UNFPA Bhutan takes life skills education beyond schools to faith-based organizations


His Holiness the Je Khenpo with participants, trainers and UNFPA staff.

Recognizing Faith based organizations (FBOs) as potential catalyst for positive sustainable change, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with local NGO Respect Educate Nurture and Empower Women (RENEW) trained 30 teachers and students from monastic institutions.

The training of trainers on Life Skills Based Education (LSBE) was conducted at Authsho Namdroling Dratshang, in Lhuntse, from March 28 to April 1 on sexual and reproductive health. UNFPA Bhutan aims at making such partnerships with FBOs a vital tool to bring the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) to fruition.

Sakten Trulku Sangay Dorji, one of the participants of the training said that he is now better informed and confident to help victims of cancer and HIV to counsel them and give them hope to live better lives.

Since 2011, UNFPA Bhutan has been partnering with the Bhutan Nuns Foundation (BNF) to address women’s and adolescent’s sexual and reproductive health issues and gender-based violence. BNF has been proactively reaching out to young students, nuns and youths in rural communities to train them on LSBE.
His Holiness the Je Khenpo (the religious head of the country) graced the occasion to award certificates to the participants. The certificates were given in recognition of each monastic institution being able to prepare plans of action to implement life skills and education in their respective monasteries by the end of the training.

Building upon the foundations laid by the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals has further renewed the commitment on such initiatives through Goal 4 and Goal 5 of its 17 goals.