07 April 2022
Higher Education In Bhutan
We're proud to share this fantastic story from project J1057N in Bhutan, in partnership with the Himalayan Higher Education Fund.
Sangay Leyzom is a young woman of the Himalaya that grew up in a remote community of nomadic yak herders. Sangay and her family are from a far corner of eastern Bhutan where most people make a living as subsistence farmers and for Sangay, who is one of six siblings, continuing her education beyond high school was always a dream. She knew it would be difficult for her parents to pay for further education so she applied for a scholarship that she found on the university website supported by the Himalayan Higher Education Fund.
“I regard myself as the luckiest person ever to receive the HHEF scholarship … to continue my further studies, I would have had to go to a private college and the expenses are prohibitive…my parents could not afford it and it would have been difficult for my parents to send me...”
Our project partners at the Himalayan Higher Education Fund are providing support for young women like Sangay across the remote, mountainous region of the Himalaya so they can continue their education. By giving them to access to a higher education, these women are empowered to uplift themselves, their families and their communities.
HHEF focuses on the education of girls in particular because they are less likely to have the opportunity to access a tertiary education due to social and economic reasons. Women and girls make up two thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate population and just 39% of girls living in remote, rural areas complete secondary school. Data suggests that with every additional year of education, girls will increase their eventual wages by 20%. Further education leaves them less vulnerable to violence, encourages them to marry later and enables them to make responsible family planning decisions.
Sangay is now studying Environmental Management which seems appropriate for someone who comes from a family of mountain nomads who have been responsible for the care of high altitude animals for generations. She says,
“I have a great dream to achieve. I want to build up a firm foundation to become an Environmental Manager as I realize that environmental threats will emerge even in the furthest part of my country. Consequently, having finished my studies, I will be capable of fulfilling my dream of educating people about the environmental threats we face and be able to protect Bhutan through my small contribution.”