READ-Bhutan Grows within 5 Years

Aurbay Sher Shong Payzothkhang (ASSP) the first READ supported community Library and resource center in Ura, commemorated its Second Anniversary on 26 May.

Rural Education and Development (READ) Bhutan in partnership with Ura Middle Secondary School organized a cleanup campaign and created awareness in the community.

Principal in the Function said that waste management is the sheer concern of all and everyone should be responsible.

“We are happy that with the support from READ Bhutan, we could take part in creating community awareness on waste management,” the Principal of Ura Middle Secondary school said.

Ura Gup Dorji Wangchuk thanked READ Bhutan for alerting Ura community on the hazards of wastes and environment pollution.

He said “It’s a good beginning and it’s our duty to make a happening event”.

The Nature Club coordinator of Ura Middle Secondary School spoke on the importance of creating awareness on the waste management and segregation of waste. She shared her gratitude to READ Bhutan for having undertaken the waste management project in full measures.

Participants were divided into groups and assigned to clean up the stream – almost a 5KM stretch, and to collect wastes from the community.

As part of the event, Ura MSS and ASSP READ Center also adopted Ura Stream, which would now be cleaned periodically.

READ Bhutan established in 2008 is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) that builds community library and resource centers. It goes out to the community and explains the importance of books and specifically information – which are essential tools to empower communities; a vision of the NGO.

READ sets up library and resource centers in partnership with the community. The Community mandatorily contributes 10-15% of the cost of setting up the center.

This is done with a sole aim of inducing and inculcating in community a sense of ownership and responsibility. Once the center is fully in operation, READ then invests in a business enterprise (which is usually run by the community members) that generates income.

The income thus generated is used to run and maintain the center. That way the community does not have to bear the burden of looking after a center all the time.

The services and facilities at the center were provided free of cost and even conduct livelihood and skills training to the community.

READ centers were established in Ura in Bumthang, Rongthong in Kanglung and Changyul in Punakha.

In the meantime READ is also working with communities in Sarpang, Samtse and others to set up future sustainable READ centers.

This year the NGO will come up with two more centers – one at Chuzagang, Gelephu. A  fifth center at Changjiji, Thimphu. It is done in partnership with the National Housing Development Corporation Limited.

The center will have a library, ICT section and Women and Children’s section. Added to these facilities, it will also have a children’s park.

This library and resource center will be very useful and beneficial not only to Changjiji residents, but directly or indirectly add values to the lives of more than100,000 people in Thimphu.

A typical READ Center includes 3,000 books in English and Dzongkha, an IT or Communication section, a Women’s Empowerment Section featuring literature and learning materials relevant to women’s livelihood and knowledge. It also includes an early childhood development section that includes child-friendly furnishings, learning toys and reading materials and an audiovisual section with TV, DVD/Music player and selection of educational DVDs and CDs. A community activity room where meetings, events and trainings can take place.

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One comment

  1. This is great news! Hope to see a huge Central Library/Public Library in Thimphu soon.

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