Dechen Wangmo completed her class ten exams in December 2008, but when results were declared to her disappointment she came to know that she did not qualify for higher studies. It was big blow to her. She could not think of enrolling in a private school since it was beyond her family’s means and even if her parents were willing to admit her in a private school, she knew she wouldn’t be able to do justice to the expense.
“As a result, I ended up babysitting my elder sister’s child,” Dechen recollects. “I thought I would remain like that for the rest of my life.”
But when in 2010, her friends came to her and suggested that they together join training, which YDF started offering, she right away jumped at the offer. Being at home and without much to do bothered Dechen a lot. “That made feel uneasy and restless,” she says.
|Dechen proudly displays her products|
And by August 2010, she enrolled as one of the trainees at the Nazhoen Pelri Skills Training Center, Changyul, Punakha. The training introduced her to bag making, embroidery, weaving and souvenir making. The trainees were paid a monthly stipend too.
In 2011, READ Bhutan in collaboration with YDF established its READ Women Empowerment Resource Center at Changyul, in the YDF compound.
She completed her one-year training and today works at the production unit and engages in souvenir making. “We are very happy by the fact that what we produce at the center are sold at the Paro International Airport and many foreigners buy our produts,” Dechen smiles. “This is an honor and makes us proud too.”
Today Dechen feels empowered and independent. “The feeling that I can now earn my living makes me so satisfied and so proud,” says Dechen. “Even though I may not be in a position to help my parents in a big way, I can at least bear my expenses. I can also stitch my own clothes. That feeling is great and it makes me proud too.”
|Dechen makes use of resources at the READ Center|
“Having READ center here is of immense help to us,” Dechen admits. “Earlier we could not even handle a computer, but we can use one without. All thanks to READ Bhutan.”
READ Bhutan conducts frequent ICT and women empowerment/livelihood trainings at the center. “Today I use computers at the READ Center to browse Internet and study different cloth-designs. The information we get is of great help to us – thanks to READ Bhutan.”
And it is small things like this that makes us at READ Bhutan happy and proud too. Congratulations Dechen!