Class of 2012 Profile: Simon Brownlie

Today we’re happy to introduce Simon Brownlie, a high school teacher from Australia, who’s heading to Tashitse HSS.

Simon Brownlie is from Queensland Australia. He was born into a farming family and raised on farms in central and southern Queensland and northern News South Wales.

He is currently on leave from teaching in Australia and has just finished a six month journey through Central and South America, where he interspersed touring with volunteering with community projects, animal shelters and a marine conservation program.

He enjoys scuba diving, mountain biking, bushwalking, rodeo, travel and long walks on the beach at sunset. 🙂

Simon is looking forward to teaching in Bhutan and learning about its unique culture when he arrives at Tashitse HSS, T/gang.

Welcome Simon!

Class of 2012 Profile: Sheal Bhagwandin

This week, we’re proud to announce Sheal Bhagwandin, a teacher from Toronto, Canada, who is posted at Kidheykhar LSS in Mongar.

Sheal 2
Sheal is a graduate from Centennial College’s Operations Management program and Ryerson University’s Bachelor of Commerce program in Toronto, Ontario. Following her passion for travel, culture and adventure her journey took her to teach English in Japan for over two years. The experiences of exploring Japan, South East Asia and Australia, to learning Japanese calligraphy to climbing to the top of Angkor Wat to view the sunset, motivated Sheal upon her return to Toronto to continue her quest as a teacher.
She enrolled and graduated from York University’s Bachelor of Education program and has taught in various socio-economic communities in Toronto. Sheal’s continued interest in Buddhist studies inspired  her to spend a summer in Hawaii where she was drawn to learn more about Qigong, yoga and cultural diets that now infuse into her daily life. She enjoys creating collage art using Washi paper, cooking and reading both fiction and non-fiction books.
Sheal is enthusiastic about integrating into the Bhutanese culture and its education system in Mongar. Through these experiences she is looking forward to growing both personally and professionally.
Welcome Sheal!

Class of 2012 Profile: Sarah Carlin

A warm welcome to new BCF teacher, Sarah Carlin, who will be beginning her teaching career at Bjishong MSS in Gasa!
Sarah comes from Naples, Florida, and graduated college with a degree in Elementary Education and French in 2010. 
Since graduation, she has worked in Antarctica, which has only increased her desire to travel and experience the world. She is very excited to live and teach in Bhutan for 2012. 
Sarah writes about her adventures, and wherever she might find herself, on her blog
Welcome Sarah!

Class of 2012 Profile: Martha Ham

Today we’d like to introduce you to Martha Ham, a Canadian teacher, with a wealth of experience both within Canada and abroad.
Martha Ham is a graduate of Bishop’s University where she completed her BA, ESL certificate, and most recently her M.Ed. In Canada, Martha has been teaching in the primary and secondary English system since 1993. 
She has also taught English as a Second Language to adults, teens and tots since 1998. She volunteered in 2000 to teach ESL to Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala and has wanted to return to the East in the teaching capacity ever since. 
Martha has travelled throughout Canada, United States, and parts of Europe with her family. She then branched out by herself to tackle England, Switzerland, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Palestine, Turkey, and India. She saw a poster to teach in Bhutan with BCF and was hooked.
Welcome Martha!

Happy National Day

Today is Bhutan’s National Day, a day which commemorates the 1907 coronation of the First King of Bhutan, Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk, at Punakha Dzong. This event in 1907 ushered an era of peace, unity, and prosperity in Bhutan.

In Bhutan today, his Majesty The King, celebrated National Day by honouring the armed forces and several other Bhutanese citizens. Read more on Kuensel.

Tashi Delek from all of us at The Bhutan Canada Foundation!

Image via Kuensel Online.

Class of 2012 Profile: Becky Story

This week, we’d like you to meet and welcome Becky Story who is beginning her teaching experience at Phongmey PS, T/gang, we’re thrilled to have her aboard!

Becky joins us from Colorado.  Originally she went to Cumberland College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Public Health.

After moving out to Colorado to spend a year volunteering at a homeless shelter, she took a position running the local school and community gardens. It was here that she discovered she wanted to be a teacher. Becky returned to school and is now certified in Elementary Education.

