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FEEDBACK FROM THE PARTICIPANTS “The rooms at Ahimsa were amazing, probably my favorite place to stay throughout my entire stay. There were always enough space and it was very clean. The meals provided by Lha kitchen were wonderful. I liked how there were always options to choose from.” - Bnanna Manieri “It was a very nice experience; I think the best in my life. I hope to return at least once in my life to volunteer here and help in Lha. I am very happy to see this kind of mutual help and kindness in all the people. I love Tibet.” - Palina Abad Venegas “Ahimsa house was great, the hot water, wifi and filtered water was great to have access to. The meals were excellent, I love all the vegetarian options. Breakfast was also excellent and the fruit was always fresh.” - Joanna Johnson

LHA’S CULTURAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM ‘Lha’ is a sacred Tibetan word that means awakened state of mind and fundamental nature of goodness. LHA CHARITABLE TRUST is a nonprofit social work organization founded in 1997 to aid the hundreds of thousands of Tibetans fleeing China in search for freedom from oppression and better opportunities. Lha registered with the Indian Government in 2005 with the aim to provide multiple social services to Tibetan refugees, the local Tibetan and Indian community, as well as foreign visitors. Lha is managed by Tibetan refugees, operates with the generous help of volunteers from around the world and partners with local and international NGOs. Lha is committed to generating an atmosphere of harmony and cooperation within the community by tending to the needs of the impoverished and underprivileged.

“It was amazing and very impressive being able to meet as many and as important people we met throughout this trip. It is definitely worth having, we learned a lot in every sense about Tibetan culture, beliefs and developments. It is also very impressive how we got to meet such important people in a worldwide level such as H.H. the Dalai Lama’s translator and the Prime Minister.” - Regina Rivero Rerkins “It was my favorite thing. Meeting with learning partners made me learn a ton and helped me feel at home here. I feel useful and lucky to have the opportunity.” - Anonymous “I love my mutual learning partner very much. The program has given me so much knowledge about what is happening in Tibet and what I can do as an American to help. I will continue to stay in touch with my learning partner after such a magnificent experience.” - Jenelle Parks “All lectures that we were exposed to were extremely well organized and informative. This allowed us to be more aware and remove our ignorance of many realities. Thank you.” - Emilie Grodmon

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HOW IT BEGAN

In 2002, Lha was asked by Tulane University’s School of Social Work to assist a group of graduate social work students on an international social work expedition to Dharamshala, and our cultural exchange program was born. Since then Lha has hosted growing numbers of cultural exchange groups from Universities and High schools, including Tulane University, Loyola University, Frostburg State University Maryland, Centenary College, Lifework International, Tec de Monterey University Mexico, and Rustic Pathways, with over 1,229 students participating to date.

ལྷ་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ཞབས་ཞུ་དང་ཤེས་ཡོན་ལྟེ་གནས་ཁང་།

Lha Charitable Trust

Institute For Social Work & Education

Lha is a resource of education and knowledge that provides meaningful multi-leveled social service for the benefit of others. Phone: +91 (0)1892-220992 Cell: +91 (0) 9882323455 Email: office@lhasocialwork.org www.lhasocialwork.org www.tibetnature.net www.samdhongrinpoche.com www.tibetfairtrade.com www.contactmagazine.net

Lha Social Work Lha Social Work Temple Road,McLeod Ganj 176219 Dharamsala, Distt. Kangra, H.P. INDIA


WHAT ARE OUR AIMS? The cultural exchange program aims to foster a deeper understanding of the situation of the Tibetan people, and to share the richness of Tibetan culture and traditions with visiting groups through the exchange of ideas and participation in meaningful social work projects in the Tibetan and local community. Each individual cultural exchange student is paired with a Tibetan ‘Mutual Learning Partner’. Students visit the homes of their new friends, meet members of their family and make friends in the Tibetan refugee community.

medicine, Tibetan Buddhism and culture. Lha can arrange local tours to places like Norbulingka, Gyuto Monastery, the Central Tibet Administration, the Tibetan Children’s Village School, Tsuglakhang, the Tibetan Library and the Men Tsee Khang Tibetan Medical Institute. RECEPTION: Upon your arrival in India, Lha can pick up your group at Delhi Airport and arrange safe and comfortable accommodation while you are in Delhi. If you would prefer to arrange your own accommodation we can assist with recommendations, if requested.

TIMING: Most groups come between May and September (though other months are available) and stay anywhere from one week to one month.

WHAT DOES IT COST?

Lha tailors each cultural exchange program to the requests of each group. The program cost is based on length of stay and the activities you choose. The Director of the Lha Charitable Trust, Mr Ngawang Rabgyal, will be pleased to discuss a program for your group. Email: director@lhasocialwork.org

ACCOMMODATION: Lha Ahimsa House provides comfortable accommodation for visiting cultural exchange groups, with access to a community kitchen and common room, and Wi-Fi. Lha can also provide meals, including breakfast and dinner. Tibetan and Indian style meals are served buffet-style, with five to seven different dishes, including vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

EVALUATION

WHAT WE CAN DO

COMMUNITY PROJECTS: Lha can arrange for short or long-term local projects such as environmental cleanup and awareness initiatives, health workshops, working in the community soup kitchen, and assisting the elderly. Longer-term projects include facilitating Lha’s Tibetan Smiles dental care and Clear Vision eye care programs. Lha also works with other local organizations to create projects that coincide with the exchange groups’ themes and needs. CULTURAL ACTIVITIES: Lha offers classes in Tibetan language and Tibetan cooking, and can arrange classes for exchange groups according to their interests. Lha also arranges lectures from well-known professionals on topics such as the political situation of Tibet, the social status of Tibetans in Tibet and those in exile, Tibetan

TIBETAN HOMESTAY: Depending on the number of host families available, Lha can arrange short or long-term homestays with Tibetan refugees, providing a unique opportunity to share the daily life of Tibetans in exile. Those interested in the Tibetan language will be able to practice their language skills, while teaching the family interesting facts about their home country. Applicants should be aware that the living standards of the local community may be lower than those they are used to.

Lha is committed to improving programs as they grow, so feedback from past cultural exchange students has been very important. Students have said they have felt a sense of personal growth and greater understanding of the world beyond their home; greater understanding of the Tibetan political situation; and changed attitudes leading to a wish for further activism in the future. Participating Tibetan students feel motivated to raise awareness about the situation of Tibetans in exile; improve their English conversation skills; and gain an insight into foreign culture. For Lha, the cultural exchanges provide the opportunity for advocacy, increased international credibility, and income to further the community programs. For all participants, the cultural exchange programs provide a unique opportunity for establishing long-term friendships.

Lha Cultural Exchange Programme Brochure 2015  

Lha Cultural Exchange Programme allows visiting foreign groups to interact with our students, to explore and learn more about the Tibetan cu...

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