Enhancing the civic spirit in the students
Atotal of 108 students from rural and urban areas started a friendship camp for ten days from 21 December in a remote place of Bjibjokha in Punakha.
The camp saw the students from urban areas of Phuntsholing, Thimphu and Paro with the students of Punakha Dzongkhag to share their experiences to build their friendship in the vacation.
The enthusiasm to build rural-urban bond can be seen in the week long campaign organized by the Camp Rural Urban Friendship (RUF). The program expects to bring together children in urban centers and rural areas of Bhutan in an educational and recreational setup which would help to enhance the civic spirit of the students.
It has been a trend prolonged from 2014 with the vision to bond the friendship between the rural and urban students.
Tenzin Dorji, the program coordinator of the camp, said that the students will be placed in each home and will help the house owners with their daily chores such as cooking, dish-washing, fetching firewood, feeding cattle, gardening to cleaning their home. He said, “In this way, the students will be able to fully experience this way of life.”
During the camp, each student from the rural areas is matched with a student from urban area to share their experiences which is called Charos (friends). Tenzin Dorji said that students write to each other before and after the camp. He said, “In this way, they begin to understand their differences and similarities, and develop a lifelong friendship.”
Unlike in the past camp, this year, the camp consists of program such as home stays, treasure hunts, sleeping in the tents and connecting with the nature among others.
The noble idea was envisioned by young teacher, the late Kelzang Chhoden, while she was teaching in Lungtengang Primary School in Dagana. She remains as a founder of the camp RUF and she survived by her husband, Tenzin Dorji, who is the program coordinator of the camp.
Since both of them were teachers, they felt the importance of bringing children from two different worlds together. They realize the importance of bridging the differences or at least make students learn from each other’s differences through their friendship.