Why education is paramount ROKPA Christmas presents No.3 / December 2012 / Volume 32
© Lea Wyler
Lea Wyler Dear ROKPA friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Christmas time is not an easy time for me. Returning from a barren landscape marked by poverty and misery, where people live without any luxury, I don’t feel at home in lavishly illuminated, rich and consumer Zurich during the first few days. I think of my „family“, of my, of our children in Tibet and Nepal. Just a few days ago they opened my heart through stories of their misery or thanked me with a smile for ROKPA’s help. I will miss them in the coming days. But I will also remember Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche, with whom I have had the fortune to again visit Tibet, as we have been doing for 20 years. He, the embodiment of the real Christmas message, keeps reminding me of the true values in life.
At least twice a year I travel to the places where your donations
are used sensibly. I have full confidence and trust in our local employees. After all, they have been educated by us. They ensure that your donations are used sensibly, purposefully and
Tibet Why education is paramount
in a sustainable manner. We monitor this very carefully as it is
our obligation towards our donors. And I assure you: we continue
ROKPA schools in Tibet
to be successful. The 9106 children and adolescents who can
Confidence into the future –
presently attend a school thanks to ROKPA are the true evidence of our success. Education is the most important goal for ROKPA. For the children and adolescents, education means a future where they will be self-reliant. But education is neither a one-time nor
despite misfortune Women's Workshop Are you considering a legacy? ROKPA CHRISTMAS
years and has to be financed anew every year. With an average
Gift Cards / Calendars / DVD
of 10’000 children and adolescents in Tibet, this amounts to
I AM ROKPA
And now, as every year, I would like to ask you a favour. When you buy presents for Christmas, please remember to make a donation. It's a gift that you never have to exchange. A donation of 70 Swiss Francs enables a child to go to school for a term. A donation of 80 Swiss Francs buys a child school supplies for
7 8–9 9
Impressum Image editors: Corinna Biasiutti / Thomas Stettler All photographs and texts: © ROKPA INTERNATIONAL
We wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous,
Print run: 8.500 copies
healthy New Year. Thank you very much for your donation.
Printed on FSC paper
Lea Wyler, founder and Vice-president
ROKPA KID / commitment / staff 11
a year. Every donation helps.
ROKPA's Children's Home and
a short term investment. A sustainable education lasts many
1,5 million Francs per year.
ROKPA INTERNATIONAL has been ZEWO certified since 2004.
© Lea Wyler
© Lea Wyler
Education is a chance for a better future
Over 10 years ago when travelling in Tibet Lea Wyler told us „I take a special
We pay for the education of children
delight in visiting schools. It is a joy to observe the children thriving and enlarging
and adolescents. They are mostly orphans
and deepening their knowledge from year to year.“
from poor chircumstances. They would
Even today we are inspired in our work by the long lasting effect of our relief
never be able to afford an education.
organisation despite the rather difficult environment.
For a half-orphan we pay a part of the education. So, as many children as
Ten years ago hundreds of pupils visited primary schools and College thanks to ROKPA. By now the state is taking over paying for education up to the ninth form. So, we decided to help former pupils and pupils who prove that they come from very poor homes. We pay for their education from the tenth form up to the completion of university or College. Without a very good education life is very hard indeed for the young in Tibet or Nepal. In 2012 9'106 pupils were able to visit schools thanks to ROKPA. We are proud of it. But the means needed for a continuous education have to be provided for by us for more than fifteen years as it takes fifteen years for a child to grow into an adult. We pay school fees, school supplies, transportation and food, all of it amounts to over
possible can benefit from ROKPA's help. For us it is important that girls are educated as they will teach their children in turn. Education means self-reliance and independance. To hold a job and improve ones situation in life will be made easier The pupils and their families will not depend on help from the outside.
1.5 millions of Swiss franks every year in Tibet only. And thanks to your donations we always succeeded up to now.
