Lhak-Sam has opened a community based care house in Dhamsima in Ganeykha, Thimphu for people without home and families.

Lhak-Sam is a non-profit organisation, which was formed initially to help people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Bhutan.

The Zhung Dratsang’s Letshog Lopen, Sangay Dorji, accompanied by the lam and monks of Chezhi goenpa in Ganeykha consecrated the five-acre land and a care house yesterday.

Lhak-Sam’s executive director, Wangda Dorji said the care home would shelter key affected people including people living with HIV (PLHIV), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexual (LGBTI), and recovering addicts who are without home.

“The centre will be a place to practice love, compassion and kindness,” he said.

Lhak-Sam acquired the five-acre government land on user right and the organisation is in the process of designing and making proposal to expand the community based care centre.

“We are in the process of talking with the Japanese Embassy in India for Japan’s Grassroots Projects grant assistance for the construction of a bigger care centre,” Wangda Dorji said.

Wangda Dorji said Lhak-Sam would be able to accommodate only a few affected people in the small care house for now. Until a bigger centre comes up, the land will be used to grow flowers.

“We will have green houses where seasonal flowers will be planted. We can employ at least 20 people in the green house,” Wangda Dorji said. “The income from the sale of flowers will be used to sustain the care home and people at the centre.”

Once the centre is fully established, it will have meditation programmes, religious heads would be invited to talk on life, and other programmes to empower the affected people at the centre.

Lhak-Sam’s programme officer, Kezang Thinley, said that PLHIV will be provided treatment and care at the centre.

The care house was constructed with donation money amounting to Nu 600,000 that the Lhak-Sam had collected in the last two years.

Dechen Tshomo