Seng girls update march 2017

Page 1

MARCH 2017



Table of Contents


Individual, capable, fun loving girls


Dockpo - The father of SGVTS


Weekends of happiness


The opportunity of my life


An easy decision


Thangka classes


Grade 6 graduation


Christmas at Eden


13 hour day - worth every moment


The most incredible night


A Dancing Future


You can become involved today



Andrew and Dockpo & Yong Dan with the Grade 1 girls.

Individual, capable, fun loving girls Spending several days at the Seng Girls Home was one of the highlights of my year. Eight years of history with Captivating as the primary funding partner of the girls home enables you the opportunity of taking a step back to consider how far the program has come. Since those early days where 40 girls were taken in by Dockpo and his family, the program now supports 151 girls with well over 200 girls having come through this program. It is a program that has certainly changed lives - taking girls from situations of desperation in most cases - to positions where they have realistic choices about what to do next with their lives. Most critical to this program is the quality of what takes place in the classroom. Finding capable teachers willing to relocate to a remote location has always been a major challenge for Dockpo. I was very excited to meet a new mature-age couple [photo right] who had just joined the program as the new School Directors. They are a beautiful and experienced couple with Yong Dan working to build in more professional structure into the school program, and his wife, E Lie acting as the “house mother� to all the girls ensuring they feel safe, loved, secure and valued.




Suddenly I saw every girl for who she was - an individual, capable, fun loving child no different in personal capability to any other child of the world.

Challenges for the girls’ home are always present. The operating budget that exists covers the very basics, but there are always other unplanned expenses. Regular health programs are a big issue with generally poor hygiene practices by new students quickly impacting the others. Thought is being given to employing the services of a full-time nurse at the home to address both these issues. The winters are so long and cold with temperatures dipping below 40c on a regular basis. But, the program is now a tough one, and everyone just copes and moves forward. When I visit projects, I mostly try to keep focused on checklists, audits and program objectives. However, I have to say that I found my mind wandering during this visit - in a good way. It was a trip that I almost felt it necessary to set the to-do list to one side, and just enjoy the experience. Enjoy what the girls home has become. Dockpo and his team are to be commended for what they have built here. It is, quite simply, a house of rescue, restoration, and rehabilitation for girls that would otherwise be unschooled, unregistered, and unable to look forward to reasonable life choices. I made the mistake of taking a few [very close up] pictures of some of the girls in their classroom. What started as normal straight-faced photos quickly became pictures of girls smiling, rolling their eyes, and pulling funny faces. I think their individual sponsors will enjoy seeing some of them. But, something else happened. Suddenly I saw every girl for who she was - an individual, capable, fun loving child no different in personal capability to any other child of the world. The difference is these girls had nothing. Then Dockpo and the girls home entered their lives. Happy days. I love this program and all that it is becoming.

Andrew Colquhoun

Co-Founder & CEO Captivating International


Andrew with the Grade 2 girls.

Andrew with the Grade 3 girls.

Andrew with the Grade 5 girls.

Andrew with the Grade 4 girls.

Andrew with some of the year 6 girls.

A quick overview

SGVTS run their own school up to Grade 6. 96 girls are currently working through these grades. As soon as they complete Grade 6, Dockpo looks for the next best steps for the girl. This could be going into a vocational development program to learn a trade, or if they have academic potential, we will look for advanced schooling opportunities. Currently, 55 girls are in advanced learning opportunities spread around China. As soon as a girl leaves the girls home, her place is quickly filled with another girl from a remote location who is assessed by Dockpo to be in a situation of concern and who is waiting for her chance. At time of writing, 123 sponsors from all around the world form our special SGVTS Child Sponsorship Family, some of whom have been sponsoring girls for over 6 years now. It’s because of our sponsorship family that, each one of these girls now has a future of education and opportunity.


Thank You Li & Fung Foundation

Thanks to funding from the Li & Fung Foundation, Cooking and Tailoring Programs were implemented and have been skilling girls in the arts of cooking and tailoring, learning important skills capable of leading them into future work. Li & Fung Foundation has also funded an Arts & Painting program in Xining for graduating girls from SGVTS. And if that isn’t enough, 150 new mattresses and 70 new quilts were donated to the girls to keep them warm and comfortable during the long, cold winters. Then, to top it all off, funds were donated to purchase 6 new sewing machines and to establish a Caterpillar Fungus business to create a steady income for the school. We are especially grateful to employees from Li & Fung who have got behind child-sponsorship again this year.

Dockpo – The father of SGVTS Dockpo was born in Qinghai Tibetan Autonomous Region. His father was a living Buddha and doctor and every day lots of people would come to worship him. When Dockpo was 21 years old he went to Boston on business. His life was very comfortable until one day he got news of his father’s illness. In the final hour of his life, his father told Dockpo to do a good deed to fulfil his life. Dockpo knew that in remote Tibetan areas, some people valued boys and there were many girls becoming orphans or street children. Some children would get up every morning at 4am to herd sheep and only have one meal to eat the whole day. When he saw them, his heart was deeply hurt. All these poor girls were like the Gesang flowers pressed under a thick snow. He decided to fulfil his life by helping these girls. He exhausted all he had and opened an orphanage – a home for girls. Starting with 15 girls, Dockpo and his family tried his best to take care of each child despite the many difficulties he faced every day. In 2006 the Seng Girls Vocational Training School & Home was established and girls registered. It now cares for 151 girls including 96 girls in SGVTS on site and 55 vocational girls. SGVTS has grown over the years and is now able to offer graduating girls the opportunity to continue their senior education at Medical School, Art School or Dance School.


