Loten Zangmo

Her Royal Highness Princess Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck inaugurated the Child Education Programme at Green Weaving Centre (GWC) in Thimphu yesterday.  

The programme was launched by the social enterprise project of Youth Development Fund (YDF) in collaboration with Academy of Himalayan Arts and Child Development (AHACD).

YDF’s chief of social enterprise, Kinley Tenzin, said that the education programme was a social and emotional learning platform for children of the weavers at the GWC.  “Self-care, care for others, and care for the environment are the three key guiding principles of the curriculum. Children would be assessed based on their knowledge, skills, values, and attitude.” 

Beginning next week, children will learn weaving, arts and crafts, singing, natural dyeing, yoga and mindfulness, storytelling, and entrepreneurship for four months. A total of 19 children have registered so far.

GWC was established on June 16 last year with an objective to promote and preserve Bhutanese textile culture, conserve the natural environment, and enhance socio-economic development for the weavers across the country. 

The centre’s programme officer, Tshering Choden, said that GWC focused on weavers, children and youth by providing them with opportunities to learn and create textile arts and crafts. 

“The tradition of weaving is not merely a skill. It’s a ritual of love and tenacity that comes from the hearts,” said Kinley Tenzin. “Bhutanese textile has gained impetus in the country. Our Royal Families, past and present have played a significant role in sustaining and furthering the weaving tradition.”

He said that the centre’s ideology was based on empowerment, engagement, and economic wellbeing for connecting and reskilling 108 weavers in nature dye-based weaving, educating their children in creative arts and crafts and building a farmers’ cooperative to grow natural dye in six dzongkhags in three years. 

“Our vision is to become a green fashion brand, which is synonymous in the world for its concept of Gross National Happiness.”