Inspiring through stories and narratives

Members of Humans of Thimphu with the students of Lingzhi Primary School (Picture: HoT)

KARMA CHIMI
Thimphu

From the bustling city of Thimphu to the far flung rural hamlets of the country, Humans of Thimphu, an online platform in Facebook, has become a medium of some inspirational and eye-opening narratives.

Recently, under the banner of “stories from the mountains”, the group has covered the stories of mountainous and distant places of Soe, Naro and Lingzhi in Thimphu.

As for the eastern part of Bhutan, they have selected and visited Merak and Sakteng given their diverse culture and values. Further, the team plans to visit Yudrungcholing in Trongsa and Buli in Zhemgang from the central region in August as their final destination under the project. 

The main focus of the project is to have positive impacts on the youth, women, local leaders, and also advocate on climate change through writing, conducting civic engagement workshops, and building libraries (donating books) in various remote schools.

The motive behind the project is also to collect and tell stories from every nook and corner of Bhutan so that it can bring positive change in the society, and also give voice to the rural communities.

Tandin Phurba, the founder of the group said, “Civic engagement among youth, women and local leaders is the motive behind the project so that in the future they can be of help to their communities and to help earn their livelihood.”

Humans of Thimphu also intend to impart media literacy to communities in these remote far-flung areas.

Under the grand project, there is the Lhabgay project where they have included six remote schools to provide equal opportunity and to inculcate reading habits among students.

Further, they are planning to install libraries in such places and reading clubs to bolster reading habits among our students living in rural areas.

Sakteng Lower Secondary School principal, Samdrup Gyalpo said that it was an opportunity and an exposure for the students to receive the training and was grateful that the school received various books donated by the group.

Women leadership is another thing they are stressing on so that they can get human interest stories which they plan to publish and post new ideas through their books and social media pages.

Choki Wangmo, a teacher from Barshong Community School in Naro, Thimphu was grateful that community-based organizations like Humans of Thimphu provided books and a new set of bookshelf which has bolstered reading habits among students as well as teachers.

The team shares that it was a rejuvenating experience and at the same time a challenging task as they had to travel to remote places crossing valleys and mountains which were not accessible by roads.

“Since it is our first project, it is a new experience and knowledge for us and we even have to deal with budget and reporting,” a member said, adding their plan for the future is to continue to help in community mapping and development.

The founder of the group shared that some people have questioned if others, apart from Thimphu, are not included in their stories. So, the strategy of the team in the coming years is to extend its brand and reach out to a wider audience and bring in distinct stories and lifestyles of people from across the country.

Currently, the stories they post are in podcasts and written formats but they have plans to deliver the stories through videos in the future.

Tandin Phurba hopes that through their organization, there can be a revival of community vitality- the age-old Bhutanese tradition.

As for the project stories through the mountain is being funded by the European Union which is being facilitated by Helvetas Bhutan and International Idea under Project ‘Nyamdrel’.