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

Lha Charitable Trust

Institute For Social Work & Education

Lha is a resource for education and knowledge that provides meaningful, multi-leveled social and education services for the benefit of others. Contact us: Ph: + 91 (0) 1892-220992 Cell: +91 (0) 9882323455 office@lhasocialwork.org

Lha Social Work

www.lhasocialwork.org www.samdhongrinpoche.com www.contactmagazine.net www.tibetnature.net www.tibetfairtrade.com

Lha Social Work


BACKGROUND Since 1959, hundreds of thousands of Tibetans have been forced to leave their homeland in pursuit of the freedoms and opportunities denied under Chinese occupation. Every year, new refugees arrive in India after an arduous journey, carrying only an armful of personal belongings. Refugees arrive with little or no education, speaking only Tibetan, and possessing no viable job skills to support themselves and their families. Furthermore, it is difficult for adults and older refugees to receive an adequate education in India due to school system requirements.

Adviser, Board of Trustees and staff members of Lha Charitable Trust, 2014

Lha plays a crucial role in facilitating the transition of Tibetan refugees from their homeland to the Indian community by providing long-term rehabilitation and education resources. Each year, programs and projects are adjusted to meet the conditions and needs of the region. Yet the commitment remains constant: to help the Tibetan people survive and prosper in their new home and to preserve their profoundly unique culture. In addition, Lha offers volunteers and students the opportunity to engage in meaningful community service and social work. Lha seeks to generate an atmosphere of harmony and co-operation within the community by tending to the needs of the impoverished and underprivileged.

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Lha is unique in the range and quality of services it offers. These include English, French, Chinese and German classes, individual tutoring, Soup Kitchen, Clean Water Projects, the monthly Contact magazine, Cultural Exchange programs, Computer classes, a wide array of volunteer opportunities, Health and HIV/AIDS awareneness education, Environmental awareness initiatives, free distribution of clothes and medicine, vocational training, the Lha Tibet Fair Trade (LTFT), a public library and many other programs and activities. On a daily basis, Lha serves over 200 people, hosts between 15 to 25 volunteers and provides up to 25 different services including on average 50 to 60 meals per day for people who need it.

Lha’s General Secretary, Ms. Dukthen Kyi making a presentation about Lha during the South Asia-wide 3rd eNGO Challenge Award ceremony at New Delhi in 2014.

In 2014 Lha was awarded second place in the category of “Best Practices of Social Media Usage” in the South Asia-wide 3rd eNGO Challenge Award – Celebrating Digital Information Tools for Communities – South Asia. The Award recognizes the best non-government organisational practices of using information and communication technologies. The presentation ceremony was held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi on November 5. From thousands of NGOs around South Asia, 307 NGOs from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were nominated.

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OBJECTIVES 1. To provide a meaningful multi-leveled social services to Tibetan refugees as well as to the local Indian population and people from the Himalayan region. 2. To provide Tibetan refugees with education and health services, as well as the skills and assistance needed to build a new life in exile. 3. To facilitate meaningful mutual learning and cultural exchange experiences between Tibetans, volunteers and groups of students who visit from countries around the world. 4. To create awareness about the Tibetan refugee situation and preserve the endangered Tibetan culture. 5. To generate an atmosphere of harmony and co-operation within the community.

MISSION STATEMENT

Lha is a resource for education and knowledge that provides meaningful, multi-leveled social and education services for the benefit of others.

WHO WE ARE Lha is a sacred Tibetan word that means the fully-awakened state of mind and alludes to the fundamental nature of goodness. When the enlightened state of mind manifests as a sublime being to help guide beings towards enlightenment, it appears as a benevolent divine figure. The word Lha, therefore, means Deity and Divine. •

Lha Charitable Trust is a grass-roots, 12AA and 80G non-profit and one of the largest Tibetan social work organization based in Dharamshala, India. We aim to provide vital resources for Tibetan refugees, the local Indian population and people from the Himalayan regions. Founded in 1997 and registered as a charitable trust by the Indian Government in 2005, Lha has continuously provided vital resources to those in need for over 18 years. Lha’s financial accounts are audited annually by a government approved chartered accountant and tax return certificates are issued by income tax department, Government of India. Lha comprises many different local and international contributors. The organization is managed by local Tibetan refugees who draw their expertise from firsthand knowledge of what it means to live in exile. To supplement staff efforts, Lha is fuelled by volunteers and generous donors from around the world.

