Students From Remote Lunana Learned Skills Such As Aikido, Climate Change And More At Camp Organised By JICA Bhutan

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The winter camp included educational programs, arts and crafts, games and sports events.

A student from Lunana learning Aikido techniques. (Source: Facebook/JICA Bhutan)

 

By Komal Kharka BBS

Away from the freezing conditions back home, some 21 students from Lunana Primary School under the Gasa Dzongkhag (district) enjoyed the warmer weather in Punakha over a week-long winter camp organised especially for them.

 

 

The Chief Representative of JICA Bhutan, Mr. Koji Yamada telling stories to the students from Lunana.

Photo: Facebook/JICA Bhutan

 

These students from class PP to six were treated to storytelling sessions and exposed to various Japanese art forms. The winter camp also included educational programs, arts and crafts, games and sports events.

Aims of organising the winter camp for students of Lunana

JICA Bhutan organised this first of its kind winter camp to provide a platform (with the much needed exposure) to children from the remote highlands community of Lunana.

 

Source: Facebook/JICA Bhutan

 

The Chief Representative of JICA Bhutan, Mr. Koji Yamada, said that this is the first opportunity for JICA to learn about the life of the highlanders.

“Based on our experiences from the program this year, we would like to further improve our program to be delivered in the coming few years,” he said.

Skills which the students picked up during the winter camp

The Chief Representative of JICA Bhutan, Mr. Koji Yamada personally taught the students how to solve mathematical problems and to read.

The students from grade PP to VI learned about nutrition and balanced diets, facilitated by Ms. Jamyang Lhamo from the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital, Thimphu.

 

Students learn how to write their names in Japanese characters.

Photo: Facebook/JICA Bhutan

 

Mr. Koji Ichiba taught the students calligraphy and drawing using traditional Japanese drawing tools such as brushes, stone ink and paper. They learned how to write their names in basic Japanese characters (Katakana, Kanji and Hiragana).

Students also learned the basics of the Japanese martial arts, Aikido and some simple techniques of self-defense.

Officials from Wangduephodrang also briefed the students about climate change and its impact on the glacial lakes in their areas.

The students from the upper grades (class III to VI) visited and observed the Hydrology Center at Wangduephodrang and the Metrology station in Bajo.

They learned how to be alert and to recognise the warning alarms which are installed along the Punatshangchu riverside.

 

Glacier waters of the Rinchenzoe La, the highest pass on the Lunana trail, at an altitude of 5,269m. Like all passes in Bhutan, it is adorned with prayer flags, invoking deities to provide protection and safe passage to travellers.

Photo: Facebook/His Majesty king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

 

The students were very excited to pick up such information as most of the rivers sources flows from the glaciers located right in their hometown.

They are more than willing to share the information with their families, relatives and friends upon returning to their village after the Winter camp.

What some of the students said about the camp

“By taking part in this winter camp, I learned a lot of new things such as Japanese language, arts and crafts and music. These are new knowledge for me,” said a student, Pema Tashi.

The children were also exposed to construction machineries and taught how to operate them.

Another student who also attended the camp, Kinley wangmo, said that she learned how to operate machines, sing, dance, draw and read.

The Principal of Lunana Primary School, Gyem Dorji said that such opportunities were not available in the past due to the geographical isolation of Lunana.

 

Photo: Facebook/JICA Bhutan

 

“This program will help us and the students immensely in improving their academic performance and contribute to their wholesome development.”

Officials from the Khuruthang Youth Center, Mr. Sonam Dorji and the Administrative Officer, Mr. kelzang attended the closing ceremony. The students were awarded with participation certificates.

Moreover, the Chief Representative, Mr. Koji Yamada also donated footballs, volleyballs and the JICA Bhutan Office 2019 calendar to Lunana Primary School.

The winter camp concluded on 17 January. JICA Bhutan plans to organise more of such camps in future.

 

This article first appeared in BBS and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.

 


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