© Lea Wyler
Four examples of ROKPA school projects in Tibet
The Choepdrak Orphans’ School
The Choepdrak Orphans’ School has an excellent reputation throughout the region. Many Tibetan families want to send their children there, so there is always a waiting list. ROKPA supports 120 of the 198 children at the school. Of these, twelve are orphans, and ninety have only one parent. Many come from extremely poor families. They are aged between seven and thirteen. There are seventeen teachers, and the children have lessons in Tibetan, Chinese, mathematics, ethics and Tibetan dance. We have known the headteacher for many years and have a close working relationship with him. Compared with the region as a whole, the results achieved by the Choepdrak Orphans’ school are amazing. It received an award © Lea Wyler
© Lea Wyler
as the second best-performing school in the district. 95% of the pupils continue their studies elsewhere when they leave.
Sherab Dechen attends the Orphans’
Eastern Tibet (PRC), Qinghai
Eight-year old Sherab Dechen is in his
The local education authority
second year at the school. He comes from
Project start: 2000
a village called Kalong, which is three
CHF 11,000 per year
hours away by car. Both his parents died
120 children (including some
when he was very little. He stays with his
orphans) from poor families
(almost 50% girls)
grandparents during the school holidays. Only one of his three brothers and sisters goes to school. Sherab really likes the school. After just a short time to settle in, he has made a lot of friends. He loves the food, too, which he tells us is mainly rice, potatoes and noodles with occasional meat dishes. He wants to be a teacher when he grows up.
© Lea Wyler
Podrak Middle High School
This school was built in 1982 and was visited in 1984 by the tenth Panchen Lama. ROKPA has been supporting pupils at the school since 2003. Today, there are 136 teachers and around 900 pupils. The school is currently expanding. A laboratory is being constructed in a new building. Lessons make frequent use of the Internet and multi-media resources. In 2004, the school bought computers for the teaching staff. They soon realised that there was nothing on the Internet about the Tibetan language and culture, so they decided to create their own website. A five-strong team is now responsible for day-to-day maintenance of the site. Everything is taught via the Internet, and Tibetan pupils are able to prepare for exams in their own language. This is very unusual in the area and represents a big step forward. The programme, which prepares pupils for their exams, has been part-funded by ROKPA for years.
Eastern Tibet (PRC),
Gansu Province Education
Project start: 2003 Budget:
CHF 30,900 per year
80 pupils (m/f)
Eastern Tibet (PRC),
Mochi County Tibetan Middle School
ROKPA supports 80 pupils and four teachers at Mochi County Tibetan Middle School. Of these, six are orphans, seven have only one parent, and the rest are from nomadic families who had to sell their possessions and move to the city in a state of complete poverty. The pupils are aged between 12 and 16. © Lea Wyler
They spend three years at the school. 38 of the pupils funded by ROKPA to date will leave the school this year. Most will continue their studies elsewhere, although some will start work in restaurants and hotels. There are 54 teachers. Lessons include languages (Tibetan, Chinese and English), mathematics, chemistry, IT and sport. 47 members of the teaching staff speak Tibetan. The school has 22 classrooms and 200 dormitories, each of which sleeps eight pupils on average.
Government, Education Authority
and Mochi Finance Department
recommenced in 2012
CHF 40,500 per year
80 pupils (m/f), 4 teachers
Luchu Orphanage and Primary School
Even by Tibetan standards, the District of Luchu is inhospitable, especially in winter when temperatures here at an altitude of 3,100 metres can plunge to minus 40 degrees. Much of the meagre income of those who live here has to be spent on heating, and those who have warm clothes and enough to eat © Lea Wyler
count themselves lucky. Hunger and sickness are sadly not rare and in many cases fatal. In this sparsely populated area, it is difficult to reach a doctor or a medical centre. Most people cannot afford to do so in any case. Those at the bottom of the social ladder cannot afford to send their children to school, thus depriving them of any chance they may have had to improve their lives. The situation for orphans is even worse. They are moved around between other members of their wider family and often end up sooner or later on the street. ROKPA has been helping to alleviate suffering here for years. Thanks to our help, 160 children can now attend the school in Luchu. Of these, 93 are girls. The majority are from extremely poor nomadic families. 28 of the children have lost one parent,
Eastern Tibet (PRC),
Gansu Province Luchu District
Luchu Education Department,
Luchu Primary School for
Project start: 2001 Budget:
160 children, including 93 girls
and 25 have lost both. The government began to provide support a few years ago, but not enough. ROKPA helps the very poorest by paying for their lessons, school equipment, transport, food, accommodation at the orphanage and medical costs.
