Football fights Covid-19

Bhutan FA's orange warriors making nation proud

De-suup, the orange warriors of Bhutan
  • Twenty Bhutan Federation workers are volunteering to keep the nation safe
  • The 'de-suup' which means 'orange warrior' work around the clock
  • The programme is built on the idea of community service

As the entire world confronts the array of challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bhutan, a small landlocked kingdom in South Asia in the Eastern Himalayas, has managed to fight and contain the spread of the coronavirus due to extraordinary unity and determination.

De-suup, which means 'orange warrior', is the epitome of volunteerism and has become an integral part of the fight. The Bhutan Football Federation agreed to send 20 volunteers from various departments, including technical coaches, competitions, media and marketing and administrative workers, to participate in the noble cause.

“During these difficult times, we have to come together as a society. It gives me great joy and a sense of pride that our Federation staff, 14 men and six women, are currently serving our nation,” said Bhutan Football Federation President, Dasho Ugen Tsechup. 

The 20 orange warriors have been helping to guard borders in the south, to guard temples in the north, working as late night patrol and helping with rescue missions and any unforeseen events. The idea of the programme is built upon the spirit of volunteerism, the positive influence of ethics and the values of community service, integrity and civic responsibility.

All 20 volunteers underwent a one-month training programme to learn and assist the government with any help needed during the pandemic, to learn about safety measures and quarantine protocols and to learn how to guard hospitals and any crowded areas.

De-suup, the orange warriors of Bhutan

“It is our duty to serve the nation when needed”, said Mrs. Karma Choden Tshering, who works as a grassroots coach and is currently serving as a border patrol guard in Samtse near to India. "Bhutan is a very small country with limited people working in hospitals and the armed forces. It is a time of need and I am very happy that our federation's management team gave us their full support to do this."

The de-suup work around the clock and during odd hours to ensure the safety of all people.

Youth coach Mr. Ugyen Dorji was stationed at Phajoding Monastery, which is about a three-hour hike at an altitude of 3,600 metres above sea level from the capital Thimphu.

"I was stationed there for two weeks to monitor visitors, campers and hikers to ensure that they followed the COVID-19 safety procedures and also to assist them in any unforeseen events. It was very challenging since we had to walk up and down at least twice a day and in a tough climate."

FIFA applauds the volunteers for their work and the Bhutan Football Federation, who without any obligation or hesitation, approved the volunteer groups to serve the nation during these unprecedented times.

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