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PARTNERSHIPS:

A group of Lha’s exchange students from Mexico with CTA representatives.

VOLUNTEER

Lha works in conjunction with various local and international organizations to build a strong network of affiliates, working towards the improvement of community and social services. International organizations include Louisiana Himalaya Association “LHA”, Omprakash Foundation, Tulane University, Tec de Monterey University Mexico, Loyola University, Centenary College, Lifework International, the Tibet Fund, the Tibetan Friendship Group Australia, Rustic Pathways, and the TibetFreunde Swiss, while local partners include the Central Tibet Administration, Dharamshala Rotary Club, and Delek Hospital, as well as many Tibetan NGOs.

GET INVOLVED

Lha is the largest volunteer host and co-ordinating organization operating in the Tibetan refugee community in Dharamshala, India. A wide array of meaningful volunteer opportunities are available for both skilled and unskilled individuals. Most volunteers work directly with Lha, while others are placed throughout the community with other NGOs. Every year, approximately 600 individuals donate their time and energy to Lha – about 15 to 25 volunteers at any given time. Till now over 6,291 volunteers from 40 different countries have contributed to our organization.

For more information, contact Lha’s Volunteer Coordinator or visit www.lhasocialwork.org and apply online.

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Voulunteers and staff sharing experiences during the social gathering at Ahimsa house.

Lha offers a wide variety of long and short-term, as well as prearranged and drop-in, volunteer opportunities at no cost for both individuals and groups. Volunteers from all different walks of life are welcomed, but Lha has ongoing needs for professionals in the areas listed below:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Language and computer teachers Language tutors Project professionals Fundraisers and grant writers Computer and IT professionals Web designers and developers Human rights researchers Journalists and editors Massage therapists and instructors Chefs and cooks Medical, healthcare Environmental professionals E-marketing professionals Business consulting professionals Fashion designers 6

Volunteers and Staff members after the celebration of Tibetan New Year in 2014 at Ahimsa House.


DONATE

Generous financial support from individuals, volunteers and organizations allows Lha to provide a variety of FREE social services to the Tibetan refugees and local Indian community. With our limited financial resources, Lha is made possible through the tireless dedication of our staff who work long hours on base-level salaries as well as our volunteers who donate their valuable time and energy. Lha works hard to operate with minimum administrative costs to produce the maximum output. But in order to contend with the ever-growing needs of the community, we depend on donors like you. Organizing student exchange groups and arranging student groups and volunteers’ stay in Lha’s Ahimsa House has enabled Lha to raise revenue to become more self-sufficient and sustainable in providing our daily social services, including our multi-language and computer classes. However, to keep up with the growing needs of the community, and to maintain the operation of our other social services and special projects such as the soup kitchen, Contact magazine, eye exam, dental and health care, HIV/AIDS awareness, clean water project, preservation of Tibetan language and culture, and environmental initiatives, we continue to rely on generous donations and volunteer support. Since Lha was founded in 1997, we have continued to be inspired by the compassion, dedication and generous contributions of supporters and thousands of volunteers from around the globe. With your support, we hope to continue providing these invaluable services to the Tibetan refugee and local communities to engage in new initiatives in the coming years.

One of the delicious vegetarian lunches served at Lha’s community soup kitchen made possible by donations.

MATERIAL DONATIONS are crucial to aiding and supporting the local refugee community. Lha’s donation drop-off center accepts items including medicine, clothing, books, office and classroom supplies, kitchen equipment, used laptops and electronics, etc. Items are distributed each month to those most in need.

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By making a donation, you can support Lha’s efforts to: • • • •

Provide free social services to Tibetan refugees and the local Indian community Expand and improve our programs Support Tibetan refugees with educational and health services, as well as the skills and assistance needed to build a new life in exile Create awareness about the Tibetan refugee situation and preserve the endangered Tibetan culture. Your donations to Lha, no matter how large or small, help us improve and increase our services. Projects benefitting from donations are: the soup kitchen, clean drinking water, HIV/AIDS education, eye exam, Contact Magazine, environmental awareness, and dental health.

