As part of the mandate of the Dept. of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education to empower and engage young people through various activities and programs, the Youth Center Division has institutionalized youth volunteer groups in the Youth Centers whose office-bearers are elected every year from amongst the members themselves. Today, the Harmony Youth Center which is attached to the Division in Thimphu has elected four office-bearers for the group: the President, Vice-president, Member Secretary and the Treasurer. These newly elected office-bearers will be responsible for developing and implementing the group’s action plan for 2019. They would also be responsible for the overall management of the group so that they can take a lot of initiatives to meaningfully engage themselves and their peers.
Through such elections, the young volunteers also learn the basic principles of democracy and understand their role in the national elections. The elections are conducted in the similar way our national elections are conducted and hence, they can learn how to make decisions while electing their leaders.
Prior to the actual voting, the candidates shared their manifestos and pledges based on which the members of the group exercised their franchise. Some of the senior volunteers also shared their experiences as youth volunteers and how that have transformed their lives. All the speakers acknowledged that as volunteers, they have gained a lot of self-confidence, public-speaking and leadership skills, which they would not have developed if they had not joined the group.
Following the sharing of manifestos by the candidates and experiences by senior volunteers, the members started casting their votes. The votes were cast through paper ballots. The two senior volunteers who served as polling officers counted the votes and the results were declared immediately. The members have elected Tenzin Jamtsho as their President, Kiran Adhikari as Vice President, Samira Gurung as Member Secretary and Kuenga Namgyal as the Treasurer. The Khadar ceremony for the new office-bearers was done by the Chief Program Officer of Youth Center Division, Ms. Rinzin Wangmo. In her closing remarks, she reiterated the importance of volunteerism and how such elections are expected to instill in them the values and principles of democracy which they can take with them when they participate in the national democratic processes in the future.
Similar elections were also held in other 12 regional Youth Centers. It was supported by RGoB.