Phurba Wangmo, 18, is from Khothakpa and attends the Nangkhor Central School in Pemagatshel.
Both her parents are farmers and she is the only daughter of six siblings. Phurba has always wanted to become a journalist, however, she has always had limited books and resources at home and at her school. She felt that growing up in a rural village offered limited opportunities to gain exposure and experience to pursue her ambition.
When the READ Center opened in Khothakpa in 2014, Phurba immediately became an active member, joining most training programs provided there. She had a deep desire to expand her horizons and would visit the center to read at the library and use its computers.
Recently, Phurba took part in READ’s Khothakpa Community Radio training program. The READ Khothakpa Community Radio station – the first of three community stations in Bhutan -- launched in March 2016 and covers 9 villages with over 300 listeners. In January 2017, READ Bhutan partnered with the Bhutan Broadcasting Service to produce a program spearheaded by youth reporters at the Community Radio Station.
Phurba’s biggest achievement was reporting on the issue of extreme water shortage that communities in the area along with the other participants. Using new digital recorders provided by partners and applying basic journalistic techniques, the budding reporters collected stories and information from interviews with local residents and leaders.
“Being part of the KYD Radio Station is a confirmation that I have the potential and capability to become a journalist someday. Aside from the experience and the lessons learned, the program has also built my confidence,” Phurba says.
According to Phurba, having a community radio in her village has benefitted her a lot. Thanks to the Community Radio program, she now actively takes part in training to hone her skills in identifying stories, reporting, interviewing, and producing radio programs.
Through READ’s Khothakpa Community Radio training program, the youth reporters are given the opportunity to report and produce stories. This not only enables them to nurture their journalism skills, but also gives community members a voice to spread awareness on issues affecting their communities.