Reading in Bhutan

Bringing books to rural Bhutan

17th April 2019 | Blog

In the Himalayan country of Bhutan, many children have no access to books. READ Bhutan works to offer all children the chance to read – and last year thanks to you they received 5,106 brand new books! We asked Kezang, the READ Bhutan Programme Manager, to tell us more.

Reading in the library
Children enjoying books at Khotakpa READ Centre

Can you tell us about the situation in Bhutan?

The only public library is situated in the capital, Thimphu and most children living in other districts have no access to the public library. READ Bhutan is the only organisation in the country working to build community libraries.

We now have nine community libraries. Many children cannot travel outside Bhutan so the books will be an opportunity for them to see a new world, build their creativity and imagination and learn about different cultures.

Friends reading together
Friends share books together in Panbang READ Centre

What has the impact been of having new books?

The books donated by Book Aid International are very helpful! Most of our users are children who are learning to read and youth who have begun to enjoy reading. The books help them develop analytical skills, enhance their vocabulary and build networks among friends who enjoy reading.

More users from different communities were attracted to the libraries after the new books for children and adults were displayed. In the last two months, the centre has checked out more than 125 books!

Peppa Pig
A young reader shows off his favourite donated book in Yangthang READ Centre

Is it only children who are benefitting?

Gaining free access to subject related revision books will be much relief to the parents financially since these books are very expensive and difficult to
find in Bhutan. The students and teachers now have free access to the revision books. We also used the vocational guide books during sewing skills training that we conducted for women in the community. Through these books, the women were able to gain more information and ideas for material designs.

 

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