Sonam Drukpa

“I went to a college in India through a consultancy but it didn’t work out. They’d told me the medium of instruction was English but all my classes were in Hindi. There were many in my class who didn’t even know English. I dropped out and tried to find a job. As a high school graduate, finding a job was immensely difficult and I was having a hard time with money. So I went to Kuwait.

I worked there for 2 & half years as a cashier in a retail company. At first, it was fun and I got a lot of exposure. But I had to work 8 hours a day and I’d have to stand the whole time. I also missed my family so I’m back home now. When I was looking for jobs in Bhutan, job vacancies came few and far apart. I wish I’d known better about how to apply and find the right job. It also cost a lot of money, which I didn’t have, to print documents and travel to offices to submit my application. I wish more offices accepted email applications.

All these troubles I faced led me to build my association. We tried to register it as a CSO but the registration is on hold and we’re currently functioning as a CBO. Our vision is to address the unemployment issue by generating employment opportunities, providing employment services and organising dialogues. I’ve been interested in social work since school so this is an important project for me. I collected young volunteers from diverse backgrounds to help me with the association. I’d tried doing something like this right after college but I didn’t have many resources to work with. Even today, as a founder of this CBO, one of my biggest challenges has been securing financial stability. We don’t have enough funds to set up a proper working environment with computers, etc. Groups like us need to get approval to raise funds which makes this harder. Another big challenge, as mentioned earlier, is that the process of getting registered takes a considerable amount of time, and sometimes it never comes through.

Along with the association, I’m currently serving as a Dessup.”

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