Bhutan faces a range of threats and challenges caused by climate change. While parts of the country experience increased heavy rainfall leading to flash floods and landslides due to glaciers in the Himalayas melting, other parts of Bhutan face water scarcity as streams dry up. Bhutan’s primary income-generating industries – hydropower, agriculture, and tourism – are all negatively affected by these climate changes and natural disasters.

Bhutan has a very young population. More than half of the Bhutanese are under 25 years old. .Adolescent and youth (10 to 24 years) make up about a third of the population.

Bhutan Map
Related Documents
Case Study


The Adolescent Kit was piloted in Bhutan in 2015, while the Kit was still under development, in four government schools in the capital, Thimphu, in collaboration with the Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education. Although the Kit was initially designed for use in emergency settings, it was adaptable for use in formal schools in the vulnerable development setting of Bhutan.  

The focus was on psycho-social and peer-to-peer support in formal schools and youth centres. The Kit was introduced through various channels, including guidance classes, individual and group counselling sessions, and adolescent peer-to-peer support circles. School counsellors trained student participants on how to develop peer support groups at school, with a special focus on supporting special needs students. They also  recruited youth volunteers. The counsellors received 100 printed copies of guidance on the Kit from UNICEF Bhutan to facilitate their work, and the UNICEF team developed a guidance note for expanding the use of the Kit in more schools and Youth Centres throughout Bhutan.

Following the pilot, more Kits were disseminated to secondary schools across the country. School guidance counsellors led group discussions, taught core competencies, and facilitated peer-led activities. A training strategy ensured that sessions were led for maximum impact.

A conscious effort was made to reach vulnerable adolescents. The Kit served to engage adolescents involved in a two-week Summer Youth Leadership Camp led by trained coordinators. Student participants started a drug-free community initiative, developing and implementing an advocacy campaign that highlighted the ill effects of substance abuse, peer violence and bullying in their community.

At the Youth Centres, Centre Managers use the Kit’s Activity Guide as a tool for youth empowerment, participation and civic engagement. They use the Guide to give adolescents new ways to explore and express their feeling and experiences, and to build friendships with their peers. They also use it to train a new cohort of youth volunteers, build the capacity of current volunteers to promote leadership skills, and strengthen networking and coordination. The volunteers form peer support groups in their communities and organize community engagement programmes using activities from the Kit, especially the 'community dialogue’ activity from the Activity Guide. The Youth Centre Managers organize community mappings at the beginning of every year to identify key issues for young people, and develop a comprehensive action plan to support young people in partnership with stakeholders from the communities.

The Department of Youth and Sports is eager to provide further support to expand these activities. The Department hired full-time professional guidance counsellors, peer counsellors and Youth Centre managers to organize more orientation and training sessions for adolescents across the country. Other capacity-building programmes managed by the Department will serve as entry points to facilitate the integration of the Kit in the work of school counsellors.