Tsering Drolma and Drogar Tar attend Luchu School Eleven-year old Tsering Drolma has
Drogar Tar has lost both his
been attending the school for the
parents. He has no memories of
last five years with ROKPA’s help.
them and does not even know what
Her grandfather, who lives an hour
happened to them. ROKPA has
from Luchu by bus, brought her
been funding his education at Luchu
here after her parents died. Her
School for four years. Occasionally,
favourite subjects are IT, English
at the weekend, he visits and helps
and Tibetan. She is one of the brightest pupils in her class
his grandmother, who as a farmer has to survive on the
and has lots of friends at the school. When she grows up,
equivalent of 150 Swiss francs a year. Like Tsering Dolma,
she wants to work as a Tibetan doctor in her own village.
Drogar Tar wants to help sick people in his home district
© Barbara Pfeiffer
when he is older.
Confidence in the future despite disaster: Chenan Drolma and Nyma Chitri "We dream all the time of having our own clinic in the future. Then we will be independent and be able to make our own decisions. Tibetan medicine has many advantages over Western medicine," says the 19-year-old, totally convinced. "Because it is made from natural ingredients, it has no harmful side effects and makes the body stronger in the long term." And her younger sister adds: ÂŠ Lea Wyler
"I would also like to heal diseases such as
Sisters Chenan Drolma, 19, and Nyma
thousands of people under them, inclu-
Chitri, 17, lost not only their parents but
ding Chenan Drolma and Nyma Chitri's
all their relatives in the earthquake in
parents, as well as their grandparents,
their home town of Yushu. The disaster
uncles, aunts and cousins.
brought them even closer.
Only the two of them were left. "When we
"Even when we were little children,
saw that there weren't enough doctors
we wanted to become doctors one day.
to help the people after the disaster,
But then we read in a book that you have
we decided that, after middle school in
to study extremely hard and diligently to
Dartsendo, we would go to the College for
be a doctor, because a patient could die
Tibetan Medicine," says Chenan Drolma,
if we made a mistake. We were discou-
happily taking over the role of speaker.
raged by that. We found the responsibility
Sympathetic people from the area who
too great," says Chenan Drolma, the
heard about the sad lot of these sisters
eldest of the sisters (on the right in the
collected for the two orphans, and
they also received some money from the
But then the catastrophe struck, which
government. So, not only have they
would change the lives of them both within minutes. It was the 14th April 2010. The two sisters were sitting in the classroom in the middle school in Yushu when the earthquake struck and destroyed nearly all the town's houses, which buried
AIDS and help to stop so many people from just dying." These two girls are looking to the future. Their misfortune has made them grow up. They have assumed responsibility for each other and want to help others.
To fulfil their dream of education, each of them needs CHF 1,500 per year initially, then CHF 5,000 from 2014. ROKPA wants to help them (and many others who should be supported financially for their studies). Can we count on you? Or do you know someone who might like to give Chenan Drolma and Nyma Chitri real help?
enrolled at college last year, but they have also made a payment for the preparatory course for the university entrance examination, which will begin in 2014 when they have finished college. Report by Barbara Pfeiffer
Lea Wyler takes in each child personally For the first time in their lives, the children can have warm showers and eat hot meals three times a day in the children's home. Here, life is like an extended family, the big ones look after the small ones. For the first time in their lives they are respected and receive not only clean clothes but also medical care and a good school education. Lea Wyler tells the children again and again that each one of them is unique and special. In this way they learn to respect themselves and can pass on their new, positive attitude to others.
© Fabienne Bühler
As long as it has existed, the sustainability of ROKPA's children's home is impressive. Everyone who has grown up in the home and left it as a valuable member of society stands on his or her own feet and leads an independent life. 55 children currently live in the children's
Three hot meals every day! Since its foundation in 1980, ROKPA has focussed on making it possible for needy and orphaned children to have a dignified existence by giving them schooling, medical care and accommodation. In the early years, the children were, where financially possible, accommodated in boarding schools. Since 1996 the children have been accommodated in ROKPA's own children's home. This year there are 55 children who can live here. Here the
Lea Wyler has always taken in each
home. Their accommodation costs 178
of these children and cared for them
francs per month, and the annual budget
personally. They meet in the soup
of the children's home is 132,000 francs.
kitchen, which provides hot meals twice
Each individual franc is invested in the
a day for 400 people during the winter
best way here: in a directly effective and
months, or during Lea's nightly walks
through the darkest corners of Kathmandu. Here she finds children who huddle up to flea-ridden street dogs or sleep in threes in cardboard boxes in order to get a little warmth. In the blink of an eye the child gets a new family and Lea gets another child, which is always a blessing for her.
children can find a home, family and a chance for a better future. Most of them they are adults.
