One of the programs of DPO is to provide various independent living skills trainings to persons with disabilities. The objective of providing such skills based training is to empower persons with disabilities to alleviate them from poverty to dignity. Independent living skills training is and will be one of the key programs for persons with disabilities. As of now, the organization has worked out in two different training fields: Bhutanese Traditional Music Training and Training on High Quality Healing Therapy and Massage (SPA) programs in the lives of the individuals with disabilities.
1 Training on High Quality Healing Therapy and Massage (SPA) for People with Disabilities:
The primary objective of initiating SPA training program is to help persons with disabilities develop relevant professional skills so that they can get a decent job and live an independent life. Considering the rising trend of hotel and SPA industry in Bhutan, it is felt that training persons with disabilities in SPA Therapy would broaden their opportunities for employment in the future. Upon the completion of the course, the trainees are certified as professional SPA therapists.
Till date, DPO supported more than 92 persons with disabilities to undergo healing therapy training. Most of them are now working as SPA therapist in various hotels and resorts in Bhutan.
2 Bhutanese Traditional Music Training:
With the 2 years financial support from CSOFF, DPO setup a music group called Semkyi Zhidey Luyang (at present: Blind Training Centre of Bhutan) on 17th January 2013 comprising of seven members of youths with disabilities. The purposes of the training centre are to:
- Create a platform to enable them to showcase the different abilities of persons with disabilities.
- Improve the quality of life and living conditions of persons with disabilities.
- Create a respectful employment opportunity for persons with disabilities and help them live an independent life.
- Help in supporting other disabled persons of Bhutan by generating income through musical performances.
- Enhance the skills and train the members to become professionals, and
- Raise awareness and advocate for the needs of people with disabilities.
The members are trained on a number of traditional instruments by well experienced tutors. Some of the members are even illiterate and it has been a very good opportunity for them to remain meaningfully engaged and acquire new skills that can enhance their capacity to live a meaningful life later. In order to ensure systematic operation of the group, DPAB has supervised and guided the group regarding the planning and implementation of its activities. The group performs its songs and music on special occasions of the organization in addition to its own fund-raising activities. As of now, three of them are employed in different schools in Bhutan as a music instructor.