We Care, We Share

We Care, We Share – Resilience tools for COVID-19

We are facing a global health crisis. The impacts are complex and it is affecting us all. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many people to stay home. People in quarantine play a huge role in preventing transmission of the virus and 21 days quarantine isn’t easy. This is a challenge, however, it can be an opportunity as well. The UN Bhutan will share useful online learning and cultural resources every day to help people in quarantine and the general public to learn new things, build resilience, and share solidarity. We, the United Nations, care for everyone, who is affected by COVID-19 pandemic. We Care, We Share.

Bhutanese Role Models for Sustainability and Positive Change

(Illustration credit to HOPE-covid19 Bhutan)

A joint initiative of UN and JICA Bhutan- resilience tools for COVID-19

  1. Story from Yeshey, Bhutanese UNV nurse in Congo: “During this COVID-19 pandemic, I have learnt that just as we enjoy good times, as a human being, we must equally accept the bad times gracefully.” (click for the story)
  2. Story from Namgyel Wangchuk, the founder of Youth Caring Community (YCC): “My inspiration in life comes from being an active citizen, there’s a popular phrase about living the moment like there’s no tomorrow. To do something today. That really inspires me.” (click for the story)
  3. Story from Tshering Choden, the owner of Food Affair restaurant: “People have their own way of contributing, of being responsible in their small ways and playing their part. We plan on donating food until the end of COVID-19, it’s the least this restaurant can do for the nation.” (click for the story)
  4. Story from Denkar Getaway, first travel blogger and De-suung:”It’s all about positivity and passion. There will always be opportunities. We just need to work hard. And then nothing can stop you, not even a rolling stone.”(click for the story)
  5. Story from Sadon Lhamo, the flight attendant with Druk Air during the COVID-19: “I am happy to be able to do something in a crisis by going to work whenever I am required too. For right now, this is how I can contribute.”(click for the story)
  6. Story from Tshering Dolker, the critical care nurse working in the COVID-19 isolation ward: “Many thoughts rushed in my mind, questions like why me? And why not others? Yet I made my mind strong enough to serve my King and the country and thought this is the only time to serve the triple gem.” (click for the story) 
  7. Story from BB Gurung, the owner of supermarket, 8 eleven: “Bringing in phones at a very reasonable price has helped students from lower-income families to access e-learning courses. This is the least we can do as our Genkhu (responsibility).” (click for the story)
  8. Story from Dr. Chencho, the country’s first trained psychiatrist: “COVID-19 pandemic is causing so much fear, pain and suffering in the world. Bhutan has a small population and we must do everything to protect its people – physically, emotionally and mentally,” (click for the story)
  9. Story from Chimmi Rinzin and Suraj Rai, security guards: “Before the pandemic, our duty pattern was very different from what it is today. Now with all these cautionary measures, our duties have heightened and are no different than the frontline workers. I not only see this as my duty but as a social responsibility that we must all adhere to.” (click for the story)
  10. Story from Rigsel Yangtsho, a member of Bhutan Scout Association: “The role of scouts has had a significant change starting this year: COVID-19 is no fairy-tale, we need to be proactive in our behavior.” (click for the story) 
  11. Story from Sonam Wangchuk, a taxi driver in Thimphu: “We must not think of profiting at such a time. Our country is doing everything to protect us and keep us safe, we must be content and support all the measures taken by the Government.” (click for the story)
  12. Story from Rinzin, a member of Bhutan Red Cross Society: “We wanted to step in and help the families, this was an area where no one was involved before” (click for the story)
  13. Story from Yakub Rai, a ambulance driver at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital: “A few hours before Bhutan went into lockdown, we received a call from our office saying that we had to report at 6 AM in the morning. I must have picked and dropped over 20 patients that day.” (click for the story)
  14. Story from Sonam Dema, a shopkeeper at Kawajangsa: “We are trying to provide as efficiently as we can. Our country is doing its best and we are all grateful. After the 21 days lockdown was eased, it was comforting to see a bit of normalcy. By 2021 I hope everything will go back to normal and all of this will be behind us.” (click for the story) 
  15. Story from Phub Zam, a salon owner: “I didn’t apply for Kidu. There were many people who have been impacted far more than us and in dire need of the support. 2020 has not been easy for everyone, but the amount of effort and support of our country is like no other, we are blessed. I can only pray that the disease will soon disappear from the face of the earth.” (click for the story)
  16. Story from Sonam Norbu, a baker: ” I handed the loaves of bread to the De-suup in charge. COVID-19 is very uncertain, but our country is doing everything it can for our safety.” (click for the story)
  17. Story from Lam Chencho, a tour guide and a manager of Taktsang Refurbishment Project: “Reflecting on the visible impact of the pandemic, we see this as a rare opportunity to rethink and reform our past tourism strategies, structures and customs. There is finally a pause in our system, giving us a chance to look deeper and make significant changes. And there is no disturbance in our work too.” (click for the story)
  18. Story from Sonam Chophel, a Gewog Administrative Officer in Drepong gewog:  “The spread of false information and fake news became a major concern, causing confusion and worries. So, the need of communicating right information at the right time felt critical during the COVID-19 response.” (click for the story)
  19. Story from Kinley Peldon, a trainee in Build Bhutan Project: “As women, we are often under the impression that it is not appropriate for us to work in such areas. But in fact we are all given equal opportunities and we must come forward and take them. We should not let these stereotypes stop us. Here in the training we all help each other. We are learning many new skills, irrespective of gender. We are all on the same level and we are being taught the same skillsets” (click for the story)
  20. Story from Rigzin Padma Tshogyal, the Founder and Director of Draktsho Vocational Training Centre for Special Children and Youth: “When the country was under lockdown, they faced the worst times of their lives. In normal situations, parents and guardians of children with disabilities have temporary jobs to sustain their families. However, when they were not able work due to the lockdown, their conditions worsened.” (click for the story) 
  21. Story from Yangchen Lhamu, Urban Planner working at the Department of Human Settlements with Ministry of Works & Human Settlements: “The objective of the training was to let the community have a hands-on experience using firefighting equipment. At the same time, the training was an opportunity to advocate for the community to be responsible in their individual homes and spread awareness of the risk associated with the hazards of fire in a close-knit community” (click for the story)

