The Rotary Club of Thimphu Rebuilding Lives

Long after the memories of their time at Dawakha have faded, and normalcy

has returned into their once tumultuous lives, 15th of August 2019 will

forever remain etched in the checkered memories of the 26 female inmates

who are currently lodged at the Dawakha Open Air Prison. For, on this day,

these 26 inmates have received their Certificate of Competence – to practice a

vocation that the Rotary Club of Thimphu helped them acquire. The life skill

that these ladies have acquired will stand them in good stead – when they

complete their term and reintegrate into society. It is our Club’s effort at

rebuilding lives that have been thrown into disarray, for reasons beyond their


During a simple prayer ceremony presided over by a Truelku and the

Superintendent of RBP Sonam Wangchuk, these ladies have been issued their

certificate of proficiency in sewing.

Superintendent of Police Mr. Sonam Wangchuk and trainer Ms. Pem Pem Gyaltshen hold up the

Certificate of Proficiency awarded to 26 inmates who underwent one month’s training program in sewing.

For the past one month these ladies have been taught sewing on 10 brand

new sewing machines donated by the Rotary Club of Thimphu. Zamin Friends

Forever – a homegrown entrepreneurial trailblazer who is the one and only

manufacturer of reusable cotton sanitary napkins in the country, fielded the

training instructor, Ms. Pem Pem Gyaltshen.

Under an MoU that is due to be signed independent of our Club, between the

RBP, Zamin Friends Forever and the women inmates, this project will see

generation of income for the ladies while they are still at the Dawakha facility.

Zamin Friends Forever is committed to purchase all of the pads that inmates

produce at Dawakha. They will continue to make a living from sewing cotton

sanitary pads, should they wish, even after they leave the facility. For those

who are unable to afford to buy sewing machines, the Rotary Club of

Thimphu is committed to help them finance the purchase of sewing machines.

The Rotary Club of Thimphu is proud to be able to engage in this meaningful

project – the capacity building initiative towards manufacturing and use of

affordable and environmentally friendly reusable cotton sanitary napkins. We

believe that each of us must do our share to protect and safeguard our

environment. Disposable plastic sanitary napkins MUST GO! It is bad for the

environment. And it is bad for the pocket.

The Dawakha project is the epochal first step – The Rotary Club of Thimphu

will initiate much bigger programs in the coming months and years. Over

time, we hope to be able to cover whole of the country, in the production and

use of environmentally friendly reusable sanitary napkins. Currently

operational modalities are being worked out with the RENEW whose nation

wide reach and coverage will help us reach most parts of the country.

This project is a small contribution from the Rotary Club of Thimphu, towards

safeguarding the nation’s environment. In the same vein, we are currently in

the process of implementing a 100% organic agriculture project valued at

US$51,000.00, in Chhukha Dzongkhag.