|Tshering reading at the Center|
Tshering Yangzom is a 16-year-old tenth grade student at Ura Middle Secondary School. Second eldest of seven siblings, Tshering was born in Shingkhar Village, which is located about seven kilometers from Ura. Tshering’s father works as one of the cooks at Ura Middle Secondary School and her mother is a housewife.
Initially, Tshering was an introvert and shy student. “I did not interact with my friends much before because I was so shy,” says Tshering. “But I kept on visiting library (Ura READ Center) every time I had free time and read books, and learnt to use computers.”
Tshering Yangzom also took part in the trainings and workshops at the Ura READ Center. She participated in leadership training, art therapy and good governance. “I learnt a lot from these trainings,” says Tshering. “I feel more confident now and understand a lot about the importance of decision-making, leadership and confidence building.”
Tshering now wants to help other girls in the community by forming a girls group at the Center and work closely with the volunteers to conduct activities for youth during winter holidays. The group also plans to educate young children in the community about democracy and leadership.
Starting March 2013, READ Bhutan launched its women’s leadership program: Women Represent: Boosting Women’s Participation in the Public Sphere, which was awarded Global prize by Beyond Access in Civic Participation category. The project aims to educate and inform women and girls on the need to become active participants in roles ranging from politics to everyday social life. As part of the project, we have conducted a series of empowerment activities including leadership trainings, media advocacy, seminars and consultative works to boost women’s confidence to participate in the public affairs.