A charitable initiative meant to inspire children to save for a good cause

YDF/BoB: To encourage children to develop a habit of saving and inculcate the practice of altruism, the Bhutan Youth Development Fund (YDF) and the Bank of Bhutan (BoB) launched the Badum Giving Day at the YDF Simply Bhutan museum on March 28.

Badum is a piggy bank made out of clay that encourages children to save money and return to YDF once it’s filled, so that the money can be used for YDF’s various donation programmes, like scholarships and drug rehabilitation.

The Badum story is about a mythical creature, which turned into a blue coloured piggy bank tied in a ribbon and came to earth to help people financially.

Programme director of the fundraising division with YDF, Namgay Zam, said they were looking for a name that would bring a smile to people as soon as they heard it. “Hence the name “Badum”, a nickname given to girls in the west,” she said.

The “guardians”, who were given their Badums in November last year, returned and opened their Badums on the day and contributed approximately Nu 75,000 to the YDF.  HRH Prince Jigme Ugyen Wangchuck was the first to open the Badum.  More than 70 Badums were returned on the Badum Giving Day.

YDF’s executive director, Dorji Ohm, said that parents should support their children in sharing and taking part in such acts of happiness. “People, who give, are generally happy, and in giving they become happier,” she said.

Maya Dorji Choeki, a 10-year old guardian, who has been collecting money for more than four months, opened her Badum along with other guardians on Saturday. “I felt very happy when I opened my Badum,” she said. “I’ll collect more money and feed my Badum every day.”

YDF gave away more than 50 Badums to children, parents and youth present at the celebration.  BoB sponsored the production of the blue Badums that were given on the day.  The bank will be producing 1,500 Badums over a period of three years, as part of their corporate social responsibility.

Badums are distributed free to children and interested individuals.  Namgay Zam said that, currently, the piggy banks have been distributed only in Thimphu and Phuentsholing, but in the next year, they plan to go nationwide.  The event was also celebrated to mark the global money week, 2015.

Younten Tshedup