FREE COMMUNITY PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

Students participating in one of Lha’s many language classes.

LANGUAGE CLASSES •

Language classes have been taking place at Lha since 1999. Currently, 100 to 120 students per month participate in the language classes at Lha. On a daily basis, Lha offers classes in English, French, Chinese, German and Tibetan, all at varying ability levels. Lha also offers a tutoring program to supplement each language class. All courses are staffed by volunteer teachers and are open to the public. In 2014 a new Lha English curriculum book was introduced for the Elementary, Beginner and Intermediate level English classes based on the Standard English curriculum of the Common European Framework for Reference (CEFR). 2,678 students attended language classes in 2014, including 796 new enrollments. To date,

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• • • •

over 10,317 students have benefited from our language classes, developing skills to help in obtaining employment and increasing self-confidence. In the future, Lha plans to add more intensive courses and provide students with certificates of completion. Lha’s classes have dramatically improved the language skills of thousands of students. For Tibetan refugees, English and Chinese are essential for finding employment and establishing a productive life in exile and in Tibet, while French and German are useful abroad. Lha does not limit the number of students or the duration of study; however, students are required to make a minimum commitment of one month. The majority of students attend classes for at least two to six months and approximately 40% continue their studies for one to three additional years. Lha also offers Tibetan school children advanced Tibetan language courses during their vacation time.

COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER

Contact magazine is a free monthly publication by Lha Charitable Trust for Tibetan issues and community information. It is a registered publication under the Registrar Office of the Newspaper, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India. The registration number is HPENG/2013/51798. Contact magazine is one of the longest-running Tibetan publications in the area, providing local residents and international visitors with news and relevant resources. In 2014 the number of pages was increased to enable us to provide more news for our readers. 1,000 copies of the magazine are published and distributed every month, free of charge, around the world including diplomatic missions in New Delhi, the Central Tibetan Administration offices, Tibetan schools, settlements in India. Around 6,000 people visit the website each month. www.contactmagazine.net Contact News

COMPUTER CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS

Daily computer classes

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Lha has a well-established computer training program that aims to provide refugees with viable job skills for the future. We provide training in basic and advanced computer skill levels, web design and development as well as graphic design. A small fee is requested to cover administration costs; However, we also offer computer sholarships every month to those who are unable to pay. So far 2748 people benefited from our computer and IT classes.

COMMUNITY LIBRARY

Lha runs a library in McLeod Ganj. The facility allows students, volunteers, tourists, and the general public to check out books free of charge. The library is an important resource for teachers, providing educational and teaching materials, as well as for students.

FREE DISTRIBUTION OF CLOTHING AND BOOKS

Members of Dharamshala Rotary Club and Red Cross Officers distributing clothes to the needy.

FREE DISTRIBUTION OF CLOTHING AND BOOKS Lha collects clothing and other materials from generous individuals and groups. Through the Rotary Club Dharamsala and the Red Cross, Lha has distributed more than 33,200 free articles of clothing to both the Tibetan and Indian communities, especially to the slums in the lower Dharamshala area. In addition, Lha delivers articles to local Tibetans and families. In July 2008, Lha’s U.S. partner, the Omprakash Foundation, shipped a total of 30,000 books from U.S. to Dharamsala. All of the books were distributed to Tibetan and local Indian schools, charitable organizations, libraries and individuals in Dharamsala and surrounding regions. Lha continues to collect books and donate them to libraries and schools. In 2014, Lha distributed around 340 books, through the Rotary Club Dharamsala.

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VOCATIONAL TRAINING • Lha provides vocational training, including professionally taught IT classes, photography courses and massage therapy courses. Lha plans to provide other types of vocational skills in the future, such as chef courses. • When a qualified IT teacher is available, Lha offers an IT program focusing on web design and development, graphic design as well as business skills. • Basic photography courses taught by professionals, when available, are open to all interested persons. At the course completion, students display their work in the ‘Lha Photography Exhibition.’ • Cooking and baking classes are available to those wishing to pursue careers in the food industry.

