About Us

What is Books for Bhutan?

Books for Bhutan is an initiative that aims to collect donated books and distribute them amongst Bhutanese schools. The project is based in Bangkok, Thailand, as we collect books primarily from around Bangkok, but if a donor resides outside of Bangkok, we would love to receive the donation!

Why was Books for Bhutan created?

As a student who has had the privilege of learning in international schools across the globe, I found myself fortunate enough to count books as a free resource; I could buy any book I wanted, granted that I couldn’t find it in the enormous school libraries I could access.

My father, on the other hand, grew up in the opposite environment. From a small rural village in eastern Bhutan, he was educated at the local primary school where resources, like school libraries, were scarce. While the education system in Bhutan has come a long way since, many schools still lack access to sufficient reading resources, whether it be in-school books or online reading material.

I’m a strong proponent of the belief that reading is essential to education, from helping grasp the English language to developing soft skills, like imagination and critical thinking. I also wanted to share my passion for reading with Bhutanese students, so I created the Books for Bhutan initiative.

Bhutan and the Education System

Bhutan is a small, landlocked country sandwiched between two global superpowers: China and India. However, unlike its heavily industrial neighbours, Bhutan prides itself in being an ecological paradise. With over 70% of the country covered in forest, Bhutan is one of the only two carbon negative countries in the world and it emphasizes the necessity of adopting sustainable practices in industries like forestry, energy and tourism.

However, it is still considered one of the world’s least economically developed countries. Many communities, especially remote ones, have underfunded schools that lack the resources I was lucky enough to grow up with. My father is from Galing, an agricultural village in Trashigang, the east-most district in Bhutan.

Bhutan on the world map

The geographical location of Bhutan

Some of his family (my uncle and a few of my cousins) still reside in the region, and one of my cousins teaches at a local primary school. Over the past few months, thanks to the COVID pandemic and strict lockdown in Bhutan, teaching became extremely difficult. Instead of using software and applications like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, my cousin tells us he had to go around to the students’ residences to teach in small groups because many people in the region do not have access to stable internet.

Helping with remote learning is another reason why I wanted to start Books for Bhutan. Books are in no way a supplement for education, but I hope that the availability of such a resource will encourage kids to engage with learning outside of the classroom.

Who do we donate to?

For our first donation, I wanted to send books to schools in the Trashigang region, because, if not for my cousin, Books for Bhutan would not be where it is today. However, for future donations, we plan to donate to more schools in different areas. Books for Bhutan has corresponded with the Ministry of Education in Bhutan, and we plan to select more schools to be recipients of the books.

What do we hope to achieve?

With Books For Bhutan, I hope to donate to three more schools by the end of each year. I intend for the donations to be an annual event, so if you’re interested in donating second-hand books, please contact us! I truly hope our donations are inspiring a passion for reading in Bhutanese students.

In the future

In the long run, I hope that Books for Bhutan becomes an international initiative. It would be fantastic to have support from several countries, and I would love to continue to supply books to Bhutanese schools.