Alumni project in Bhutan

Constructing a new school kitchen

Kitchen construction underway

Hari (’23) and Mingla (’23) are members of a student group awarded £10,000 by the UWC Atlantic entrepreneurship hub, Lighthouse for their Happy School project in Bhutan. They have partnered with My Gakidh Village School and The Bhutan Youth Development Fund, to build kitchen facilities at the school.

Work on the project commenced in August and Mingla shared an update on the progress so far.

“During the project’s initial week, our team collaborated with the Bhutan Youth Development Foundation’s (YDF) architecture and engineering experts to plan the architectural design of the dining space and determine the ideal construction location.”

With expert guidance, the estimated costs for primary materials such as stone, logs, cement, and hard plastics were calculated based on Bhutan’s standard pricing. We also factored in expenses for machinery, excavation, material transportation, and labour costs to ensure optimal results within our budget.

Project progress

The project required the dismantling of the previous kitchen shed and the creation of a temporary kitchen space. Remarkably, the local community and parents eagerly assisted us in the dismantling and construction process, expediting progress. After initiating the excavation work, a smaller road connecting the main road to the dining hall area was constructed, both for facilitating material transport for the short-term needs while also considering the future needs for deliveries of rations and vegetables to the kitchen area.

Following excavation, a concrete foundation was laid to provide enduring support for the structure. The ongoing construction will have an exquisite traditional Bhutanese carpentry along the building’s borders to align it along with the distinctive architectural designs found in Bhutan. The walls are under construction at present, meticulously crafted to accommodate a kitchen, storeroom, and a spacious dining area for students in accordance with the structure plan prepared earlier.

While the project faced initial challenges due to challenging terrain and its remote location, the issues have been successfully resolved, propelling the project forward. We eagerly anticipate sharing the final results once construction is complete, providing students who travel from distant villages in pursuit of education and a brighter future with a beautiful, safe, and secure dining space.”

October 2023

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