Neten Dorji | Trashigang

Individuals have to change first if anyone wants to change the society. The Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD) is trying to inculcate this to more than 100 youth who are attending the youth summit in Sherubtse College.

Themed ‘Change begins with me’, the summit started on December 11 aimed to enable youth to discover their social consciousness and to explore the belief that anyone in a community has an ability to contribute positively to society regardless of age. It will conclude on December 14.

The centre is organising the summit in the east for the first time in partnership with Sherubtse College so that youth from different socio-economic backgrounds and academics could come and interact.

A participant, Palden Wangchuk, 16, said he didn’t get opportunity to participate in summer youth summit because of financial problem. “ I am glad that I could participate this time as BCMD organised it in the east.”

Another participant, Sangay Bidha from Samtse College of Education said she wants to take idea and knowledge from the summit and organise such programmes in her college and school.

BCMD’s programme officer, Jigme Choden, said that summit is a platform where youth come and share ideas beyond their classroom experiences. “Youth can discuss social issues, and their role in the community and democracy.”

She said that registration to participate in the summit is open and inclusive to all youth under 18 years. “The peer facilitators are also youth who were already trained by BCMD programmes. We have groomed them to be youth peer facilitators for three days.”

The summit has 20 peer facilitators.

Meanwhile, the centre initiated the youth summit since 2015 to engage youth during the vacation to bring positive change in society. The summit this year was supported by CIVICUS and Bhutan Foundation.