Tarayana Foundation was founded by Her Majesty the Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck and was formally launched on May 4, 2003 by His Majesty The King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
The public benefit organisation works in remote, rural villages to bring about holistic community growth and development.
Through the foundation’s social and economic development programmes, Tarayana works toward community mobilisation, enhancing access to basic needs, increasing opportunities for education, and enhancing livelihood prospects.
To empower the low income generating individuals, Tarayana Foundation conducted a two-week long training on basket weaving using waste in the country in 2016. In addition to the training, two weeks training on weaving, tailoring and designing was also conducted this year in January and February.
Dechen Choden, 44, is one of the 54 trainees. Apart from housewives of the armed forces, divorcees and unemployed, some parents of children with disability also took part in the training.
Dechen Choden said that since her divorce in 2005, she wove to make a living for herself and to provide to her two children. “I was with a cousin at Changbangdo. That is when people from Tarayana came looking for trainees. I just registered and they called me later for meetings.”
She showed a steady interest in weaving with waste and got employed at Clean Bhutan. She is one of the three employed by Clean Bhutan who weaves baskets and work on other designs using waste.
Dechen Choden said that she has been working with Clean Bhutan for eight months and the job has been helping her eke out a living. Along with her, two more women who were trained by Tarayana were also employed by Clean Bhutan.
Waste management training was part of the project ‘Decentralised Coordination and Partnerships for Gender Equality Results’ that started last year. Tarayana will continue to provide training to other groups of women until 2019.
As part of an additional support to the project, training in cane and bamboo weaving, and textile weaving is also provided.
Tarayana’s programme officer, Wangmo, said that in Pemagatshel, Tarayana has trained 16 individuals in cane and bamboo weaving and 26 in dyeing with local experts providing the training. “They even got the products here at the fair and at Tarayana shop. They sold cane and bamboo products worth of about Nu 75,000.”
She added that similar training would be conducted in Tading, Samtse for basket weaving and making bamboo furniture.
The training was part of a single project under Tarayana’s income generating activities. Last year, 58 SelfHelp Groups were formed in eight dzongkhags with 771 members. The training and activities will continue under the project until 2019.
Similarly, under the economic development programme, through market facilitation and micro finance activities, the products find a market with Tarayana fair and Tarayana Rural Craft outlets.
In 2016, community members who participated in the annual fair and collectively made Nu 1.3 million through the fair.
Along with the economic development programme, the foundation also works towards vulnerability reduction, provides learning opportunity and green technologies.
For vulnerability reduction, activities under housing improvement, surgical camps, annual pilgrimage for senior citizens, and community radio are being conducted.
Wangmo said that the foundation provides wage for the labourers and materials for some of the selected households. “Some houses need renovation and we help do that.”
Last year, 181 houses were constructed under the programme and 48 were renovated. To improve sanitation and hygiene, Tarayana constructed 390 toilets across the country.
Wangmo said that to provide health assistance in the rural areas, surgical camps are also conducted twice a year. “The people here get health assistance easily, but the people in the rural area do not.”
In the past, surgical camps for cataract correction, cleft lips, cleft palates, burn patients and people mauled by wild animals were conducted.
Activities of surgical camps started in 2007 and has continued until today. This year, eye camps and surgical camps for cleft lips, cleft palates and burn patients were conducted. The foundation will conduct another surgical camp in November this year.
Through the eye camp, 844 individual availed of services and 87 received surgeries this year. For cleft lips, cleft palates, patients mauled by animals and burn patients, 61 people received surgeries this year.
Under the education programme, Tarayana has supported 112 students for further education until today. The foundation has supported 20 students for further education this year.
The education support is also provided through construction of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Centres in the remote areas of the country. Tarayana has constructed 33 ECCD centres across the country to date.
The foundation also engages more than 4,000 students in various activities through Tarayana clubs in different schools and colleges. Although the foundation is one of the oldest civil society organisations in the country, funding is one of the major challenges faced by Tarayana.
A happy and prosperous Bhutan.
Tarayana Foundation believes in maximizing happiness and harmony among all Bhutanese people by providing opportunities for life improvement to the vulnerable communities in Bhutan. By helping these community members learn and integrate new skills. Tarayana Foundation promotes self-empowerment and the importance of serving each other.
Service from the heart.
Compassion: We will be guided by the spirit of compassion from which the foundation derives its name, in our service to the most vulnerable people and in working with each other.
Dignity: We will act with dignity in our work and seek to respect the dignity of those we serve.
Integrity: We will follow the highest ethical standards.