HEALTH AND HYGIENE INITIATIVES Lha facilitates initiatives to improve community health and increase awareness about the importance of hygiene and physical well-being. • Donations of medicine are collected and distributed by Lha to local public health centers, such as Delek Hospital and the Central Tibetan Administration’s Department of Health. • Lha holds workshops on HIV/AIDS and provides information on sexually transmitted diseases, including free distribution of leaflets and condoms and the importance of their use. • The community kitchen provides extensive hygiene and nutritional education classes to improve community health. • Lha has a clean water and sanitation program that provides filtered water to the community.

COMMUNITY SOUP KITCHEN

The vegetarian soup kitchen benefits the Tibetan refugees who need it most.

Hundreds of community members lack one of the most basic elements of survival – constant access to nutritious food. Since its opening in 2011, 258 people have benefited from the Lha community kitchen. Serving 50-60 people daily, the kitchen provides clean water and nutritious meals for a nominal fee of 15 rupees (around 30 cents) per person per meal. Meals are completely free for those who cannot afford to pay this amount. A survey conducted in December 2014 showed that 96% of users say the meals are beneficial to their health, and 87% said they come to the soup kitchen because of financial problems. 11


CLEAN WATER PROJECT

The clean water project placed a filtration system at the local Indian Government Teacher’s Training College, H.P.

Lha sets up a water filtration system at Jampaling Tibetan old people’s home, McLeod Ganj

Lha started Clean Water Project in 2010 and has continued to deliver clean water programs free of charge to both Tibetan and Indian schools and to the wider communities. Accessing free, filtered water helps to alleviate the waterborne illnesses especially during the monsoon season, and contributes to maintaining a high level of health. Under the Clean Water project, Lha has already installed twenty reverse osmosisultra violet (RO-UV) water filtration systems providing purified water for drinking, cooking and benefiting over

7,265 people. Each filter unit provides more than 100 liters of clean and safe drinking water per hour, while the stainless steel tank is capable of storing 500 liters of water. After installation, the filter units are checked and serviced twice a year through an ongoing maintenance program. As per the surveys conducted in 2013 and 2014, the project has tremendous positive result with a drastic decrease in the water born diseases.

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EYE EXAMS, GLASSES AND DENTAL PROGRAM

CLEAR VISION AND TIBETAN SMILES PROJECT In September 2009, in conjunction with several doctors and optometrists, Lha implemented the Clear Vision Project, a free eye-testing program for Tibetan refugees who reside in Dharamsala. Between 2009 and 2014, 367 people received free eye check-ups, and high-quality prescription glasses were provided to more than 258 people. In 2011, Lha also began to provide dental health care to members of the Tibetan refugee community in Dharamshala. 35 to 50 people are benefiting from the Tibetan Smiles project annually, with hopes to expand the program over the next several years. In 2014 Lha organized the Tibetan Smiles and the Clear Vision Project in the Tibetan Community at Bir, benefiting 449 people there, including many monks and nuns from nearby Himalayan regions, who are pursuing Buddhist studies in the local monasteries.

PROFESSOR SAMDONG RINPOCHE’S WEBSITE Professor Samdong Rinpoche, an eminent and distinguished scholar, teacher and philosopher, is a life-long campaigner of Ghandian principles, and works closely with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Rinpoche was the first elected Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the Tibetan Central Administration, and a former Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile. His services are valued at the highest level in many institutions, including former Principal/Director, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Chancellor of Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic

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Studies, member of the Expert Advisory Committee, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and President of the International Buddhist Congregation. To make the writings, speeches and teachings of His Eminence Professor Samdong Rinpoche freely available to the general public, Lha launched the bilingual website (Tibetan and English) The website contains many researched articles, audio and video clips on Buddhist teachings, Tibetan culture and language, democracy, non-violence, and the situation of Tibet, and receives over 11,000 viewers per month. Lha was proud to launch this website as an initiative towards preserving Tibet’s culture, language and heritage, and to help it to flourish. www.samdongrinpoche.com Professor Samdhong Rinpoche

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS

Lha staff, Volunteers & stundents did a mass clean up around Mcleod Ganj on World Environment day.

