Happy Holidays from BCF!

All of us here at the Bhutan Canada Foundation wish everyone a happy holiday season! The BCF Toronto office will be closed December 24th – 28th and January 1st – 4th, to celebrate the holidays. In a months time our class of 2015 teachers will arrive in Bhutan. Make sure to keep up with the blog as we’ll be introducing the rest of the BCF teachers. We can’t wait for what lies ahead in the New Year!

Photo Credit: Tim Grossman
Photo Credit: Tim Grossman

Give the gift of education this holiday season! Support BCF.

Give the Gift of Education. Support BCF!

“My students are motivated, kind and hilarious. The belief in Bhutan is that education is the only way to improve one’s circumstance. My students’ kindness, respect and gratitude make my work worthwhile. Replicating their positive attitude helps me to notice the incredible beauty around me…If nothing else; my students have taught me the power of positive thinking and the need for great teachers in every school on Earth…”Mackenzie Walton Tsebar LSS, Pemagatshel

Diamond, Sarah - Boy Students

This year the Bhutan Canada Foundation celebrated its 5 th Anniversary in partnership with the people of Bhutan to cultivate English literacy and bring critical thinking and innovation to the forefront of educational practice. Since the launch of the Bhutan Canada Foundation in 2009, we have worked with the Ministry of Education in Bhutan to transform the standards of public education by sending 69 teachers to 39 distinct communities across the country.

Our teachers work alongside their local colleagues to improve literacy and encourage learning; working diligently with a team of educators that have provided 10,800 Bhutanese youth with the opportunity to achieve an education that might otherwise have been unattainable. Your donation will make an immediate difference in the lives of Bhutanese students!

In a few short weeks we will send a new group of teachers to Bhutan. This includes 17 new teachers, 1 returning alumni teacher and 4 teachers already in the field who are staying on for a second, third, or fourth year. We are excited to keep you updated on their progress as they get adjusted to their new schools and communities!

BCFTeachers(2010-2014)

School Development Project Update – Gonthung Greenhouse

The Teach in Bhutan program offers teachers more than just the opportunity to teach eager students in the Land of Happiness. It is also an opportunity to generate an even larger positive impact in the greater community!

Bhutanese village of Gongthung
Photo Credit: Warren Tanner

Warren Tanner has been teaching in the Bhutanese village of Gongthung for the past five months, busy with teaching a full schedule, making new friends, and learning a great deal about subsistence farming and the challenges faced by local farmers. Currently, 80% of the population relies on subsistence farming to support their families. However, the three-month growing season is not enough to meet the needs of those living in this school community.

In response to this reality, Warren has developed a plan to grant Gongthung Middle Secondary School and the greater community a Greenhouse! This project, in conjunction with The Bhutan Canada Foundation as part of our School Development Program, is generously supported (in-part) through The EuroCan Foundation.

Learn more about this exciting project at Gongthung’s Greenhouse – and stay tuned for updates!

Do you wish to make an impact in Bhutan? Apply today to Teach in Bhutan!

Stories From the Field – Ashley’s School Development Project

Recently, we have received some incredible stories from our teachers in the field and today, we are excited to bring you one from BCF teacher Ashley Huffmon, currently in her second year teaching at Kanglung PS. Ashley has undertaken the task of revamping her school’s toilet facilities as part of a School Development Project. For 2013, the School Development Program is funded through a grant from the EuroCan Foundation. The EuroCan Foundation focuses on conservation issues, particularly as they relate to renewable energies, climate change and sustainability.

Kanglung-last-1-109Helpful students ready to start!

Ashley’s project for “Clean and Green Toilet Facilities/ Implementing the WASH program” has the goal of reducing germs and incorporating a healthier lifestyle for the students of Kanglung Primary School. Ashley hopes to make the washroom a more welcoming place where the students will use it properly and the facility itself will also be a better, more sanitary place to use the toilets. In addition to making the restrooms look more inviting the students will learn a lifelong lesson on the habits of using the toilet properly to keep themselves healthy, happy, and disease free.

Before PicturesCurrent washroom facilities.

Ashley reports: Each year my foundation allows us an opportunity to do a project that will have a positive impact at our schools. Last year I chose to do a school newspaper and while it was VERY successful, this year I wanted to do something that would have a much greater impact on their lives. This year I chose to completely revamp our school’s toilet facilities. I know it seems like it’s not a big deal, but if you saw what I see everyday, you too would want to do something about it. Most of the students I see everyday simply lack the knowledge of proper hand washing and my school does not have the money in its budget to properly supply the materials and water for every student to be able to wash. In addition to the student’s lack of knowledge for personal hygiene, they are unaware why they are frequently sick. I believe this is in direct correlation to the lack of personal Hygiene and not knowing its importance. However, with the help of this grant I have been able to begin my project and it is now under way.

Helping to PaintEveryone’s helping out!

We have cleared weeds, plants, painted, repaired, and found a new spring for water in the Boys’ toilet. I have hired carpenters to add shelving in both toilets. We have purchased locks, sanitary napkins, toilet paper, and other things to get the project in a “mid-swing”.  My grant money is running out, but I do not want to do my project half way. I am still waiting on bucket donations and bin donations from the Petro station in Trashigang. I am also planning on making sure my school is actually going to start harvesting rain water, so we will never run out of water in the toilets.

Process9A beautiful blue!

