The 678 girls attending the 3rd Winter Youth Engagement Programme (WYEP) at Gyelpozhing Higher Secondary School, received a specially-recorded video-message from His Majesty The King, during an emotional closing ceremony held on 20thJanuary.
The closing ceremony was graced by His Royal Highness Gyaltshab Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, His Majesty’s Representative in the East. Speaking to the girls, His Royal Highness shared His Majesty’s farsighted visions, extraordinary concern and unconditional love for the youth in general and the girls in the camp in particular. His Royal Highness said, “His Majesty attaches utmost importance to the welfare and development of the youth. When you are bestowed with full support and care by His Majesty, it’s very critical for you to study well and serve the country with utmost dedication and loyalty.”
His Royal Highness advised the students to work hard, excel in studies, and become role models, in thought, studies, conduct and dedication.
The students spoke about their experiences in the camp, and described how the programme had helped them build their confidence and self-esteem. They also presented an exhibition of livelihood skills education products and a cultural programme.
The Winter Youth Engagement Programme is a visionary Winter Camp Programme, designed to enrich and empower girls from eastern Bhutan. The programme was initiated upon the Royal Command of His Majesty The King in 2014, for the many students who spent their winter vacation working to supplement their family income and support their own education the following year. The programme gives the girls an opportunity to spend their holidays learning useful skills, supplementing their school-education, and enjoying their vacation like other children elsewhere.
The three-week-long WYEP started on 30th December 2015. A total of 678 students aged between 16-20 years and studying in classes IV-XII in 69 schools from the six eastern Dzongkhags attended the programme.
In the WYEP, a wholesome approach was adopted so that the students would have the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills to enable them to grow personally, gain self-confidence and exposure and help them to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life, and live dignified lives.
Therefore, the program primarily focused on strengthening their English and building individual social skills through training in various areas such as life skills, scouting, career guidance, counseling, and health checkup. They also got the opportunity to learn about information technology, home science, and crafts, and participated in recreational activities like art, dance, games and sports. The program was further enriched through guest lectures on spirituality, drugs, nature and environment, adolescent reproductive sexual health, hygiene and sanitation.
411 girls attended the first WYPE, and 821 students attended the second.
His Royal Highness granted Royal Soelra, including cash soelra from His Majesty The King to each of the students to meet their educational expense in the coming academic year.