April 8, 2015

NEWS / TV: UNICEF co-sponsored TV documentary gives unique insights into the lives of child monks

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, 4 April 2015 - Today the Czech Television featured a documentary titled "The Little Monk", which was co-produced by the Czech Committee for UNICEF with the support of UNICEF Bhutan. The documentary presents the life-stories of three boys who were by various circumstances forced to enter a monastery. For centuries, monastic institutions in Bhutan have provided shelter to orphans and children from the poorest families and it is estimated that they currently cater for over 4,000 boys.

The situations that these little monks must cope with behind monastery walls are in many respects characteristic for the country. UNICEF's priority is to satisfy the basic needs of these children, i.e. provide safe water, sanitation, hygiene, and healthcare. In partnership with Bhutan's Office for the Management of Monasteries (Dratshang Lhengtshog), UNICEF strives to ensure that the child monks continue their education and are protected from violence, corporal punishments and all forms of abuse.

The documentary was filmed in October 2014 in the Kabesa, Punakha and Paro regions. 

"I am happy that after five years, we were able to follow up on the story of a boy called Jamtso, whose life was depicted in an earlier documentary Forgotten children. The viewers are able to see a complex image of life-stories and thus better understand the variety of reasons why young boys become monks. It is a unique opportunity not only to become a part of their lives even for a short while but also to make a difference by making a contribution to support UNICEF programs in Bhutan," says Pavla Gomba, Executive Director of the Czech National Committee for UNICEF.

The newly appointed Czech Goodwill Ambassador, the actress Jitka Cvancarova, also participated in the making of this documentary and presented a symbolic cheque for $117,000 to the representatives of UNICEF Bhutan. The money fundraised from Czech donors will be used to support UNICEF WASH and child protection programs in Bhutan.

Source: UNICEF

Info in Czech at UNICEF Czech Republic

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