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Airlines reach out to less fortunate children

If pilots could grant your wishes, what would be yours?

For the 24 children for whom Gawailing Happy Home in Wangsisina, Thimphu is the only home they ever knew, they were things like a gho, a kira, a pair of sneakers…

These children who live in the happy home are victims of domestic, physical, sexual and emotional violence. Some were orphaned.

As part of Gawailing Wishlist event, 16 Drukair pilots and eight pilots from Bhutan Airlines got the wish list.  Calling it ‘flight for a cause’, Drukair also provided the children a 30-minute aerial excursion of the valley yesterday. Children were also given a tour of Bhutan Helicopter Service and opportunity to see aircraft.

Her Majesty the Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck graced the event.

“For them RENEW is the only family,” RENEW’s executive director Tandin Wangmo said.

Gawailing Happy Home provides an environment of physical and psychological safety for individuals and families. Services like counselling, legal aid, emergency medical aid, crisis intervention, meditation practices, education for the children and livelihood training are provided.

A 19-year-old in the group thanked Her Majesty the Queen Mother, the pilots, and the airlines for their support. “Although we have been born in the most unfortunate circumstances, we have not lost our childhood under your most loving care and support. We promise to always fly high and never let you down.”

The 24 Bhutanese pilots have also pledged to make an annual contribution for 10 years for building an endowment to ensure the sustainability of the RENEW’s services, Gawailing Happy Home and the Chapters under the aegis of the Gyalyum Charitable Trust (GCT).

Drukair’s CEO, Tandi Wangchuk, said that the partnership with RENEW began as a small voluntary effort by the Bhutanese community of pilots led by Yab Dhondup Gyaltshen, who pledged to provide financial assistance to sustain the programme and services of RENEW in 2016. “Now, many years down the line, the partnership has gained so much strength and momentum that we can proudly say that it has brought about positive changes in the lives of so many women and children.”

Until March this year, Drukair and Tashi Air donated Nu 2,647,400 to RENEW.

Phurpa Lhamo

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