Working with and for young people

Sixteen-year old singer and Youth Ambassador Sonam Wangchen visits Gelephu and Tsirang to see some of UNICEF's work

Youth ambassador with the cricketers
10 January 2019

Youth Ambassador Sonam Wangchen visited Gelephu and Tsirang to gain first-hand experience of UNICEF’s collaboration with young people and see some of our work together with partners.  

Youth ambassador with BCCB
From left: CEO of Bhutan Cricket Council Board Damber Gurung, UNICEF Youth Ambassador Sonam Wangchen and UNICEF Bhutan Representative Rudolf Schwenk

We The Future: The visit took place during one of the nation’s biggest winter cricket events – the under 22 girls and boys district championship organised by Bhutan Cricket Council Board and supported by International Cricket Council and UNICEF. 

UNICEF recognizes that around the globe there is a force that can attract millions of people around a single event and motivate millions of others in collective or individual active participation - this is the unique power of sports!

The theme for this year’s championship was We The Future. We The Future is a UNICEF regional campaign with and for adolescents. #WeTheFuture aims to reach adolescents and young people with information on issues affecting them; engage and strengthen their voices to access and speak about their rights; and to strengthen protection of and investment in their rights' fulfillment. 


“Whatever you do, do it with dedication and hard work and never give up on your dreams,” the 16-year old singer and Youth Ambassador said to the young cricketers during a special advocacy session.

Youth Ambassador performing
Thimphu cricket girls

Sports For Development: UNICEF believes that play in all its forms is the right of every child. Safe and inclusive play and sport are tools for improving children’s lives. Sports contribute to healthy child development; it builds self-esteem and life skills. Sports can mobilize communities; foster peace and tolerance; and teach important life lessons about respect, cooperation and leadership. Above all, play and sports help all children, even the poorest and most marginalized, to have fun and enjoy their childhood.

“Cricket has taught me the importance of teamwork and self-belief,” said Tshering Yangki, 14.

Providing safe spaces: While at an integrated youth-friendly service centre in Gelephu, the team met and spoke with several young volunteers about their experiences. UNICEF has partnered with the department of youth and sports since 2012 to strengthen services for adolescents and youth.

At present, there are 13 Youth Centres in the country, spread across eight districts. With the objective of providing “one-stop shop” services and referral services for adolescents and youth, UNICEF works with youth centres on an “integrated” approach to promoting services such as health, protection, education, employment and employability skills, and civic engagement.

Youth centre gelephu

Meanwhile, the Youth Ambassador also visited a Basic Health Unit in Tsirang and met with dedicated health staff to understand UNICEF’s support in mother and child health services including immunization, growth monitoring and care during and after pregnancy.

BHU Mendrelgang

The team also visited the Tsirang district monastic institution. “It was a special experience meeting young monks at a monastic school in Tsirang and seeing UNICEF’s support in hygiene, sanitation, education and child protection. Every child deserves a childhood,” said Sonam.

Monks in tsirang rabdey