launched in six gewogs, promoting understanding of decentralisation and the importance of representing voices in zomdues (formal community meetings). Participants gained valuable insights into the challenges faced by marginalized groups within the community, particularly emphasizing the need for youth involvement in zomdues.

Enhancing Writing Skills for Youth

A day-long workshop on content writing at the Media Lab in July engaged 15 young participants, orienting them to the art of effective writing. Participants assessed various articles, learned the elements of good writing, and explored practical applications. The workshop also featured an interactive session on using AI to improve content, offering a unique takeaway for participants.

Empowering Writers: From Theory to Practice in Content Writing Workshops

In August, BCMD's Media Lab hosted two day-long content writing workshops. The first workshop focused on empathizing with characters and utiliszing AI tools to enhance writing. The second workshop, tailored for Youth Centre coordinators, emphasiszed grant proposal writing and aligning projects with grantor missions.

These initiatives collectively empower youth, nurture creativity, and promote community engagement, fostering a brighter future for Bhutan's youth and communities.

Media and Literacy
Media and Literacy
Youth Initiative
Youth Initiative
Nurturing Creativity
Nurturing Creativity
Photography Workshop for Monks
Photography Workshop for Monks
Community Empowerment
Community Empowerment
Enhancing Writing Skills for Youth
Enhancing Writing Skills for Youth
Empowering Writers
Empowering Writers


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Organization Information

The Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD)

Location: Thimphu, N/A - Bhutan
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Bhutan_CMD
Project Leader:
Chencho Lhamu
Thimphu , N/A Bhutan
$574 raised of $10,000 goal
19 donations
$9,426 to go
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