(A list of useful links is updated every day.)

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Personal Resilience includes Mindfulness Exercise

(Credit to Tashi Draws)

  1. Tolerance for Uncertainty: A COVID-19 workbook(Bay psychology) – Learn to accept your feelings, tolerate distress and move forward with grace despite not knowing what lies ahead.
  2. The Science of Well-Being(Yale University, via Coursera)
  3. Building Resilience in the Face of COVID-19(Linda Graham, MFT)
  4. British Museum, London(Google Virtual tour) 
  5. 4 Meditation Techniques to Help Bust Your Stress(livestrong)

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Mental Health 

(Credit to Tashi Draws)

  1. Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health(University of Sydney, via Coursera)
  2. Six Daily Questions to Ask Yourself in Quarantine(Greater Good Magazine)
  3. How to handle stress during the pandemic(UNDP)
  4. This 5-Minute Gratitude Exercise Can Help Ease Stress and Support Your Immune System(livestrong)
  5. The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong(Amy Morin,via TEDxOcala)
  6. COVID-19: your voices against stigma and discrimination (UNICEF)
  7. Life under lockdown – practical tips from the UN
  8. Digital Safety tips from the UN
  9. The happy secret to better work | Shawn Achor (TedTalk)

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Good Health and Nutrition

(Credit to Tashi Draws)

  1. Food for thought: 7 tips on keeping a healthy diet in the face of Coronavirus (WFP) 
  2. Food and nutrition tips during self-quarantine(World Bank)
  3. Are you pregnant and worried about COVID-19? Watch this!(UNFPA)
  4. Good food: Healthy food recipe(BBC)
  5. 15 food that boost the immune system(Healthline)
  6. 25 simple Tip to Make Your Diet Healthier(Healthline)

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Physical exercises

(Credit to Tashi Draws)

  1. Staying fit in the time of COVID-19 – tips from the UN 
  2. Q&A: Be Active during COVID-19 (WHO)
  3. Yoga online class by the Indian Embassy(The Indian Embassy) – The yoga class will be live Streamed on ‘India in Bhutan (Embassy of India)’ facebook page from Monday to Friday at 8:30 am for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. 12 workouts you can do from home(UNDP) – You don’t need elaborate equipment to stay fit while isolating at home, especially now that gyms and fitness centers have been shut down in many cities around the world. This list of 12 bodyweight workouts you can do in your living room will help keep you in shape despite the ongoing pandemic, and the exercise routines will help keep both your mind and body healthy while working from home.
  5. 7 Surefire Ways to Stay Motivated to Stick With Your At-Home Workouts(livestrong)
  6. The 7 Hardest Exercises You Can Do at Home When You’re Missing the Gym(livestrong)
  7. The Power of Sport During a Pandemic: Training at Home with Japanese Athletes (UN)

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Life-long learning

(Credit to Tashi Draws)

  1. Bhutan Dialogue(UN Bhutan and Loden Foundation) – Bhutan Dialogues aims to invigorate development thinking in Bhutan and challenge experts and practitioners to deliberate on serious issues of development. This is an open space for critical and dynamic conversations with thought leaders and change-makers drawing upon their expertise, achievements and inspiration. Its objective is to refine our ideas and the pursuit of progress, and to align national goals with the global agenda.
  2. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects(McMaster University, via Coursera) – With more than 2 million enrolments, this short course is a natural place to start your journey, offering the mental tools for you to master any new subject.
  3. Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking(Harvard University, via edX) – Professor James Engell will help you to polish your communication skills in this eight-week course.
  4. Free online Ivy League courses(Class Central) – Class Central has created a list with 450 University Courses available for free from Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Yale University.
  5. Free online learning courses(ICTILO) – ICTILO offers a catalogue of 25 free online courses such as the one on Disability in the Workplace that was developed in collaboration with Cornell University.
  6. SDG Academy(UN) – Free educational resources from the world’s leading experts on sustainable development
  7. Online learning: how to acquire new skills during lockdown(The Guardian)
  8. 4 ways to stay productive while working remotely(UNDP) – This article provides tips on how to stay productive while working from home by effectively using technology and space – such as by deploying powerful collaboration tools, maintaining contact with colleagues, and optimizing your workspace.
  9. Telecommuting tips from the UN 

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Students entertainments/ learnings

(Credit to Tashi Draws)

  1. Indoor play ideas to stimulate young children at home(UNICEF)
  2. 5 ways to help keep children learning during the COVID-19 pandemic (UNICEF)
  3. How to talk to your child about COVID-19 (UNICEF)
  4. Online Library – Hope COVID Bhutan
  5. Student Guide: 5 fun tips to make sure COVID-19 doesn’t ruin your summer(Actively Learn)

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