Tandin Wangda, 11, of Jigme Losel Primary School in Thimphu, is one among 41 scholarship students being sponsored by the Menjong Foundation. The boy is in fifth standard today.
“I am grateful to the foundation. It would have been difficult for my mother to support my education,” said Tandin Wangda.
The foundation provides Tandin with school uniforms, shoes, socks and school stationery in the beginning of every academic year. He also gets a yearly stipend of Nu 2,500.
“I concentrate on my studies. I don’t have to worry much. I will work hard and make the best use of support I get from the foundation,” said Tandin Wangda.
Tandin Wangda’s mother, Pema Choden, weaves and sells tea in offices. “I earned a little from weaving and had to borrow the rest. Borrowing became impossible after sometime,” she said.
Pema Choden said that she is thankful to the foundation as it takes care of children’s educational needs. “I had to work hard, especially in the beginning of academic session. I am confident about the future of my children,” she said.
Foundation introduced scholarship programme to support underprivileged students from remote areas. The foundation’s principal aim is to eradicate poverty in the society by providing educational needs to the needy.
Foundation believes in the right to access to education. Its primary focus so is to support children from underprivileged families.
The founder of the Public benefit organisation, Khenpo Phub Yeshi, said that the scholarship programme was initiated to help the single mothers raise their children with dignity and to give support their children’s education.
Khenpo Phub Yeshi is the executive director of the foundation and the chairperson of Choeying Gatsalling, a center for higher Buddhist studies and meditation based in Germany.
Khenpo Phub Yeshi said that the principles of the foundation are focused on improving the lives of the people in rural areas of Bhutan and supporting underprivileged children.
“Since my childhood I had this great wish to help others. The initiative was born of Mahayana Buddhist beliefs. It’s a great opportunity to help those in need,” said the Khenpo
Khenpo Phub Yeshi had been helping the people on his own way before he conceptualised the idea of the foundation in 2010.
The foundation was registered as a public-benefit organisation on November 10, 2011. The foundation is a non-profit organisation that renders financial, physical and social help to the underprivileged. The foundation provides financial support and guidance in the initial stage so that its beneficiaries could learn to manage their needs themselves in the long run.
The foundation initiates, intervenes, guides and provides educational support to uplift overall well-being of economically marginalised children and communities in Bhutan.
The foundation is committed to conducting various social welfare activities across the nation. It supports communities, schools, and other institutions financially. It provides free lunch to 45 students at Chendebji Primary School in Trongsa. The initiative is also aimed at enhancing community cooperation and vitality. The foundation has supported the community by constructing public kitchen and toilets at Chendebji Lhakhang. The people of Chendebji were trained on food preservation with the support from the foundation to improve sanitation and reduce the spread of diseases, among others.
The foundation today supports 41 poor children realise their dreams of going to school. The foundation’s scholarship programme provides support to the children from poor families, remote areas and uneducated parents who could not afford the basic needs. The foundation supports the children with good academic performance to continue their studies.
The foundation in its annual report stated that to achieve the long-term sustainability and benefits of the children, the organisation will support those children until their graduation which would be applicable only if the students are willing to study and produce good results.
The foundation is also involved in preserving of nature and the environment. The foundation’s initiative o is to help the country fulfill its mission of maintaining 70 percent of land under forest coverage.
The foundation provided 900 fruit tree saplings, a truckload of bamboo for fencing and provided the school with necessary support during social forestry day on June 2, 2016.
The foundation also provided warm clothes and footwear to 30 monks of Dobji Dzong. The foundation in their annual report also stated that the organisation took the initiative as most of the monks of the dzong came from poor family background.
Although the foundation is involved in various welfare initiatives and supports programmes, it is faced with the challenges of not being able to take its services the whole country.