Weekends of happiness by Serr Tso (Child Sponsorship Coordinator – SGVTS)

Weekends are always exciting days for everyone at Seng Girls Vocational School and home (SGVTS). The days are filled with fun and games along with catching up on chores. After two classes on Saturday morning, the students all rush onto the playground to do their daily exercises. Then the teacher reads the names of those who did not perform well in the dorm or the classroom that week and they will have to spend their weekend cleaning up the campus and the canteen area. This encourages all the students to perform their best during the week. The canteen room is long and the cook has the fire going everyday, which makes the room warm and comfortable for the students to enjoy relaxing. Some of the students play football and basketball with the teachers. The newest sport that we love to play is soccer and we are all learning the rules and having so much fun together. Some of the girls like to use the weekends to practice their dance skills in front of a mini speaker.

Serr Tso was supported by SGVTS from 2011 to 2014. She is now our child sponsorship coordinator.

During the weekends, we all have time to wash our clothes. Some of the younger ones need help from the older girls to finish their pile of clothes. This always take a couple of hours to do but we all love to have clean clothes again. There are always so many things happening at SGVTS and everyday is filled with joy and happiness as we live as one big family.


The Opportunity of My Life My name is Erge Duo and I graduated from Aba Secondary Vocational and Technical School. I‘ve started teaching Tibetan at SGVTS since July 2016. Teaching at this girl’s school wasn’t my first choice or let’s say it was not in my plans, but in China we always say plans can’t catch up with changes. It was in the middle of June when I got the opportunity to work here. Of course, what attracted me in the first place was not the job opportunity but the experience and growth this job would bring me. As a teacher, I would learn so many skills such as management, risk control and language proficiency. Before I began work here, I already learnt about the humble nature and benefit this school brings. In this modern century, there are still old fuddy-duddies who believe that women should be born to milk the cows. In such a belief, the girls are deprived of the opportunity to receive an education. To provide more education opportunities to these girls is a very favorable stone to strike this obsolete perception. The school, as I have experienced, is definitely executing the idea they have promoted, from management to the teachers and students, we are all carrying on the plan and mission. I come from a Tibetan community in Sichuan province, which makes adapting to the life here easy. The most comforting thing is to see the growth and the changes occurring in the kids, even a tiny achievement can be a big motivation for me to stay here. For now, my goal is helping the new students to read more words, step by step, a little progress a day is better than wandering about without a goal. I would not give up this opportunity for anything.


An Easy Decision My name is Kaien Ma, and I graduated from university in 2015, majoring in nutrition. In August, 2016 I came to Qinghai Seng Girls School. Since then I have been volunteering as the school’s English teacher, teaching students from grade three to six. Being a volunteer teacher has always been my desire and passion and to dedicate my own hands somewhere that is needed. When I found out that the Seng Girls School needed English teachers, I came here without a least of hesitation. The facilities here are much better than what I imagined! There are very good teaching facilities and a functional dormitory building. One of the biggest difficulties is the obstacle of communication. The girls’ home language is Tibetan and their second language is Chinese, of which they have limited understanding. Learning a third language is very difficult for these girls. I do not give up easily, and as I am the only English teacher here, I cannot give up. If the children do not understand, I would explain again and again. If they cannot understand this way, I use other way, or review it again after a while, and leave them some time to digest the new information. I want to bring the child, not only book knowledge and extracurricular knowledge, but also the criteria for life and the ability of self-learning. I hope to stimulate their learning potential toward their dreams, to be an excellent person and contribute to society!



You may be asking the question, “What is Thangka?� Thangka is the Tibetan Buddhist art of painting on cotton or silk. It is deeply steeped in Tibetan history and culture. There are currently 11 girls in this class. The artistic talent in this room is amazing. The girls are learning a very intricate form of art and producing amazing pieces of work.


Graduating primary school is a massive achievement for girls who live in remote China. 8 girls will be graduating in July this year, ready for the next step in their education. Schooling at Seng Girls Vocational Training School only goes to grade 6, so the school is now looking for opportunities for these girls in other schools where they can continue their education. Some of last years girls have moved to Beijing to complete middle school. Others are continuing their learning at SGVTS in the Tangka classes becoming amazing artists. We wish these girls every success as they continue to grow, learn and make a difference in the world around them.


