Twenty six girls moved into the new hostel on Saturday

Her Majesty the Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck inaugurates new facility at the centre

Yangyel Lhaden

Her Majesty the Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck, Her Royal Highness the princess Ashi Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck and Dasho Thinlay Norbu graced the occasion of three inaugural ceremonies at Gawailing Happy Home (GHH) – new girls hostel, GHH- water rehabilitation project, and GHH vocational training centre at Wangsisina, Thimphu.

The programme is part of the 16-day activism which started from November 25 to mark the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women.

Gawailing Happy Home is under the care of Respect Educate Nurture and Empower Women (RENEW). It is a home to vulnerable women and children who were victims of domestic violence and gender-based violence. 

Twenty-six children, some as young as six years moved into their new home on Saturday after the inauguration.

The newly wed Royal couple inaugurated the newly built girls’ hostel. 

The new hostel has been constructed with the vision to create a homely atmosphere that caters to the needs of the children, who calls Her Majesty the Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck their mother.

A duplex with six rooms is equipped with furniture and other facilities. About four to five children will share a spacious room where their names are written on the bed. Children will have a study table and a side table with a storage box containing toiletries, toilets with a changing room and closet and a laundry room with washing machines.

The Happy Home came to life with support from Her Majesty’s “dear friend”, Ms. Barbara Margret-Rose Riepl from Germany who supported the construction with Nu 19 million, and furnishing amounting Nu 3 million by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

As Barbara Margret-Rose Riepl couldn’t be present at the inaugural, the children prepared a thank you card for her.

The eldest among them said, “Our lives have changed, we have a home, we see our future, we have hope.”

One of the girls who came from a remote village had not seen a house and furnishing of this kind ever. She calls it a palace.

GHH vocational  training centre

The training centre is a part of RENEW’s empowerment and re-integration programme for women and girls. Executive Director of RENEW, Tshering Dolkar said that Her Majesty Gyalyum had always reiterated the need to have a vibrant training centre and GHH must become a training hub one day.

The training centre had trained over 300 key vulnerable individuals with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) during the Covid-19 pandemic. They availed training in baking, tailoring, weaving, floriculture, recycle and product developments and traditional upskilling of drayang girls.

Three women will receive the funding from UNDP-Loden Foundation grant for business ideas they contested after completion of their training.

To ensure access to reliable and safe drinking water and to promote the sanitation and hygiene of the family of Gawailing, a water rehabilitation project was also established with support from the  World Health Organisation (WHO).

Her Majesty and Dr Rui Paulo de Jesus, WHO representative to Bhutan inaugurated the GHH Water Rehabilitation Project on Saturday.