Bhutan will be her first official teaching placement, and she is excited to be part of this dynamic education system. Other pursuits that have kept her busy in recent years include Latin American travels, various organic farming projects, and school food reform.

Welcome Becky!

A Letter From Our Chair

Dear Friends,
Last April I traveled across Bhutan to visit teachers placed in Bhutan through the Teach in Bhutan program. For several weeks I drove across the country by auto, teetering on the edge of sheer drops and climbing some of Bhutan’s highest mountain passes. I saw schools in some of the country’s most remote communities and met students from all over Bhutan, some of whom have left the family home in pursuit of education. In one community, I met a young boy named Pema who walks seven kilometers to school each way, up and down a steep mountain path. His dedication amazed me, but his story is not unique. Pema is just one of thousands of young Bhutanese children eager to receive an education.
I’ve included a photo from this trip, as well as a picture of the BCF teacher class of 2011, seen here with Honourable Minister Lynpo Thakur S. Powdyel, Minister of Education.

Since 2010, The Bhutan Canada Foundation (BCF) has worked in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Royal University of Bhutan to improve educational opportunities for students of all ages. Next year promises to be a tremendous year for The Bhutan Canada Foundation. I am writing to ask for your financial support of our work in Bhutan.

In January 2011, BCF sent nineteen teachers and university lecturers to Bhutan, where they joined five returning teachers already in the field. This group of adventurous teachers brought enthusiasm, experience, and excellence to their respective schools, often going above and beyond the call of duty to lead club activities, hold after-school tutoring sessions, and champion new school initiatives. In the classroom, BCF teachers were part of an effort of reduce average class sizes to more effective levels, model innovative teaching and learning techniques, and encourage the development of spoken and written English skills.

Education remains vital to Bhutan’s continued development as a nation, as it does to the country’s ability to reduce nationwide poverty. According to a 2004 Poverty Analysis Report, attaining a mid-secondary level of education is enough to raise a person out of poverty. In 2012 we will continue to support Bhutan’s development, growing our program to reach new communities across Bhutan and increasing the number of BCF teachers in the field.

We need your help to continue this important work. Over 81% of funds raised go directly to programming, which means each dollar you donate has an immediate impact. As a friend of Bhutan, I would like to ask you to support The Bhutan Canada Foundation by making a gift online at or by following the instructions below.

The Bhutan Canada Foundation is committed to improving education in Bhutan. Just like Pema, we may encounter mountains along the way, but with dedication and support from donors like you, we will achieve educational excellence in Bhutan.

On behalf of the BCF staff in Thimphu and Toronto I wish to thank you and your family for your support of The Bhutan Canada Foundation. We wish you all the best in the year ahead.

Warm regards,

Sam Blyth
Chair, The Bhutan Canada Foundation

P.S – This year every dollar you donate will be matched up to $25,000. Double your gift when you donate today!


  1. Donate ONLINE NOW!
  2. Make a donation over the phone. Call (416) 572-3767
  3. Send your donation in the mail to:

The Bhutan Canada Foundation
720 Bathurst Street, Suite 411
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

* Please make cheques payable to The Bhutan Canada Foundation.

Charitable organization number: 817719891RR0001

Class of 2012 Profile: Delaine Keenum

Introducing Delaine, a primary school teacher, who is heading to Zhemgang Lower Secondary School in  Zhemgang.
Delaine Keenum is from Keller, Texas. She received her B.A. from the University of North Texas where she studied Regional Geography and English Literature. Delaine has taught Early Childhood Music and Movement and Kindergarten.
Delaine has two daughters; Bryn, 18 and Alysa, 20. Bryn will graduate from high school in the spring and Alysa is a sophomore at Louisiana State University.
When not working or reading books or blogs, she likes to camp, hike, and go to the symphony. She is looking forward to going to Bhutan to learn as well as teach!
Welcome Delaine!

Now Recruiting Lecturers for Royal Thimphu College

Royal Thimphu College (RTC), Bhutan is now recruiting lecturers for terms beginning February 2012 and July 2012.

For the Spring, 2012 semester, RTC is actively recruiting for the following areas:

  • English
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Demography
  • Commerce/Business/ Management/IT

For more information on opportunities at RTC or to find out how to apply, please visit