Performing amidst multiple constraints

CSOs in the country have their fair share of challenges and limitations while serving the society

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country have been, and are still facing financial constraints, besides limited capacity building opportunities, and poor networking within the country.

According to Bhup Bhoj Ghalley, founder of the Happiness Center in Phuentsholing shared the challenges his organization faces, including financial limitations, inadequate infrastructure and facilities, and difficulties in providing services to vulnerable individuals.

Ghalley shared that there is an imminent need for financial support, guidance from relevant authorities, and proper logistics and ration supplies to effectively carry out their mission.

He also highlighted the growing issue of destitute and abandoned individuals, particularly children, youth, and the elderly, who often struggle with alcohol and substance abuse. The lack of family support and difficulties in tracing their identities further increase their vulnerability.

Despite the challenges, the Happiness Center as of today provided services like pre-rehabilitation and adequate after care services for people with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), and aftercare services for to about 3,681 individuals.

Similarly, the Happiness Center is also providing various activities to AUD and SUD individuals such as yoga and meditation sessions, outreach programs, community services, and support for senior citizens.

Another CSO, Nazhoen Lamten also shared similar challenges, including budget constraints, lack of coordination, and the need for capacity building and sustainability.

Despite these obstacles, Nazhoen Lamten has provided vital services to numerous individuals in need, including assisting children facing cases of domestic violence, neglect, and exploitation including children in difficult circumstances and children in conflict with law.

They are also looking after other cases such as prostitution, commercial exploitation, alcohol use disorder and economically disadvantaged children.

In addition to their primary services, they are also providing support in micro-business to those individuals who are economically disadvantaged, providing employment opportunity, educational support, ration support, shelter services, and reintegration and transforming and parenting program for children in conflict with law. Over the past years, Nazhoen Lamten has supported 818 children, including diversion cases.

These organizations are also actively working towards creating awareness about addiction and providing aftercare services for the community.

With support from the Thromde office, the center has constructed an interim shelter to accommodate disadvantaged individuals. Furthermore, the organizations arrange funeral services for abandoned individuals.

Another CSO, the Royal Society for Protection and Care of Animals (RSPCA) was formed under the Royal patronage of Queen Mother Tshering Yangden Wangchuck with the aim to ensure the welfare of all animals in Bhutan.

For 24 years, the RSPCA Bhutan and its members have committed their time and resources, tirelessly working towards a better future for stray dogs. Their efforts continue through developing collaborative efforts and funding from other sources both inside and outside the country.

Meanwhile, Bhutan has a total of 49 registered CSOs, including 17 Public Benefits Organizations (PBOs) and 12 Mutually Benefited Organizations (MBOs) registered with the Civil Society Organization Authority (CSOA).

Nidup Lhamo from Phuentsholing