The Bhutan Foundation is working to outfit 90+ classrooms with Snow Leopard Chests containing native-made books, puzzles, and board games, all focused on indigenous snow leopards and their conservation in Bhutan. Completing our goal means that more than 4,600 kids will have access to hands-on educational tools to inspire environmental learning and create awareness about what they can do to protect the threatened species in their own backyards.
The Bhutan Foundation is seeking to match $5,000 in order to make books, puzzles, and board games, to distribute in “Snow Leopard Chests” in classrooms across Bhutan. If you donate through our Facebook page on Tuesday, November 27, your donation will be matched! Each of the items, detailed below, in the chest are locally-made with emphasis on Bhutanese culture and values.
The Thangka Puzzle is a culturally-relevant visual representation of what the communities that live among snow leopards think of as the “positive” (healthy development and harmony with nature) and “negative” (deforestation, pollution, and industrialization) realms of conservation in their community. Because of the vision of the community members of Jomolhari, the Bhutan Foundation has established our snow leopard conservation efforts according to the values found in the positive realm.
The Snow Leopard and Blue Sheep game is a snow leopard interpretation of a local Bhutanese game called Tag da No (Tiger and Cattle). It was created by the Bhutan Foundation and manufactured by TSEM, a local entrepreneurial business started by two young Bhutanese parents with the support of the Loden Foundation, a partner of the Bhutan Foundation. TSEM aims to create sustainable and wooden toys sourced from local materials and produced for Bhutanese kids in order to curb the import of massive amounts of plastic toys and preserve the local environment.
We collaborated with the Royal Education Council (REC), the group responsible for writing Bhutan’s educational curriculum, to write age-appropriate stories about snow leopards for children of different reading levels. These educational tales range from describing the habitat and behavior of snow leopards to showing the importance of interdependent-living including conserving the cats’ population. The snow leopard books are accompanied by teacher’s guides, so the stories can be read and analyzed in the classroom.