Press Release on the Signing Ceremony of the “Memorandum of Understanding” (MoU) between the BUSSI-EN International Social Welfare Organization and the Ability Bhutan Society”

On the 16th of June 2018, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, Honourable Chairperson of Ability Bhutan Society (ABS), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with His Eminence Ryosei Oya, President of Bussi-En International Social Welfare Organization (Bussi-En).

The Bussi-En International Social Welfare Organization (“Bussi-En”) was founded in 1960 in Japan as a holistic supporting facility for persons with disabilities. Bussi-En has been providing pioneer and comprehensive social inclusion services not only in the field of social welfare for persons with disabilities but also in the field of community revitalization through its concept of “Gochamaze” which refers to a holistic interaction among all walks of life and regardless of individual backgrounds and abilities. Bussi-En currently operates three residential facilities, thirteen job supporting facilities, five day-care facilities, and twenty-one group homes with its comprehensive and practical Social Inclusion supports.

Ability Bhutan Society (ABS) is a public Benefit organization (PBO) founded on the recognition that persons with moderate to severe diverse abilities, primarily children and their families, have special needs. ABS is under the Civil Society Organization Authority of Bhutan (CSOA). The concept of ABS was inspired by the vision of His Majesty The King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of a compassionate and just society. ABS is under The Royal Patronage of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, the Queen of Bhutan. The objective of ABS is to provide highly qualified services for, and it advocates for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Bhutanese society.

His Eminence, The Bussi-En President Ryosei Oya, remarked at the recent signing of the MoU with ABS that “most countries divide society in vertical ways where persons with disabilities, senior citizens and people who are socially vulnerable are secluded from society by keeping them in facilities where there is no interaction with other citizens. Such countries may believe that secluding them helps to protect them from possible social harm. However, after realizing the importance and the sustainability of real social inclusion where socially vulnerable citizens also have equal rights, capacities and abilities to contribute to their society if given the right opportunities, responsibilities and support, many countries have been dedicating much effort to remove the vertical barriers in order to realize real and practical social inclusion.” His Eminence also said that “I have a strong faith in Bhutan where people are compassionate, and thus we can go beyond these vertical social divisions to realize real social inclusion through practical action. Bussi-En is pleased to be a part of the contribution for an inclusive society in Bhutan and looks forward to working collaboratively with Ability Bhutan Society.”

The Honourable Chairperson of ABS, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, said: “with the signing of the MoU today, we are glad that soon Bhutan and its persons with disabilities will be able to accrue benefits from the many years of valuable experience of Bussi-En.” Dasho further remarked: “we look forward to creating many replicas of Bussi-En’s ‘Share Kanazawa’ concept model in Bhutan starting with one in the Thimphu Dzongkhag”. These will be communities that promote social inclusion in line with our philosophy of governance and development that intends to carry everyone along and include everyone, irrespective of physical, mental and cognitive conditions. Societies and organizations that are sensitive to the needs and potentials of every member of their community are in line with the shared vision and mission of Bussi-En, ABS and their founders.

As well as sharing expertise, both organizations will work together on the promotion of social inclusion, the organization of workshops, conferences and training, seminars, the development of projects, and the dissemination of activities through publications.