The second Winter Youth Enrichment Programme for girls is underway in Gyalpoizhing, Mongar. 821 girls from 85 different schools, from classes 6 to 12 are participating in the camp. The girls are from all six eastern dzongkhags.
The month-long camp was inaugurated by Lyonpo Dorji Choden, Minster of Works and Human Settlement, on 29th December.
The Winter Youth Enrichment Programme was initiated upon the command of His Majesty The King, and the first camp was held at the Mongar High School from 29th December to 31st January last year. 411 girls from across the six eastern dzongkhags participated in the camp last year.
The camp was initiated to give girls from vulnerable backgrounds an opportunity to use their winter holidays to acquire knowledge and skills, and gain self confidence through a program that includes english lessons, life skills, scouting, career guidance, counseling, and health check-ups, as well as information technology, home science, knitting, candle and soap making, art, dance, games and sports. The pogramme also includes guest lectures on spirituality, drugs, nature and environment, adolescent reproductive health, hygiene and sanitation.
The participants of the camp are between 14-20 years old, and would have worked during their winter vacation at various locations, making them vulnerable.
The first WYEP was immensely successful, with heartfelt testimonials from the participants, who described their increased self confidence and a newfound strength to overcome difficulties that some of them faced at home or school.
In order to encourage families to allow their daughters to attend the camp instead of working away from homes in possibly difficult conditions, His Majesty granted as soelra, the amount equal to what the girls would earn from one month of work during the winter.