Education & Empowerment
Bhutan: The Back Drop
Bhutan is a small high altitude Himalayan country where 85% of the population survives on subsistence farming consisting of small fields and a few heads of cattle or yaks. Some of the country still has little or no infrastructure such as roads, electricity, piped water etc.
Living in the 21st Century
The girls and women who participate at Pema Choling are mainly from poor, illiterate farming and herding families with few available options. As Bhutan adapts a cautious integration into the modern technological world, education becomes a key to empowering women and girls to meet the challenges of their lives and of their communities in a changing world.
The School and College
The curriculum includes basic studies in Dzongkha (Bhutanese language), English, Writing, Math, and Social Studies.
The nine-year Buddhist Shedra program provides traditional Buddhist education to women for the first time in the history of the country. Even with the demanding study and work schedule, the women’s lives are enriched and improved while living at the Institute.
Elderly women, or women who need support but do not wish to study formally are welcome to live at the institute.
Vocational studies such as embroidery, sewing (with treadle machines), traditional thangka (religious art) painting provide skills by which women can support themselves.
Basic health and hygiene instruction improve the quality of life.
Strong and confident, graduates will become leaders and role models to other girls and women and are able to teach and serve their communities locally, throughout the Himalayas, and beyond.