Vocational Training Centre in Bhutan

Children and youth with disabilities gain education and life skills.

A small project grant agreement was signed between the office of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) in Thimphu and the Draktsho Vocational Training Centre for Special Children and Youth on 10 March 2017. The agreement was established to support the Training Centre's project "Vocational Training for Children and Youth with Disabilities", which will be funded by ADA with the total amount of 10,000 Euro and will run from March 2017 until October 2017.

The project's main purpose is to provide equal opportunities for children and youth with disabilities with regard to education as well as life and vocational training skills. Nine boys and six girls will receive quality training at their own individual level and tailored to their specific needs. They will have the opportunity to continue their training at Draktsho Institute until they are ready for employment. The participating students are in their final year of school and will be graduating by the end of 2017. After graduation, they will be employed either at the Centre's own production unit, which is located within Draktsho, or in a position reflecting their qualification within the open labour market.

Last week, Johannes Binder, the head of ADA's local office in Bhutan, visited the Draktsho Vocational Training Centre. He was truly touched by the development of the children and the engagement of their teachers: "It is impressive that some students now manage to produce wooden handicraft or textiles like carpets. And of course they are all improving their intellectual and physical capacities", said Binder, and added: "The teachers' performance, experience and commitment are remarkable. For me, it was a heart-touching experience to witness this institution, with its employees and clients in such a working and living environment, which does not enjoy the most suitable framework conditions yet."

Austria also contributed to the joint support programme to civil society in Bhutan. Draktsho is one of the beneficiaries of this fund.