A non-governmental organisation, RENEW with support from UNFPA Bhutan is training 25 khenpos and lopons on life skills education (LSE) in Phuentsholing.

With an objective to engage the zhung dratshang to reach the unreached, the khenpos and lopons from different monastic institutions will be briefed on issues people and youth face in changing times.

The five-day training started on December 27.

RENEW’s director, Dr Meenakshi Rai, said zhung dratshang has wide reach across the country. “RENEW is doing this partnership so that they could facilitate in creating awareness,” she said. “People believe what religious personalities say.”

RENEW and UNFPA have identified emerging issues youth face such as substance abuse, suicide, gang culture, and teenage pregnancies.

The general secretary (GS) with zhung dratshang, lopon Passang, said there are monks and lams in remote places and they could disseminate awareness.

Lopon Passang said the participants are head of monastic institutions from the western region this time. “There should be more such training.”

At the second day of the training yesterday, a leadership method of identifying and solving problems, POWER (Problem, Options, Weigh, Elect, and Reflect) model was the highlight.

Shingkhar lam Ngodup Dorji, who is also a trainer, said this model is applicable to everyone at all times. “In this, a particular problem is first identified, following which all the options to solve the particular problem is identified and gauged to go for the best solution.”

The lam said that if that option doesn’t help in solving the problem, then one could again reflect and continue the method.

A participant, the research head of Tango monastery, khenpo Nima Shar, said the message they get from the training could be passed to schools, colleges, villages, and homes through monastic involvement.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing