Empowering Communities through Tarayana Club: A Coordinator's Testimony
“We feel satisfied when others are happy because of our deeds.” – Club members.
The Tarayana club in Jigme Sherubling Central School was established in 2016 with support from Tarayana Foundation. Its principle idea is to get students involved in the community through social service activities, instill values through active participation, and spread the love of volunteerism. Since its inception, the club members have participated in numerous volunteer activities for the school, community, and beyond. It provided the club members a platform and a rich experience to develop social skills, assist others, and connect among themselves and people in the community with a moral sense of belongingness. Apart from volunteer activities, it is a learning opportunity for the members to organize and conduct sensitization and awareness programs at the school and community levels to the best of their abilities.
” We firmly believe that reaching out to the unreached and extending support in our capacity can bring positive change and make a difference in the lives of people in the community. We are glad to share that besides community services, the club advisors and members also initiated a poetry book, ‘Precious Jewel’ in 2016. Members wrote the poems to celebrate the birth of His Royal Highness Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck.
Furthermore, during club hours, we discuss issues like climate change, waste management, youth-related issues, and responsibilities of youth in society, and generally, we engage in origami activities. Furthermore, during the annual club exhibition, we display things prepared from waste to make people aware of the increasing waste problems and management issues, emphasizing the 3Rs (reduce, recycle, and reuse) and transforming waste into different decorative things.
Occasionally, we invite guest speakers to inspire and motivate the club members on alternative ways to connect and give to the community to make it a better place. For instance, to celebrate the 32nd birth anniversary of Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, we invited one of the most popular youth artists Mr. Sonam Wangchen for an hour-long interactive session.
During his visit, he entertained the members with his beautiful songs and motivated them with his diligent stories. The students asked many questions about passion, dreams, career, and time management. On the same day, we received saplings from Karma Thegsum Dechenling Monastery en route to Sherubtse to drop off the day’s guest speaker. We planted those saplings on the school campus on World Environment Day.
Furthermore, we had the privilege to conduct and participate in an art competition organized by Gender Action Plan (GAP) implemented by Tarayana Foundation for the class X and IX categories. Art enthusiast students from classes X and IX participated in the theme of Gender Equality and climate change, respectively. The students came up with brilliant ideas bringing the issues to life in the form of colors. The participants were awarded prizes and certificates to acknowledge and encourage their participation.
One of the remarkable events is the members got this excellent opportunity to attend a virtual exchange program with students of the Jeju Jeil High School in South Korea in September this year. It was a great learning experience for the members as they interacted and conversed on various topics like culture, tradition, education system, and youth involvement in volunteer activities. In addition to all the activities, we also had the opportunity to conduct a survey on Youth Community Partnership for reducing Hypertension at Khaling, organized by Tarayana Foundation and funded by AstraZeneca. It gave us knowledge on non-communicable diseases and our status related to the diseases at present and concerns in the days to come.
At the club and school levels, we explore whatever resources and opportunities we get to assist the community in the best of our capacities. Nevertheless, we encounter limitations like time constraints due to students’ engagement in different activities in the school and limited budget. However, despite our limitations, we are hopeful that things will improve and be on our side to provide more social services to the people and community. Nonetheless, we are immensely grateful for the kind support, guidance, and opportunities we receive from the school management, community, NGOs (Read Bhutan), and especially the Tarayana Foundation”.