Friday, September 21, 2018

I have always been a lover of peace and will be so forever

Having never indulged in violence in my life, I would like to believe that I have been a peaceful person since my early childhood. My family-members and close friends might have seen me sad or desolate, but I think they have not seen me aggressive and violent so far. I don’t know whether I should call it my weakness or strength, but I have realized that I have not learned to be assertive and aggressive in my entire life. Many people who have crossed paths with me have even taken me for a ride, but I have always chosen to remain quiet and positive. I know that any retaliation would indeed do more harm than good. I am a kind of person who loves to live in harmony with everybody in the society but I have realized that things do not always happen as we wish.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The story of loss and grief in the animal world

Some weeks ago, a female dog in my office premises had lost the only puppy she had. Her pathetic cries and whines that filled the air all day and night were too painful for a human heart to process. I was told that she had even refused to eat when people brought her food. She was found wandering around the office, wailing and barking especially in the direction she had seen her puppy being taken. We had to ultimately locate and request the person who had taken the puppy to return it. The reunion instantly sparked a special glow of love and affection in the eyes of the mother-dog who had been running around for days to find her lost puppy. It was a very emotional moment for those of us who witnessed the entire scene. For those who humanize animals, it was the story of a heartbroken mother and her lost child.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The experience of publishing the first research article in the international journal

After more than a year of continued effort and dedicated team work, I and my friends have ultimately managed to publish our first research paper titled ‘Supporting Students with Disability in Schools in Bhutan: Perspectives from School Principals’ on 22nd August 2018 in the International Journal of Inclusive Education. I was very fortunate to have got the opportunity to work with a very competent team on this paper. Our group consisted of Dasho Ugyen Namgay, the Hon’ble Member of Parliament (NC) from Haa, Ms. Chokey Yangzom, a special education teacher of Changangkha Middle Secondary School, Ms. Sangay Choden, Dy. Chief Program officer of the Department of Adult and Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Mr. Karma Dorji, Senior Lecturer from Paro College of Education and me. We were first part of the Bhutanese delegation to attend the Australia Awards South and West Asia Regional Alumni Workshop on Inclusive Education in Kathmandu, Nepal in November 2016. It was during this workshop that we decided to do a research study in Bhutan to find out the impact of inclusive practices in schools with Special Educational Needs (SEN) programs. More importantly, we were blest to have the support of Prof. Suzanne Karington and Prof. Julie Nickerson from Queensland University of Technology in Australia who had been part of this project right from the beginning. Although this journey was long and winding, often zigzagging through difficult times, we have ultimately managed to catch our dream and the credit goes to all those who had been part of this journey including the two seasoned professors from Australia.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Suicide is a painful reality

Despite the nationwide efforts to nurture, support and protect our children, we continue to see young people taking their own lives every year. The recent death of a student by suicide in Thimphu has once again frozen my heart. Dying by suicide is just one part of the tragedy. What is more painful is the wound it leaves in the lives of those people left behind by it. Although I have never lost any of my family-members to suicide, I have lost a friend in 2008 after she consumed poison to put an end to some relationship problems she was having with her husband. Given how much the suicide of that friend shocked me at the time, I can only guess at the devastation those who have lost their loved ones to suicide have experienced. The pain mixed with guilt, anger and regret solidifies into a bitter lump of emotions the taste of which takes months and even years to vanish from some heads.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The value of being a Bhutanese

When we think about millions of people across the globe who are bleeding with pain every day, it gives us a special reason to be proud of being born in Bhutan where we do not even have to worry about our next meal. With the blessings of our great leaders, we have been enjoying absolute peace and harmony for centuries. Although we are literarily sandwiched between two billion people, our strength lies in our unity and it was this special communal bond that helped us survive through even some of the darkest days in our history. The selfless dedications and sacrifices of our forefathers have led to the foundation of this great nation and today, we stand proud of our past as we continue our journey forward with a spark in our eyes. Our rich cultural values, pristine environment and the wisdom of our visionary leaders are some of the blessings that justify why we should consider ourselves lucky to be born in such a country whose economic progress is strictly measured by the level of happiness and wellbeing of its citizens.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Lessons from the Republic of Korea

Group photo of participants with program coordinators. Image courtesy: Korea Youth Work Agency.

For me and my friend Yeshi Tshewang, landing at Incheon International Airport on the morning of 6th July 2018 was like entering into a paradise on Earth. The rising popularity of Korean music and drama over the years has made South Korea a dreamland for many Bhutanese people especially the youth. The beautiful landscapes interwoven with the tapestry of beautiful people and their beautiful culture left us with a lot of curiosity and enthusiasm to explore more about the social, cultural, political and economic life of Korean people. We have been part of the Bhutanese delegation to attend the training on program development for teenagers and youth which is organized by Korea Oversea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Korea Youth Work Agency (KYWA) from 6-27 July 2018. Apart from the training, we have also been exploring and learning many different aspects of Korean life and I have a lot of memories and lessons to take back home.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Thai cave boys and Bhutanese river boys: the story that can never be forgotten

When the soccer fans across the globe were at the peak of their excitement watching the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup, we all know how a local football team in Thailand was going through the biggest ordeal of their life. It is very unfortunate that 12 young boys and their coach who were on a leisurely adventure into the Tham Luang cave complex had to meet such a fate. With all the internal passages blocked by flood water soon after they got inside, they were stuck underground for more than two weeks. Perching on a ledge more than 4 kilometers away from the cave-mouth, the only option the helpless boys had was to cling on to the hope that somebody might come to their rescue before they die of drowning due to the rising water-level around them or suffocation due to the exhaustion of oxygen inside the cave system.