With winds of change brought on by globalization, His Majesty the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck saw the need to establish a mechanism to fund youth development activities. After its inception in 1999, Bhutan Youth Development Fund (YDF) was founded with the endowment fund of one million USD entrusting Her Majesty Queen Mother Tseyring Pem Wangchuck as the President.
Today, YDF is one of the oldest non-profit organizations in the country committed to making every youth a leader. The organization provides financial support for youth development activities like leadership an volunteerism, drug rehabilitation, basic skills and vocational training, and advocacy for youth-oriented policy. As a youth-oriented organization, we work to ensure that all youth have equal access to education, meaningful employment and opportunities to develop their potential and to address the growing needs of our youth. Under Her Majesty’s leadership, the Bhutan Youth Development Fund has implemented and impacted many lives including children and youth along with their families through various flagship programs.
YDF Flagship Programs
My Gakidh (Happy) Village
This project aims to curb rural-urban youth migration by providing sustainable livelihood skills and opportunities to unemployed youth within their own communities.
My Gakidh (Happy) Village School
The small village school was adopted by our President with a noble initiative to redesign the education system. The students learn and study beyond the classroom walls using a Place-based Education and STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) curriculum. They are young explorers and learners of their small village striving to discover their own roots and unfold their potentials as community members.
Bhutan’s first waste paper recycling unit, an eco-friendly initiative that produces egg trays from waste papers. The project helps waste management efforts and provides a livelihood to recovering youth.
Youth Participation and Child Protections
This program enhances youth participation by providing them opportunities and platforms to build leadership skills and self-esteem through capacity building, training, and participation in community development projects. Under YPCP there are two projects :
i.Young Volunteers in Action (Y-VIA)
It is one of the largest and most active youth networks in the country. As of today, we have more than 7000 active young volunteers across the country.
ii.Golden Youth Award Camp
The Golden Youth Award Camp brings together the best of the best from schools across the country to compete for excellence. The GYA title winner gets an opportunity to study in one of the prestigious schools/colleges in United World Colleges across the world.
Bhutan Institute of Well-being (BIW)
As one of the oldest and most well researched Institute, it provides programs for both treatment and prevention of Substance Use Disorders through modeling and promoting a holistic GNH Values Education.
Nurture a Tree
This program supports the commitment made by the government to preserve the pristine forest coverage of 60 % through our largest youth network (Y-VIA).