These text and pictures
are published under the permission of
The Office of Tibet,
the official agency of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in London
The Trust is the official channel through which funding from international donors is received and directed to the Tibetan Government in Exile in Dharamsala, India headed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In addition, the Trust helps administer humanitarian and development aid received by the Tibetan community in exile.
The aims of Tibet House Trust are to:
1) Relieve the poverty of people of Tibetan origin
2) Provide assistance in the fields of health and education
3) Support relief and rehabilitation projects for Tibetans
4) Preserve Tibetan identity and culture
Tibet was invaded by China in 1949. The Tibetan people’s resistance to China’s occupation and systematic oppression led to the Tibetan National Uprising on 10 March 1959 against Chinese rule in Tibet. This was ruthlessly crushed by the People’s Liberation Army of China. Tibet’s Head of State and Spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, together with some 80,000 Tibetans sought political asylum in India, Nepal and Bhutan. As a direct result of China’s invasion 1.2 million Tibetans have died, one fifth of Tibet's population.
Since 1959, thousands of refugees have continued to emerge from Tibet to escape Chinese persecution. In their effort to escape large numbers die, while others suffer untold hardship, privation and the risk of death from exposure – yet thousands still attempt the crossing each year. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of child-refugees attempting to leave. At the present time, over a quarter of the refugees are children, and almost half are young monks and nuns.
Those who succeed in making the journey are in urgent need of medical attention, food and shelter. And as they begin to adjust to life in exile they need access to education - and eventually opportunities for skills training and employment. Many of these refugees are former prisoners of conscience, having sustained torture and hardship in forced-labour camps, and as a result often suffer from mental and physical impairment.
ROLE OF TIBET HOUSE TRUST
The Trust has had a high degree of success in rehabilitating refugees and maintaining Tibet's unique culture and identity. Through the reception centres, monasteries, nunneries, hospitals, schools, training workshops and cultural education programmes, the Trust endeavours to endow refugees with the knowledge and skills they need to build lives in foreign environments in preparation for the time when they can return to their homeland. Tibet House Trust programme aims to reflect the aims and aspirations of the Tibetan community. It upholds the general social and economic development pursued by the Tibetan Government in Exile, under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Since its inception five years ago, the Trust has undertaken over 40 small and large projects. Over £500,000 has been raised and transferred to the various projects in India and Nepal. Below are some of the projects.
Buddhism Seminar in May 1999 in London
The Trust is delighted that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has accepted its invitation to give a two-and-a-half day teaching on the Tibetan Buddhist text Lojong – Transforming the Mind at Wembley Conference Centre. There will also be a public talk entitled Ethics for the New Millennium at the Royal Albert Hall, London for the run up to the new millennium.
The Eight Verses on Transforming the Mind is perhaps the most important text from a genre of eleventh century Tibetan spiritual writings. This short work has exerted a powerful influence on the ways of thinking of the Tibetan people.
Sponsorship of monks and
The Trust sends an annual donation to the Department of Religion and Culture of the Tibetan Government in Exile in support of some of the many monks and nuns who have fled Tibet to escape religious persecution. Monasteries and nunneries in India and Nepal are often overcrowded and living conditions very basic. These funds are used to help with daily subsistence and improve living conditions for these monks and nuns.
The Trust has sponsored 200 sick, disabled and elderly monks and nuns newly-arrived from Tibet. A small number of individual sponsors provide regular support for sick, elderly and disabled monks and nuns who have no other means of support. There are still many hundreds who need your help.
A cultural exhibition Tibet – Culture in View has been created with 52 photographs. It marks the beginning of a larger exhibition planned incorporating Tibet's history, religion, people, landscape, music and dance, and the threat posed to Tibetan culture and identity by Chinese occupation, population displacement, religious repression and environmental destruction. The first major exhibition was held at Hamiltons Gallery, London, in 1996.
