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Bhutan is a small, landlocked country situated in the eastern Himalayas between India and China. Isolated from the rest of the world for centuries, Bhutan began to open up to outsiders in the 1970s, and in recent years has seen a reduction in poverty and improvements in human development indicators. The country’s strong focus on gross national happiness reflects a strong commitment to the humanitarian needs of people and society as a whole.

Through the AVID program, Australian volunteers will work in the agriculture, health and education sectors. Volunteers will work to improve access to quality health services, assist with making high-quality education accessible to children with special needs, and help the people of Bhutan to benefit from the natural environment in a way which is sustainable.

Bhutan is a strongly Buddhist society, and the preservation of culture is of fundamental importance to Bhutan and a core pillar of gross national happiness. Foreign visitors living in Bhutan are viewed positively and are accepted within the community.

Find out more about Bhutan by visiting the country specific Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Smart Traveller sites.

Bhutan - location info

  • Thimpu
  • Paro

Bhutan’s capital city, Thimphu, is located in a valley in the western-central part of the country. Thimphu is the political and economic centre of Bhutan, where the modern, commercial sector is juxtaposed with traditional cobbled paths, robed monks and Buddhist monasteries. Thimphu has a population of approximately 100,000 people, and is home to the Bhutanese Royal Family.

Paro is located approximately 1.5 hours from the capital, Thimphu. Paro receives a high amount of tourists, due to the international airport being located in the city, but also its reputation for hiking and trekking trails. There are a considerable number of shops, and a lot of hotels and arts and crafts venues.


The AVID program in Bhutan has a shared vision with our host organisations for sustainable development in the health, education, agriculture and forestry sectors, with a focus on human capacity enhancement.

The need for skilled Australians with experience in inclusive education, counselling and teacher training shapes the work of the AVID program in the education sector.

With free universal health care as the national policy (for both citizens and foreigners), there is a dire shortage of skilled health professionals to service this ever growing need. Thus, the focus of the AVID program in the health sector is to address the need for capacity development of local health professionals and to help improve the services delivered to patients.

As outlined in Bhutan’s constitution, 60 percent of Bhutan’s land must be covered by forest at all times. With a growing economy and expanding settlements, there is a need for an innovative and efficient approach to be taken to achieve sustainable economic development. Australian volunteers work in the agriculture and forestry sectors helps to preserve Bhutan's pristine natural environment through sustainable development approaches.

- Bhutan In-Country Manager, Yeshey Lhaden

In Country Management

In Country Management TeamsEach and every country we work in has its own dedicated In- Country Management Team (ICM Team). These teams develop assignments in consultation with Host Organisations and provide extensive support to volunteers in country. 

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