Lha initiates environmental awareness activities such as mass clean-ups, trash collection, installation of garbage bins, and to provide education on environment conservation. Lha also publishes posters, brochures and leaflets in three languages: English, Tibetan and Hindi in observation of world environmental days. In addition, Lha has created an environmental website to inform the global Tibetan and Himalayan communities as well as the general public about the importance of environmental issues of Tibet and the globe. The website includes many researched articles both in English and Tibetan, is updated regularly as new information is available, and is visited over 3000 times a month.

www.tibetnature.net

TIBET NATURE

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Lha HIV/AIDS Awareness Project:

World AIDS day is observed in McLeod Ganj, 2014.

Lha has been working on the HIV/AIDS cause from 2011, but after the appointment of the Environment and Health Officer, the project has recieved more attention and become more successful. In the year 2013, Lha produced more than 6,000 informative brochures on HIV/AIDS in Tibetan, English as well as Hindi. In order to tackle the problem, Lha also started giving awareness talks at schools and to the public. Lha observed World AIDS Day on 1st December 2014 in collaboration with Delek Hospital and Kunphen Centre, providing free blood tests for the public and distributing condoms and leaflets on HIV/AIDS prevention to over 800 people. In the same year, Lha organized several HIV/ AIDS awareness talks and campaigns, with 2,120 people taking part.

LHA TIBET FAIR TRADE (LTFT)

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Lha Tibet Fair Trade (LTFT) is a registered company under the Companies Act 1956, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India.

With the aim of becoming more economically stable, while at the same time helping exiled Tibetans to generate more income, Lha has launched the Lha Tibet Fair Trade (LTFT) company, a licensed manufacturer, retailer, exporter, importer and wholesale company. The showroomcum-shop is located at Lha headquarters and offers a wide range of handmade Tibetan craftworks – from handmade textiles to jewelry, home décor and personal accessories, to Tibetan art. We are committed to ensuring that our artists are paid fair market value for their products, and to bringing our customers the best quality of environmentally-friendly products. Wholesale and retail partnerships have been set up, including the Free Tibet online store in the UK. We welcome any businesses wishing to form partnerships and/or set up exhibition tours. For more information please visit www.tibetfairtrade.com Tibet Fair Trade

SERVICES FOR FOREIGN VISITORS Lha offers a variety of services and courses allowing visitors to experience genuine Tibetan culture. Income generated from these services helps to cover staff salaries and general operating expenses, while moving Lha toward its goal of organizational self-sustainability. Services include: TIBETAN HOMESTAY

Lha arranges short or long-term homestays with refugee families, giving visitors the chance to experience the Tibetan lifestyle. Homestays provide a valuable opportunity for visitors and locals to connect and learn about each other’s culture. The profits from the homestay program are received by the host families and help support their lives in exile. Lha’s organized homestays of one month are with Tibetan refugee families and include accommodation, breakfast and dinner. During the month, you will share meals and take part in daily life with your Tibetan family. If you are interested in the Tibetan language, you will be able to practice your language skills in the home, while sharing with the family interesting facts about your home country. For more information, please see the Lha Homestay Service form online at www.lhasocialwork.org

TRANSLATION SERVICES

On request, Lha can provide Tibetan translation services for individuals and groups, to and from Tibetan and English. Lha has wide experience in providing translation services in many different areas, such as film making, lectures and research projects, Tibetan culture, the environment, as well as study and cultural exchange groups.

TIBETAN COOKING

Learn how to make delicious Tibetan food from a qualified teacher. Take lessons on how to cook Tibetan dishes including momos, thukpa and tingmos. 16


CULTURAL EXCHANGE

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 Dharamsala. Students were engaged in social work projects within the Tibetan refugee and the local Indian communities and our cultural exchange program was born. Lha has been welcoming growing numbers of visiting University and High school groups each year, a total of 1,229 students to date. Recent university and educational institution partners have included Tulane University, Loyola University, Frostburg State University Maryland, Centenary College, Lifework International, Tec de Monterey University Mexico, and Rustic Pathways.

