A 15 year old Californian school girl Claire Thomsen from USA, donated a generous US$ 50,000 to help build a READ center in Chuzagang village under Sarpang
She was in Bhutan sometimes in 2010 and when she left for her country she decided to come back with funds to help underprivileged communities of Bhutan. She fulfilled her dream and supported Bhutan Foundation to establish the READ center in Chuzagang last year.
Claire Thomsen further looked for support to help those students who had to walk long distances of 1.5 to 4 kilometers to school. The Charity organization called the Wheels 4 Life started by the winner of World Champion for Mountain Biking Hans along with Carmen Rey supported Claire Thomsen to give away bikes to the students.
The generous supporter of the bikes, Hans and Carmen Rey are known to be good friends of Claire Thomsen and family. Under their generosity the students from low income families and live far from school was granted a bike each on 31 March this year when Claire Thomsen and her family visited in person to see the deprived student benefited.
About 24 students, 14 girls and 10 boys in the age range from 13 to 16, mostly from poor backgrounds now enjoy coming to school riding their bikes.
Development officer Ngawang Phuntsho said the bikes have not only reduced time-consumed for the students, but also created more time for studies. And more importantly, going to school has become a pleasure.
The center at Thonjabi village in Chuzagang under Sarpang dzongkhag was established as the fourth READ center with four such centers in other dzongkhags. READ Bhutan began working in Bhutan since 2008 with the goal of transforming rural communities by creating access to knowledge and opportunities. With the help of community partners, the organization has built the first rural community libraries in the country.