Yangyel Lhaden

As RENEW marks 20 years, they’ve helped 9,848 people and given them 215,936 services since 2004.

RENEW was started to help women in difficult situations, especially those facing domestic and gender-based violence.

To celebrate RENEW’s 20 years, they’ve created a special coffee table book. The book shows RENEW’s journey from the beginning, with stories, pictures, and graphics. Each part about RENEW’s services is followed by stories of the people they’ve helped.

Here’s a sneak peek from A 20-year journey of renewal—towards a just, fair, inclusive, and happy society.

The organisation has made significant progress in changing cultural norms. In the past, domestic violence was often accepted, and outsiders trying to help were shut down. There was also a culture of silence among women, and some men thought violence was okay.

Over time, RENEW has noticed a big rise in cases they handle. In 2005, they only had three cases, but last year, they helped 1,836 clients.

In its early years, RENEW ran their first secret emergency shelter for women and children from a building in the Zangdopelri Complex in Thimphu.

In 2013, RENEW set up Gawailing Happy Home, a shelter for clients who urgently need a safe place. Since then, over 1,000 women and children have found safety at RENEW’s emergency shelters.

Today, RENEW has brought their services closer to people’s homes by setting up 10 community service centres. They plan to have one centre in each district within the next five years. These centres offer emergency assistance, protection services, advocacy, awareness programmes, and job training.

RENEW started offering legal help to clients, many of whom aren’t educated and find it hard to understand the legal process. They’ve given a total of 888 legal services since 2017.

The book tells the story of a man wrongly accused of rape. With RENEW’s legal help, he was found innocent because there wasn’t enough evidence. This shows that not all sexual and gender-based violence is done by men; sometimes, they’re the victims too.

Today, RENEW has 400 active volunteers and 5,000 registered volunteers. They work with communities, playing a crucial role in speaking out against domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence, empowering others in the process.

Since it began in 2008, over 3,000 individuals, including women, men, boys, people with disabilities, and LGBTQI community members, have participated in livelihood trainings provided by RENEW.

Between 2012 and 2023, RENEW disbursed a total of 29,913 loans, totaling Nu 1.3 billion, through microfinance initiatives. Additionally, through their scholarship program, RENEW provided educational support to 197 vulnerable children last year, among other endeavours.


What’s more?

RENEW has set ambitious goals for the future, aiming for 80 percent client satisfaction, equipping 690 individuals with new skills, establishing 35 micro and small businesses, expanding their volunteer network to 2,500 volunteers with 20 committees covering all districts, hosting two high-level symposiums, and boosting revenue from their social enterprise by 25 percent in the next five years.

Tshering Dolkar, executive director of RENEW, emphasised the organisation’s commitment to empowering vulnerable women and families in the coming years. Prioritising women and girls’ health is key, as their well-being directly impacts the entire family’s welfare.

To achieve this, RENEW plans to offer more practical skills training, especially targeting vulnerable women and girls, to help them become financially independent.

The organisation believes that economic independence can address many family-related challenges.

RENEW’s focus now is to leverage technology to empower women and recognise the serious issue related to technology-facilitated gender-based violence and abuse.