Empowerment for Employment

To address the high youth unemployment rate that continues to straddle aspiring Bhutanese youth, YDF vigorously promotes skills development through training establishments like the Nazhoen Pelri Souvenir Centre, holistic community development projects like My Gakidh Village, and short term skills training in the vocational trades as well as entrepreneurship.

The Nazhoen Pelri Souvenir Center

The Nazhoen Pelri Souvenir Center was established in 2005 to create opportunities for vulnerable girls and young women. Every year, thousands of students who have completed basic education (up to Grade 10) are looking for employment, some join state run vocational institutes but many end up with insecure futures. Since 2005, YDF has trained over one hundred young women and people with disabilities from low-income backgrounds. Nearly all of the graduates have found gainful employment. Some of them are employed directly at YDF while others are employed by organizations such as the Department of Adult and Higher Education as NFE instructors, NGOs and tailoring units. With YDF’s support, some have established their own small businesses and community units, women-led enterprises promoting community development through the use of Bhutanese design and locally-available raw materials. 

Our Objectives

  • To provide skills development for employment and promote income generation among vulnerable girls and young women through souvenir making. 
  • To encourage the use of uniquely Bhutanese design using locally available materials. 
  • To promote community-based enterprises and women’s entrepreneurship in both rural and urban areas

At the Nazhoen Pelri Souvenir Center today, we not only make souvenir products but we also innovate in creating new products to promote Bhutanese culture and design. We specialize in embroidery products and product customization.

Location: We are currently located in the Nazhoen Pelri Souvenir Production Center, just above the Crafts Bazaar in Thimphu. 

Contact Us: Phone: +97577399090/ Email: yeshichodenpr2016@gmail.com/FB Page: Nazhoen Pelri Souvenir Center

My Gakidh Village

My Gakidh Village is a joint initiative of Bhutan Youth Development Fund, Aide et Action International, World Wildlife Fund Bhutan and UNDP Bhutan, the first of its kind in Bhutan with the overall goal to curb rural-urban youth migration by providing sustainable livelihood skills and opportunities to unemployed youth within their own communities.

Hundreds of youth across over 20 villages in Toep Gewog, Punakha are participating in equitable, sustainable socio-economic development through community empowerment, employment and income generation opportunities.

The project focuses on three main areas, which are:

  1. Creating community-based eco-tourism and environmental conservation projects
  2. Reviving traditional arts and crafts through livelihood initiatives
  3. Providing IT literacy and livelihood skills development programs for rural youth

The initial funding of the IT Literacy and Livelihood Skills area is being provided by Aide et Action International. Aide et Action International is a development organization founded in France and headquartered in Geneva, which funds and supports education projects in more than 28 countries across South East Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Caribbean.

With additional funding and technical support from the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme in Bhutan and the World Wildlife Fund Bhutan, My Gakidh Village has developed and scaled ecotourism and environmental conservation projects alongside the livelihood initiatives for youth. These opportunities are incentivizing environmental conservation by empowering rural communities to protect their forests and biodiversity for their own long-term livelihoods, especially through ecotourism and the sale of their crafts products to tourists. The communities are valuing their natural environment and ecosystems because they see the economic benefits through ecotourism and are conscious of the need to sustain natural resources into the future.

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