There are two ways that young people can disengage from a system: (1) boredom and (2) apathy. Boredom is a state that one can be roused from; apathy is not. In 2013, a group of youth felt that it was time to wake up from their boredom and to go out and engage in Bhutan’s maturing democracy. Democracy, after all, is not a spectator sport!
And so, they started the Youth Initiative for Debate, Deliberation, and Development (YIDDD).
The idea for the YIDDD was conceived by Phub Dorji in 2012. After finishing high school, Phub started working the Manny Fassihi and Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy in 2013. The group focused on coming up with ideas that would suit the organisation well. Models of other Youth Associations from other countries were examined, adapted, and filtered to match the needs of Bhutanese Youth.
After months and numerous rounds of meetings, the team went around different institutions to conduct presentation and elections. The elected members then convened and the organisation was launched on the 13th of December at the Youth Forum organised by BCMD.
YIDDD is an informal, non-party affiliated association that gives a select group of youth practical, hands-on experience in deliberating on national issues and taking community-based action.
In its initial year (2014), YIDDD will be based in Thimphu. After conducting a rigorous selection process in November 2013, we found an inspired group of 19 youth in high school, college, and out-of-school to serve as Youth Representatives for the 2014 year. (Meet our Youth Representatives)
The year-long project will consist of a workshop, led by the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy, training the youth to learn how to debate and deliberate, analyse issues of youth interest and provide feedback on youth concerns and ideas. There will then be two public sittings where the youth will present proposals to address problems of pressing concern and debate solutions.
Throughout the year, Youth Representatives will work on campaigns in their respective committees. (Read more about the Committees)
We believe this initiative will motivate young people to participate in Bhutan’s maturing democracy and become leaders capable of bringing positive change.