Dorji Lhamo

“I come from Panbang where I spent 18 years of my life. Abandoned by our mother and a father who wastes away every day with alcohol, I had no one to rely on except for my grandmother and distant relatives. I have a younger brother and sister; As a child myself, it was a heavy responsibility. But I guess it also motivated me to be an elder sister who’d look after everyone. Working in the fields till dusk, my palms would blister and ugly tan lines would form on my arms and legs. But I accepted these experiences as part of life. Though not at her best, my grandmother never left us behind.

At school, I met Madam Tshering Pem who took me under her guidance and sheltered me. For the first time, I felt greeted by a warm light. She made it seem okay to dream and have ambitions. After high school, I felt left out, clueless, and resentful. I only had an average result and Private colleges were not an option. Torn between pursuing higher education and getting a job to look after my family, I came to Thimphu.

Life here was tough: from rent, clothes, food, and sending saved money back home, everything was a challenge. With my height, I had no shot for the army or police training. So, I tried taking jobs everywhere. I worked at a restaurant and then as a salesgirl in a shoe store. This time, I was able to send some money home. I also attended a course in office management and IT but when that didn’t work out, I even worked as a housemaid. I also took part in marketing a newly published book. It was when I was hopping between jobs that I met the ED of RMA who helped me with many opportunities; She supported me to take a course in Early Childhood Care and Development provided by a private organization.

I’ve been unemployed for the past 3 months because of the lockdown. It has been very hard. To even survive in the current world is too much to handle. Yet here I am holding onto a thin string of hope that it will all get better soon. Life is uncertain, it has always been in my case. And all I do is hope that tomorrow will be better.”

#HumansofThimphu #HumanStories #Thimphu

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