24 Bhutanese pilots from the two airlines, 16 pilots from Druk Air and 8 pilots from Bhutan Airlines have pledged a sum of Nu 12 million in the next 10 year as a gesture of support to RENEW, dedicating the first of its kind initiative to the 60th birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.
“We wanted to do something for the celebrations and RENEW is a good NGO to contribute to, as this is an organization that has empowered and guided many Bhutanese men, women and children who have had broken marriages or those who have been a victim to domestic violence,” said Yab Dhondup Gyaltshen.
Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck conceptualized RENEW after her nationwide tour and interaction with young girls from remote districts of Bhutan and from the bordering areas, where Her Majesty interacted with young adults infected with HIV. RENEW as an organization was formed in 2004.
According to Yab Dhondup Gyaltshen the Nu 1.2 million annual commitment is the starting amount. It might increase if the airlines recruit new pilots and if they are willing to contribute. During the event the pilots read the pledge to the founder and president of RENEW, Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck and the board members of RENEW. The pilots handed over the amount for the month of November and December 2015 during the occasion.
Her Majesty shared her appreciation and acknowledged the pilots initiative. Her Majesty said that it is a very noble cause. Her Majesty also pointed out the financial constraints that RENEW had been facing. “With financial support from United Nations being cut short, such initiatives from within the country is very encouraging and we hope other institutions will also come forward in supporting RENEW” said Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck. “It means a lot to me personally and to RENEW, I am sure the support will go a long way.”
Besides financial support, the pilots hope to be a part of any service required by RENEW to help the organization do what it does best. Tandin Wangmo, RENEW’s executive director said that every year the cases that RENEW takes in is increasing. With 382 cases last year they are expecting a much higher number this year.
Presently 16 school going children and 3 adult women live in “Gawailing” (Happy Home), a shelter facilitated by RENEW in Sisina. RENEW also provides scholarships for the under privileged children to study in various schools within the country. Besides that, RENEW provides micro financing and gives the women and children basic vocational training.
According to Tandin Wangmo, RENEW has been witnessing cases of domestic violence against men as well since the last few years and they are helping families to work on their relations and go back into a happy life.