Children of women weavers in Bhutan

Capturing happiness

Bhutan is famous for its Gross National Happiness Index, but little is known about its gender gap in happiness : women in Bhutan are generally employed in low paid agricultural jobs, and earn 25% than their male counterparts (World Bank).

An encounter with Ana by Karma, a social enterprise selling colourful scarves made by illiterate women weavers in Bhutan, led us to the Kingdom of Happiness for a photographic adventure with the weavers’ children.

Our work in Bhutan

In November 2014, Ana by Karma trained 20 children from the weaving communities in Bhutan in photography on behalf of Lensational. Ana by Karma had been working to empower the women weavers and wanted to further support their journeys through teaching their photography. With photography, the children could help their mothers take beautiful photos of their products in the future.

On the first day of the workshop, the children stayed in the classroom and focused on photography techniques, self-introduction and storytelling. They then took to the Buddha Point to capture the outside world with the new skills they had learnt.

Beyond the programme

Moving forward, the children will continue to have access to cameras, collected by Quin’s networks in Hong Kong, China and Malaysia, as well as laptops donated by a philanthropist A. Emiko Wang.

The Institute of Management Studies in Bhutan, which helped to select the participants, will also continue to provide monthly follow-up sessions with the children.

We can’t wait to show the world the beauty of Bhutan — and to inspire these children to look at the world in a different way.

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