Bhutan is a small, landlocked country situated in the eastern Himalayas between India and China. Isolated from the rest of the world for centuries, Bhutan began to open up to outsiders in the 1970s, and in recent years has seen a reduction in poverty and improvements in human development indicators. The country’s strong focus on gross national happiness reflects a strong commitment to the humanitarian needs of people and society as a whole.
Through the AVID program, Australian volunteers will work in the agriculture, health and education sectors. Volunteers will work to improve access to quality health services, assist with making high-quality education accessible to children with special needs, and help the people of Bhutan to benefit from the natural environment in a way which is sustainable.
Bhutan is a strongly Buddhist society, and the preservation of culture is of fundamental importance to Bhutan and a core pillar of gross national happiness. Foreign visitors living in Bhutan are viewed positively and are accepted within the community.
Bhutan’s capital city, Thimphu, is located in a valley in the western-central part of the country. Thimphu is the political and economic centre of Bhutan, where the modern, commercial sector is juxtaposed with traditional cobbled paths, robed monks and Buddhist monasteries. Thimphu has a population of approximately 100,000 people, and is home to the Bhutanese Royal Family.
Paro is located approximately 1.5 hours from the capital, Thimphu. Paro receives a high amount of tourists, due to the international airport being located in the city, but also its reputation for hiking and trekking trails. There are a considerable number of shops, and a lot of hotels and arts and crafts venues.