Even though I’m teaching 32 hours per week, it feels great to leave school at 6:30PM and know this WILL make an EVERLASTING IMPACT. I can’t wait to show the FINAL project! Coming soon…

Ashley’s project is currently in the middle process; where students, staff, and our passionate BCF teachers join together for the common goal of improving the daily lives of the students and to incorporate healthy strategies for living. We can’t wait to see the final product!

To see past BCF School Development Projects, take a look here: Stories from the Field.

Travel to Bhutan in 2013 – Annual Chairman’s Trip

Are you interested in travelling to Bhutan? Would you like to get involved with The Bhutan Canada Foundation? If so, consider joining our Annual Chairman’s Trip, led by BCF Founder and Chair, Sam Blyth, for an insider’s view of Bhutan including visits to BCF teachers in the field, receptions, private dinners and special access to sites across the country.

Dates in country: April 1 – 10, 2012

Cost: $4,920 + Airfare

Highlights: Paro, Tiger’s Nest, Thimphu, Punakha Valley, Bumthang, Dochula Pass, school visits, private receptions, special access to historical sites.

For more information, please see Chairman’s Trip, email kristen@bhutancanada.org or call (416) 572 – 3767.

 
 
 

Enter Our Contest and Win

Win a signed copy of Jamie Zeppa’s “Beyond the Sky and the Earth: a Journey into Bhutan“!
To enter:

In the comments field below, answer the question:

“If you could travel to Bhutan for only one day what would you like to see?”

Get up to four additional entries by:
1. Subscribing to BCF’s email newsletter. Come back and let us know you’ve subscribed in an additional comment below.

2. Becoming a fan of The Bhutan Canada Foundation on Facebook. Come back and let us know you became a fan in an additional comment below.

3. Following us on Twitter. Come back and let us know you’ve followed in an additional comment below.

4. Tweeting about the giveaway. Come back and let us know you’ve Tweeted in an additional comment below.
The details:
The contest is open to residents of Canada and the United States only. The contest will run Thursday, March 1 2012 at 12:00 EST to Thursday, March 8 2012 at 11:59 EST. The winner will be chosen at random using Random.org and will be announced on the blog on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 12:00 EST. The winner will be asked to email BCF to claim their prize. If the winner does not respond within a 24-hour period, another random draw will take place.  BCF will cover any shipping costs required to get the prize to the winner.
Terms and conditions:NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The Bhutan Canada Foundation’s contest begins Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 12:00  EST and ends Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 11:59 p.m EST. To enter, entrant must post at least (1) comment on the CONTEST BLOG POST on https://bhutancanada.org/category/blog/ (“Contest Site”) and provide their first name and last name for Contest winner contact purposes only. Minimum (1) entry per person with a maximum of (4) additional entries. The prize consists of one signed copy of Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan by Jamie Zeppa. Odds of winning vary depending on number of contest entrants. Draw will take place the morning of Friday, March 9, 2012 at 12:00 EST. All contest winners must answer a skill-testing question. If Sponsors are unable to access the potential winner within a 24 hour period, another random draw will take place. Email kristen@bhutancanada.org with any questions or concerns. Brought to you by The Bhutan Canada Foundation (the “sponsor”).

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 https://bhutancanada.merchantsecure.com/donatenow/ 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!

THREE WAYS TO DONATE:

  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


Support School Communities in Bhutan!

Our teachers make a difference. You can too.

BCF teachers make a difference in the classroom everyday. Outside the classroom they work just as hard by championing school development projects, which support the unique needs of their school community. Our teachers lead projects that engage students and focus of developing new skills and building community.

KPS Observer 
Current projects include: 
  • Photo Club at Ranjung HSS
  • Books for Bartsham
  • Newspaper Club at Kanglung Primary  
  • Waste Management and Recycling Program in Trashiyangtse
  • Special Education Resource Center in Mongar 

You can help support these projects by making a donation to The Bhutan Canada Foundation today!

Three ways to DONATE: 
  1. Donate ONLINE
  2. Make a donation over the phone by calling (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

Check out BCF in You Tube’s "Good Work" competition!

“Use your creativity for a cause and enjoy a spot at Cannes!” 

What it is:
You Tube has partnered with the 58th Cannes International Film Festival on an interesting new program called Good Work, which gives creative professionals the opportunity to use their skills to make a difference and gain recognition for their work.

How it works: 
Non profits all over the world often lack the resources and time to create truly spectacular promotional videos for their cause. These non profits submit a brief to Good Works which can be displayed on the brief gallery. Professionals can then pick the brief that appeals to them and create a video ad for that organization. 

The prize:
The top 5 submissions will have the chance to show their work at the 58th International Cannes Film Festival!

The deadline to submit your entry is May 9th so head over to You Tube to check out The Bhutan Canada Foundation brief!

Check out this video for more information:

Robert Bateman Print Now Available on Ebay

The Bhutan Canada Foundation is now offering the limited edition signed Robert Bateman print “Cranes of Bhutan” for sale on Ebay. This beautiful print is one in a set of illustrations from the book, “Birds of Heaven”, and has never before been offered for sale. The cranes pictured are held sacred in Bhutan, where they are often seen as harbingers of heaven and omens of longevity and good fortune.


All prints are signed by Robert Bateman. Prints are 10.5″ by 15.75″  with borders of 2″ top/sides and 2.5″ bottom. All prints are unframed.

100% of funds raised through the sale of the print will go to support The Bhutan Canada Foundation programming in 2011.  Prints are $195 + shipping and handling.

Purchase your print today. Click HERE