Cultural exchange students with learning partners at Ahimsa House

Each visiting student is paired with a ‘Mutual Learning Partner’ – a Tibetan student at Lha. The students are able to share stories about their lives and experiences, while engaging in social work and other meaningful activities. Students also visit the homes of their partner, meet other members of their family and make friends in the Tibetan refugee community. •

Lha can also arrange lectures from well-known professionals in the evenings on particular topics such as the political situation of Tibet, the social statuses of Tibetans in Tibet and those in exile, Tibetan medicine and Tibetan Buddhism and culture. Length of stay varies from one week to one month.

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Professor Samdhong Rinpoche (centre) with Prof. Dr Ron Marks and exchange student group from Tulane University at Ahimsa House.

RECEPTION AND ORIENTATION

Lha’s Reception and Orientation services are designed to provide all the necessary assistance needed for safely arriving here in McLeod Ganj and being prepared with cultural awareness and sensitivity for interacting with this unique culture. If you have not already visited McLeod Ganj or had personal experience with a Tibetan community, we highly recommend signing up for at least the orientation service to be properly prepared for volunteering here. Lha realizes that India may initially be quite a shock, so we offer different services to help smooth your arrival and travel in India and orientate you in the Tibetan community here in Dharamsala. We offer two primary options for volunteers and additional services to further enhance the volunteering experience. Please visit www.lhasocialwork.org for more details.

RECEPTION

Our reception service helps volunteers with their arrival in New Delhi and their onward travel to Dharamsala. It is highly recommended for people who have never traveled in India or a developing country before. Many well-seasoned travellers have signed up for this service, knowing the value of having trusted transport waiting at the airport. Reception service includes: • Meeting on arrival in Delhi Airport • Taxi transfer to Majnu Ka Tilla, Tibetan Colony • One-night hotel stay in Majnu Ka Tilla • Information about restaurants, money exchange and internet • Bus ticket to McLeod Ganj.

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ORIENTATION

Orientation includes all the important information you will need to help you settle into McLeod Ganj. Lha’s volunteer co-coordinator will meet with you to discuss cultural awareness and specific subtleties of Tibetan communication, to welcome you and help you to be most effective in your volunteer position. Orientation includes: • Cultural orientation for awareness and sensitivity • Background information and specifics about organization • What to expect from Tibetan organizations and what they expect from you • Tips from previous and current volunteers • An insider’s guide to the best places to eat, shop, and meet other volunteers • Walking tour, including historical and cultural sites • Information on places for meditation, philosophy, yoga, cooking, language and more •

Accommodation assistance to help you find a suitable room for long or short-term stays.

FEEDBACK AND EVALUATION

Mike Crooke and Marion Brown briefing about evaluation of programs to Lha staff members

Lha is committed to seeking regular feedback from all program participants, with the aim of continuous improvement to our service delivery to students and the local community, and to monitor the welfare of our volunteers. In 2014, a detailed evaluation and analysis of classes and cultural exchange program activities was undertaken by independent visiting professionals. Students, staff, volunteers and cultural exchange program participants were interviewed, 19


and asked to provide feedback both on areas of success and suggestions for improvement. Many students felt they had gained confidence and selfesteem through Lha’s courses, as well as learning new skills which helped in gaining employment. Volunteers and cultural exchange program participants appreciated the enthusiasm of students and mutual learning partners, and reported learning not only about Tibetan culture but also about themselves, through their interaction. Programs have continued to improve over time, as new rules and structures are introduced, based on experience and feedback. TESTIMONIALS

Here are just a few testimonials from volunteers, the local community and participants in the cultural exchange program. More detail can be found on the Lha website www. lhasocialwork.org.

From the Volunteers

“I had such a great experience and wish I could come for longer. I was grateful to tutor 2 wonderful women during my time there. They were so committed to learn and I could actually see progress just in our week together. I also learned about the Tibet experience and it has given me renewed interest in future volunteering.” - Deborah McKeown (Canada) “I learned about Tibet, India, China, travelling in general and much more besides. To be able to contribute towards the smooth running of an organization I feel is doing important, positive work was an honour, an educational experience and thoroughly enjoyable.” - Paul Hurley (UK) “Everything was very well organized and ran smoothly. I had a good experience during my short time at Lha, and it was a pleasure to visit each day and hopefully be of some help to the students.” - Maureen Pugsley (UK) “The Lha staff made me feel at ease from day 1 and the closeness that developed with them as well as with the volunteers made me feel part of a big family. My best experience was the conversation classes where the exchange with students taught me much more than what books could teach me about Tibet and Tibetan culture.” Vyatka Seewoonarain (Mauritian)