Tibetan classes for Tibetan children in the United Kingdom
It is imperative that the Tibetan community sustains its traditional culture, language and identity while in exile. As a step towards this end, the Trust organises weekend Tibetan classes for UK-resident Tibetan children. The classes are attended by children aged 5 and up.
Sponsorship of school children through education
The Trust provides sponsorship for 104 school children from its general donation funds. A further 33 children are sponsored by individual sponsors through the sponsorship programme.
The children attend residential schools in India and Nepal. The funds are channelled through the Department of Education of the Tibetan Government in Exile which is responsible for overseeing the educational welfare of all Tibetan children. The funds cover the entire cost of their education, including school fees, clothing, books and food.
Within this programme, financial support is also given to 19 pupils at the Tibetan Children's Village for orphans or children whose parents remain in Tibet.
Sponsorship of young artists in Traditional Performing Arts The sponsorship programme also supports 15 junior artists at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), Dharamsala. TIPA is an important body for the preservation of Tibetan culture. The junior artists study the Tibetan curriculum alongside traditional arts of music, dance and opera.
Scholarship of university and college students
In 1994 the Tibet House Trust began a new sponsorship programme supporting university students. So far this programme has provided funds for 30 high achieving students from poor families. Many of these students have successfully graduated and are now working in the Tibetan community. Tibetan students rely on sponsorship for the opportunity for higher education.
The Trust is seeking to expand this programme through increased support from the international community. Degrees range from three to five years. Subjects include Medicine, Law, Business, Engineering, Social Science and Teacher Training.
Transit School in Dharamsala
Funds were sent to buy extra nutritional food for refugees studying at the Transit School in Dharamsala. The Transit School provides a basic education for newly arrived adult refugees who have been denied an education in Tibet. Further support is needed to provide books and improve basic living conditions of the school.
l Major statements made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Tibetan from 1959 to 1997 on Non-violence, Peace & Freedom
l Major International Declarations passed from 1959 to 1997 in support of preserving Tibetan language, cultural heritage and religion
l Primary School Text-books in Tibetan Language
l Statements and booklets written by former political prisoners on their experience in Tibet
New Refugees from Tibet
The Tibetan community continues to face an influx of traumatised, new refugees who have crossed the Himalayas in search of education and religious freedom. Most Tibetan refugees escape Tibet into Nepal, where they are directed to the refugee reception centre in Kathmandu. The reception centre provides the refugees with food and shelter for a few days, while arrangements are made for their journey to India. In 1997 the Tibet House Trust sent donations to provide new mattresses and blankets for the 171 beds at the Reception Centre in Dharamsala, where new refugees from Tibet stay after arriving from Nepal. Due to the growing number of new refugees the reception centres are increasingly stretched meeting the needs of these refugees and even more so the torture victims who require immediate care.
A special grant of £9,000 was made towards the rehabilitation of 15 former political prisoners who had escaped to Dharamsala after their release from prisons in Tibet by the Chinese authorities. Urgent funds are required for the rehabilitation of these former prisoners.
Old People’s Home
The Old People's Home in Dharamsala was too small to accommodate the large number of elderly requiring urgent residential care. The Trust made funds available for the extension of the old people's home.
Snowstorm Victims in Tibet
In February 1996 an earthquake and subsequent snowstorms devastated large areas of Eastern Tibet. It is estimated that over 700,000 livestock were lost, causing near starvation to 100,000 nomads and 55,000 to suffer from frostbite. Tibet House Trust joined a world-wide relief fund to give emergency aid to this disaster. The Office of Tibet and the Trust has raised and transferred almost £60,000.
Jangthang Snowstorm Emergency Aid
In October 1998 unseasonably early snowfall in the Jangthang region in Ladakh trapped more than 3000 Tibetan refugees and their livestock. In response to an emergency appeal from the area, the Trust sent £4,500 towards relief work.
Yatra and Pagden Project
Training of 15 young Tibetans in traditional Tibetan weaving at Choephelling Tibetan Settlement, Miao, one of the most remote settlements in north-eastern India.
