A community cafe opened it’s doors in ChangJiji, serving coffee, pizza’s and tasty sandwiches. Among the people running the cafe you will find some of the participants that joined the sports coalition in action program 2009-2012. Congratulations to all those who make the community cafe a meeting point in Changjiji centre and place to share ideas and dreams and work out community issues! The Cafe is a YDF initiative.
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With the final approval of the closing down reports by the Dutch Ministry of Public Health Welfare and Sports in March 2013, bhutan+partners officially close down the sports program.
We thank YDF for their support and continued guidance, DYS for their cooperation, the youth workers for the tremendous work they have done and all the participants for joining the program and making it into a success. We are honoured to have met you and worked with you, and we will meet again.
Warm regards, Henk de Jong and Erica Sluyters
A three on three basketball tournament at the Chang Jiji youth center half basketball court was organized by the SCIA team as the last activity on July 25, 2012. A total of eight teams with 25 participants organized, conducted and took part enthusiastically. The youth continued their play even with heavy downpour. They were focused on the game and finishing it on schedule.
The tournament gave an opportunity to the team to share final moments with the youth and share their experiences with them, including future plans. They also listened to the youth’s future plans and counseled them on what they are doing presently. Also, final words were shared between the team and the youth. Many youth voiced their sadness and remorse for the end of the project.
A closing session of the Sport Coalition in Action program was organised on 11 June 2012 at the Chang Jiji youth centre. The program for the session was prepared by the youth workers and a group of participating youth, supported by the coordinator.
Mrs Sangay Zam – Secretary of the Ministry of Education RGOB, was the guest of Honour. Also present were: Mr Chencho Dorji – director of the Department of Youth and Sports, Mrs Yandey Penjor, director YDF, Mr Ugyen Wangchuk – Secretary Bhutan Football Federation, Gepke Hingst – representative UNICEF, Mr Rolf Schinkel, director SNV and representatives of RENEW, Read and two community leaders of Chang Jiji.
Mr Karma Lam, YDF coordinator of the program, gave an introduction on the objectives, set up and results of the program. Mr Henk de Jong deliberated on the process and Mr Mark Blankwater gave an overview of the training and working methods used. The youth together with the youth workers presented 15 of their most outstanding activities and achievements with pictures and short films in the youth centre. While the guests went through the centre the youth explained about the events, their personal achievements and the importance of the program and the centre for the youth in the area.
The guests entered into a group discussion after the tour through the centre. The youth football team was granted ….on the spot. The session was closed with lunch. Representatives of the different departments and organisations were impressed with the achievements and set up of the program.
A handbook will be written to support future sports youth workers in Bhutan and efforts will be made to continue community based sports programs in Bhutan.
Mark Blankwater conducted a two-days workshop on youth development work on 5 and 6 June 2012 at Nazhoen Pelri, YDF. The workshop was attended by 9 particpants working for RENEW, Narcotics Department, YDF, Young Volunteers in Action and DYS.
The workshop was a participatory practical workshop. Topics covered included: teambuilding, building relationships, planning and preparing activities. Participants recieved a certificate after the closure on 6 June.
When visiting the youth centre in Chang jiji you may meet with the youth workers – Lham Tenzin, Sonam Choeden, Rupa and Sonam Lhamu – and with lots of youth.
The admosphere in the centre is relaxed and seems comfortabel for many. Youth and children move in and out of the centre, some play basketball in the outside area, others check their facebook page or just sit and talking together. there is a mixture of young school going kids and out of school youth.
The team members are at ease with the youth, ask questions, make jokes and there’s a lot of laughter. At the same time they are treated with respect as they do so with the youth. There seems to be a natural balance between being friendly and open and authority at the same time.
Many youngsters have had problems: drugs and alcohol abuse at an early age, fights and disrespect towards their elders. The youth workers have supported them. they kept the centre open throughout the week from mondays till saturdays so that youth could always come and have a game, participate in an activity, just have a talk or seek advice and support with training and job opportunities. Most of them have stopped using drugs and drinking alcohol, or are using much less. They have started to respect their elders. Some of them have found jobs, others are still following training or are applying for work.
For all of them the centre and the youth workers have, in one way or another, made a difference. and that is what the program aimed at.
Mark Blankwater is back in Bhutan to work with the youth workers – Lham Tenzin, Sonam Choeden, Rupa Gurung and Sonam Lhamu – in Chang Jiji. The sport coalitions in action program, financed by the Dutch ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports will close by the end of June 2012 while activities for the youth will continue to be carried out from the youth centre.
Mark and the team look back: how did the program develop, what were the high-lights, which challenges did they face, and what results do the team see? Mark also looks ahead with the team members to make sure that the youthworkers feel confident about their skills to continu their support to the youth wherever they will be working in future.
During his visit Mark will also counduct a three-days workshop about youth work for a new group of youth workers interested to learn about community based participation. Meanwhile the youth workers, and participants in the program are involved in arrangments for the closing session of the program on 11 June 2012.
Youth – Community Partnership meeting was held on May 19th 2012 at the indoor Game Room Chang Jiji centre with 25 youth.
The team feels that it was a success ful meeting as they were able to bring 25 out of school and in school youth and the community together in one forum for the first time. The resource/focal person for the Youth-Community Partnership Forum was Mr. Phurba Wangdi (President- Chang Jiji community association) and Mr. Sonam Tshering ( core member). They gave a brief introduction on the association and the work they have been doing since their inception December, 2011. Their main focus has been cleanliness around the locality and solving youth and community issues.
Together, the youth and members discussed their individual issues that they feel are plaguing the local society. Some issues brought forward were lack of recreational facilities and negative portrayal of the community by outsiders. However, the president mentioned that things have improved greatly over the years. He was also grateful for all the youth related work the project and the center was undertaking.
In case of youth partnership with the association, the President promised to discuss the issue in their next core meeting with all 25 members of the association. However, he welcomed the idea of an out of school youth to be actively involved in their programs and activity sessions. The youth nominated Thinley Dorji ( Nala) to be their direct representation on all matters. Youth also agreed to volunteer in the activities that the association will take on in the future.
Different ways to utilize the man power of the youth were also explored. For example: the youth can be employed or help out in the community park ( under process) and also the biscuit co-operative (under process). The youth promised their involvement and the president said this will be further discussed at their core meeting.
Also, the youth volunteered to become community police to make Chang Jiji a safer locality.
The first ever khuru tournament was held at Chang Jiji on 18th May 2012. Khuru is one of the favorite traditional Bhutanese sports.
The youth had suggested that they would like to organize and participate in a khuru tournament. Keeping this in mind, the tournament was organized to promote traditional games as an extra curricular for healthy and active lifestyle.
The tournament started at 11:00 am and ended at 3:30pm. Out of school youth were included in the organization of the venue. They completed the necessary preparations and made sure that the important artifacts like target and khuru were present. They also managed the games. The sport made them aware that traditional Bhutanese games can also keep them positively occupied and healthy.
On May, 19 the sports youth workers organized a youth forum on community- youth partnership. They discussed with the community leaders how they can incorporate the youth’s participation in social welfare and community service.
The bhutan newspaper Bhutan Today published an article about the sport coalitions in action program in Bhutan: click on the picture to read the full article