Amankora Bumthang, an international luxury hotel, is making a big difference to the community through its social service activities.
It first started teaching English to the monks of Wangduechholing. Ngawang Tenzin, the first voluntary teacher, initially taught twice a week. Now, with more volunteers, the classes are taught almost every day.
Later, villagers also took interest in Amankora’s English classes. So their service was extended to villagers. This time, the dzongkhag administration supported the activity after it was convinced that Amankora had enough manpower and delivered quality service.
Amankora also took up cleaning important tourist sites. The volunteers cleaned up the Wangduechholing Palace and temples and prayer wheels in the vicinity.
Ngawang Tenzin, one of the coordinators, said, “Voluntary work gives a sense of belonging and cultivates civic sense. It makes us responsible and helps us connect ourselves with the people.”
Last year, Amankora gave a two-week training for 30 students. Tshewang Norbu, the manager of the hotel, said, “Not only were they given training free of cost but also provided free lunch by the hotel.”
At the end of 2 weeks, the students were awarded certificates. To improve their services, local hotels, which are mostly family-run, have been asked to nominate their candidates for training at Amankora.
To promote the local market, Amankora buys products like cheese, butter and milk from the local sellers only. It distribute vegetable seeds to the farmers free of cost and buys vegetables from them.
The Lodge Manager, Ms Torren, took the initiative of bringing clothes from her country and distributing them to the poor people.
Nowadays, Amankora volunteers are in the thick of extension work of the nunnery in Tang.
Besides, the hotel contributed labour to the construction of the chorten behind Kurjey Lhakhang almost every alternate day until its completion. The employees pooled money for whitewashing it.
Amankora employees also explore the valley and identify new hike trails and old temples. They clean trails and plant trees. Currently, they are cleaning the trail from Tamzhing.
Saving lives through blood donation is yet another social service Amankora is contemplating.
The hotel is planning to reach out to wider communities in collaboration with Youth Development Fund through awareness programmes and shows on hygiene, cleanliness and HIV/AIDS.