Primary Health Care
Support of Primary Health Care Services in the settlements for health care and the supplementary salaries of over a hundred Community Health Workers.
Over a quarter of all new refugees are children. Under severe weather conditions over the Himalayan mountains, many escapees die in their attempts. For others who do make it many fall victim to frostbite and exposure. The Trust directed funds towards emergency medical treatment.
A life saving operation for a young girl
A 15-year-old Tibetan girl born with a heart condition had a successful operation at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. According to her specialist further delay would have cost the young girl her life. The Trust facilitated her travel from Nepal to London for this urgent heart operation.
Torture Survivors Programme
l Livelihood training for 30 torture victims
l Medical and psychiatric counselling treatment for 15 torture victims
l Rehabilitation of 15 torture victims,unable to earn their livelihood
FUNDS SECURED FROM DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
A grant of £288,000 has been approved by the Department of International Development of the UK government for the Tibetan Refugee Scholarship and Vocational Training Programme. This grant will ensure three years' college scholarship for 150 students and two years' vocational training scholarship for 250 students.
FUNDS SECURED FROM EUROPEAN COMMISSION
A New School Complex for Tibetan Children in Northern India European Commission funding has now been received to finance the construction of a new school complex for 650 Tibetan children from remote areas along the Indo-Tibetan border. Tibet House Trust has been selected by the European Commission to be the Euro-Tibetan NGO acting as implementing partner in this work. The construction of a new school will be in Gangtok. This school will be one of the largest projects recently undertaken by the Tibetan community. In addition, EC funds have been secured for the construction of staff quarters for 15 staff members at the Manali School in northern India.
Garment and Textile Design Centre in Southern India The European Commission is financially supporting a project to construct, equip and maintain the first year of development a training centre offering one-year vocational courses in garment trade disciplines to 115 Tibetan refugees in Bangalore, India.
Shelter and Housing Development in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal A substantial sum has been provided for the renovation of 137 dwellings for 685 Tibetan refugee employees of Jawalakhel Handicraft Centre and 24 new apartments for 90 workers without accommodation there, plus a new kindergarten affiliated with Songsten Brikuti High School.
Construction of Vocational & Technical School in Nepal This project will provide vocational and technical training to 100 students. There is an urgent need area due to the high proportion of young unemployed Tibetan refugees in Nepal. The following curriculum is planned for the centre – accountancy, secretarial, tailoring, plumbing, welding, electrical & electronic engineering, motor engineering etc. The school will gradually be upgraded to an Industrial Training Institute.
Make a donation
The Tibetan Refugee community is doing its utmost to become self-reliant but the assistance of the international community is needed to support this effort. Tibetans already raise one third of their own total development expenditure. The Trust funds projects that help Tibetan people to help themselves and to work towards self-reliance.
Tibet House Trust can claim back tax on single Gift Aid donations of over £250 from individuals and small companies, and on single donations of any size from large companies. The Trust can forward to you appropriate documentation for a Gift Aid donation.
Become a sponsor As a sponsor you will be providing part of a long-term programme of support. Your donation is used in a highly effective way. Sponsors help the Tibetan community to work towards their goal of self-sufficiency.
All applications for donations or sponsorships are sent to the Trust by the Tibetan Government in Exile. The Trust ensures all funds given by donors and sponsors are sent to the recipients. In return reports are provided with updates on projects and the progress of those sponsored are monitored.
If you want to become a sponsor please write to sponsorship secretary who will send you a case history of a Tibetan requiring your financial support.
Sponsorship cost is £13 a month (£156 a year) for most programmes. Payments can be monthly, quarterly or annually by standing order.
The Tibet House Trust is run by volunteers, both Tibetans and non Tibetans for Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal.
TIBET HOUSE TRUST
1 CULWORTH STREET
LONDON NW8 7AF
Tel: 020 7722 5378
Fax: 020 7722 0362