PROJECT EDEN specifically functions as a place

Christmas at Eden - by the girls at Project Eden

of safety and a “home away from home” for some of the girls from the Seng Girls Home who have graduated from the SGVTS program. Eden’s goal and purpose has always remained the same for children under their care – to know they are loved, precious, to prepare them to be kind and responsible adults, to see them through a vocational program of their choice, and to be fully functioning members of society. There are currently 8 girls living and studying at Eden. All the girls will graduate from vocational college over the next 2.5 years. This past Christmas was a special time for the Eden family and the girls would like to share their happy Christmas experience with you.

What a happy Christmas! Christmas 2016, was a happy day; thinking of it, our hearts bloom in brilliant flowers, happy and excited! On Christmas day, the weather was chilly, but it never stopped Christmas from coming. Beautiful Christmas trees were set in front of stores in the street; the supermarket employees wore lovely Christmas hats and everywhere was permeated with warm atmosphere. We definitely wanted to hold a special Christmas party. After a whole morning of planning, we put a picture of Santa Clause with a big beard on the window, then a spray of white snow. The table was filled with our favorite snacks, as well as hand-made fruit salad. Our big family sat together, hand in hand, looking at each other and talking. We felt warm in the little room and in our hearts. The most exciting moment was the exchanging of gifts. We were not only given a gift but also conveyed our words and heartfelt gratitude to our teachers. The teachers were all touched by our words. Our teachers treat us as their own children, teaching us knowledge and the truth in life. They wipe our tears and get rid of fear and inspire us to be brave and strong. We would still be the timid Tibetan girls and wouldn’t make any progress without their encouragement and support. All too soon, our party came to the end. We are grateful for having such a wonderful holiday. On this special day we didn’t feel the cold of the weather, on the contrary it warmed not only us, but also the world.


13 hour days – Worth every moment! 7 girls, who graduated from Seng Girls Vocational School, have been given the opportunity of their lives to go to medical school and study nursing. This is a 4 year, Tibetan Medical Program which includes oneyear internship. Two girls began their studies in 2013, one in 2014 and four in 2015. These girls have shown great determination and are among the top students in their classes. Two of these girls are almost ready to graduate and enter their new career as medical assistants. Lahrchem is go grateful for this opportunity and tells us “This opportunity means so much to me. I have almost completed my internship and have appreciated the opportunity to practice the things I have learned from the books. Every week I spend most of my time in the hospital and sometimes I also work extra times on weekends”. These girls have worked incredibly hard and have learned so much. Santen is almost ready to graduate as well and she says that her study time has gone so quickly. “My studies ended quicker than I expected. I enjoy spending time with my classmates and we talk about our internship experiences. I am enjoying my final year putting in to practice the things that I have learned.” This dream began more recently for 5 other girls. They are half way through their studies and are excited for the future. “I wake up at 4am and go to bed at 10pm. I spend most of my time studying. Reciting the Medicine Canon is my goal this semester, which is essential for a good nurse to master lots of useful knowledge”, says one of the girls.

The medical knowledge I have had here has opened up my mind greatly. Every day my mind is like a sponge, which absorbs a great amount of knowledge and new skills.

“This year we learned Obstetrics and Gynecology. As a girl, I understand my body more and have learned how to protect it. Nurses always shoulder the honorable mission to save people’s lives. I want to be a nurse so I can take care of people.” We are so proud of all these girls who are making it their mission to give back to their communities and make the world a better place.

Thank you to KONG and to David & Adele, Carmen, Tom & Shelly, Scott & Judene, Gayle, Tom & Jackie, Sonya, Patricia & Whalen Supply Chain for your making it possible for these girls to study and not just better their own lives but have the capacity to better the lives of countless others.


The most incredible night Captivating was honored to have Jigmed attend our annual charity auction in October last year. Jigmed graduated from Seng Girls Vocational School and is now studying art in Xining. Jigmed is incredibly talented and dreams of becoming a professional painter. During her 3 year course, Jigmed is also learning normal high school subjects such as Chinese, Math, Politics and History.

“I was able to attend the Captivating Annual Charity Auction in Shenzhen in October 2016. My artwork was sold along with many other wonderful items. I felt so touched that I could help our school through my own ability. The auction was a grand event and I am so grateful that I was able to be part of it - I will never forget it.� Thank you Leisa for supporting Jigmed with her living expenses and thank you Li

Foundation for sponsoring her tuition costs.


& Fung

Jigmed will be graduating later this year.

A Dancing Future October 2016 is always a high point in the Captivating calendar. Once again, the Shenzhen Charity Federation Captivating Annual Charity Auction night

was a huge success. One of the features of the night were the SENGCHAM DRUGMO HEROINES OF THE KING GESAR OPERA. These young ladies are all graduates of Seng Girls Vocational Training School because of a number of wonderful sponsors. Although these girls are no longer supported by Captivating and our child sponsorship family, through the years we have watched them grow, learn and develop their gifts and talents into a team of beautiful dancers. We are so proud of them. It is our desire to see all girls who come from the poorest of the poor, given a chance to grow and prosper. We are so grateful this project is receiving consistent support from donors and friends – Our thank to New Day Asia who fully sponsor this program.


YOU CAN BECOME INVOLVED TODAY CONTACT Daniella May at or Andrew Colquhoun at


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