From Community Beneficiaries

“Before I came to classes at Lha I was very shy to speak with many people. At Lha I have studied both English and Chinese and I have learned a lot of things. Now when I am in a group I am not afraid to speak what I think. I am more confident and stronger as a person.” - Tenzin Kunga 20


“ Firstly I thank Lha for giving me such a wonderful chance to learn languages and computers. This is my first experience to be in a community like Lha and I am enjoying it a lot. I hope and wish that Lha will keep going until we get our country back.” - Tenzin Kalden “When I came first here I didn’t know how to write and read English. After those three weeks I practiced just simple English very often and I met gentle foreign teachers at Lha.” - Soepa “Lha has helped me tremendously in my life as I, like many others here, cannot afford to pay for English lessons, and I am also too old to attend [schools in] India.” - Palden “First I would like to say Tashi Delek and thanks for you all the staff members of Lha social work and specially the voluntary instructors. Really there is no any suggestions or complaining from me for at the your respected institution services because I am very satisfying with everything from your institute”. - Tashi Gyatso “Teachers working here are very helpful and excellent. The current working of this community is wonderful and still it would be great if they could improve more over it.” - Jamyang Choekyi “I think Lha is very useful to students like me and I think it will help many students who came from Tibet and who have passion to learn English.” - Lobsang Dolma “They should continue the present method of the teaching, it’s good that they provide good education for the students.” - Tashi Lhamo “The services they are providing are excellent.” - Tenzin Khando “Their contributing to the community is real[ly] great especially the lunch that they are providing.” - Lobsang Yeshi “Opportunity provided for old- age people is very appreciable.” - Nyima Thupten “This community helps me to face my day-to-day challenges very grateful indeed.” - Tsewang Gyurmey “For me, the way the teachers teach and administrators administrate is going so well. My hearty wish is that the Lha staff members can carry on their good performance continuously for the betterment of society.” - Nyitri. “I am improving my knowledge of English and computers. It’s very good and helpful in my daily life.” - Choekyi.

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From the Cultural Exchange Participants “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 “My assigned partner was very eager to learn and hopes to join her brother in America one day. With that goal in mind, I’m sure she would appreciate more students in the future helping her improve her English.” - Kelly, USA “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 “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

Daily conversation classes held at Lha draw volunteers and students.

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QUICK FACTS •

57,900 free copies of Contact Magazine published and distributed since 2009

33,340 free books distributed to Tibetan and local Indian schools and libraries

33,200 articles of clothing collected and distributed through the donation center

10,317 students benefited from our language courses

6291 volunteers from 40 different countries contributed to Lha’s work

2,748 students benefited from our computer and IT workshops

1229 students from international education institutes participated in cultural exchange programs

633 students received our recommendation letters to comply with Indian government regulations

485 people attended Lha yoga classes

415 people benefited from Tibetan Smiles dental care project with services such as dental check-ups, cleaning, extractions, medication, etc

367 people received free eye check-ups, and glasses provided for 258 people through the Clear Vision project.

258 people benefited from the Soup Kitchen since its opening in July 2011, feeding 50 to 60 people who are in need on a daily basis

169 students graduated from massage courses

67 people graduated from the Lha photography course

18 water filtration systems installed, providing more than 7000 people with pure drinking water

launched His Eminence Professor Samdhong Rinpoche’s website and a felicitation book in gratitude to Rinpoche on his 75th birthday celebration.

(from July 2003 – December 2014) 23


Ahimsa House is home to the Lha Community Soup Kitchen and also provides accommodation for cultural exchange students and volunteers.

Lha Office, Temple Road, McLeod Ganj 176219, Dharamshala, Distt. Kangra, H.P. INDIA

www.lhasocialwork.org, www.samdhongrinpoche.com www.tibetnature.net ,www.contactmagazine.net www.tibetfairtrade.com

Lha Brochure (long) 2015  

This brochure is a resource of all essential facts about our organization. Within it, you will find detail information about Lha's backgroun...

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