For 33-year-old Sangay Pema and her three daughters who live in Zhemgang, rough days are behind them. Thanks to Nazhoen Lamtoen’s “Building Social Protection for the Vulnerable Children” project, the family has been sustaining themselves from the grocery shop the CSO opened for them three years ago. Sangay got married as a teenager, but the marriage was short-lived. She then had to live with her three daughters in a small house, fending for the family all by herself.
After her divorce, Sangay lived in constant worry as she did not have any means to support her three children’s education.
But that was three years ago. Today, she lives in a rented house supporting her daughters’ daily needs, running a small grocery shop in Kikhar village of Nangkor Gewog.
“In the past, it was hard for me to support my children’s education; I had to work on daily wages at construction sites. Now life has become much easier for me because of Nazheon Lamtoen’s generous support,” said Sangay Pema.
Sangay says despite their challenges in the past, her children have done well in their studies.
“I tell my children to study hard because Nazhoen Lamteon is supporting us for our benefit. I also tell them about my hardships so that they do not end up struggling like me,” added Sangay.
Sonam Tobgay, the case management officer of Nazhoen Lamtoen based in Zhemgang said the project supports vulnerable children in remote pockets of Zhemgang by empowering their families with self-sustaining businesses and preventing children in difficult circumstances from coming into conflict with the law.
“We have seen similar situations with many other families. It could lead to children dropping out of school and child-related abuse could also happen. In Sangay’s case, as all her children are females, they are more vulnerable. That is why we are supporting her to mitigate the risks,” said Sonam Tobgay, case management officer of Nazhoen Lamtoen.
He said, to secure the family’s future, he has asked Sangay to save Nu 2,000 in her children’s name monthly from the profit generated from her shop until the children turn 18.
According to Nazhoen Lamtoen, the project focuses on children in rural communities, as children face protection issues, and many are not aware of where to report and seek support.
The CSO supports around 150 children living in difficult circumstances in Zhemgang alone. Save the Children Bhutan supports the project.
Pema Samdrup, Zhemgang
Edited by Kipchu