© Fabienne Bühler
do not leave the children's home until
Women and children left behind…
leaves the woman and children behind.
ture useful products that are then sold in
If the woman is no longer able to have the
the local shop, but also in our headquar-
family’s basic needs met mother and
ters in Zurich and other places. This way,
children end up on the street. ROKPA
they are not only trained in a useful craft
tries to prevent this situation and offers
to become more independent, they also
vocational training for these mothers.
make some money to provide food and
structure of our target cultures: Especially
In the women’s workshop the mothers
shelter for their families. Their children’s
in Nepal the provider of the family often
learn how to design, sew and manufac-
Ever since ROKPA took up its work over 30 years ago, the organization has focused primarily on women and children. The reason for this is rooted in the social
education is paid for as well. ROKPA also grants startup money. The women turn this initial support into a source of income, for example, a tearoom, a tailor shop, or they sell food from a sales booth to the numerous pedestrians. Through ROKPA these women learn to take matters into their own hands and to no longer depend on others. Instead of the former beggar’s mentality they pass on to their children a newly found sense of independence. This is an invisible but tangible and sustainable advantage created by our work. The success is significant. Your donations are actually being used for a meaningful purpose!
© Marius Hamann
And they continue to do so.
Are you considering a legacy? Give a future! For ROKPA, this legacy is a great
However, a general purpose can be
“The handling of a legacy should occur
and meaningful gesture with which you
defined but does not have to be. This
carefully and in advance, without any
“provide children and mothers with
definition can be geographical (Tibet,
pressure. For clarification of the legal and
Nepal) or by topic (nutrition, education,
financial situation, seek the advice of an
Legacy is defined as follows: A legacy is
culture, health care, alternative medicine/
expert, such as a trustee or notary.
a bequest by a testator as documented in
medicinal plants, women and children).
Mention the person who is to enforce your
a testament or testamentary contract.
When drafting a legacy it is always useful
will in your testament. Through your
ROKPA can be appointed as legal heir (as
to seek the advice of a trustee.
an institution) so that you can bequeath
The ZEWO foundation (ROKPA has been
the aid organization money.
ZEWO-certified since 2004. The certifi-
Since legacies are usually paid off only
cate indicates transparent accounting
years after the testament or testamentary contract is written, the nomination of a specific current project of ROKPA does
practice and a pre-defined use of donations) advises as follows (for more information visit www.zewo.ch):
devise you ensure that your legacy is handled within the legal framework and according to your wishes.”
Should you be interested in bequeathing ROKPA, we will gladly advise you via phone or in person
not make much sense. 9
ROKPA Christmas Here’s how it works:
ROKPA gift cards
Order via email
You make a donation on behalf of your loved ones,
your company, your co-workers…
ROKPA has designed beautiful gift cards you can use to confirm that, instead of a
present, you have made a donation to ROKPA on a third person’s behalf. We can
+41 44 262 68 88
send these cards to the donor directly or we can send it to you so can forward it to
the addressee yourself.
Choose the correct gift card
number, z.B. 1, 2, 5 oder 10
Usually the gift card as well as the payment slip is sent to your address after a
maximum of five business days. If you prefer we’d be happy to mail the card to the
Select the donation amount,
for example CHF 50.– or CHF 500.–
official donor directly.
Name the official donor
First name, name, address, zip code
Gift card # 1:
Gift card # 2:
Your donation helps to educate
Your donation helps lift gifted students
orphans and street kids.
out of poverty.
First name, name, address, zip code, e-mail
www.spenden-statt-schenken.org to make a donation online. Here, you can choose and download Gift card # 5:
Gift card # 10:
You’re allaying the
You’re helping us to
hunger of the poorest
provide start-up money
in Kathmandu by
for outcast mothers.
a digital gift card which you can send to a list of addresses (instead of company gifts).
supporting our soup kitchen.
DVD “Andreas Vollenweider & the ROKPA Kids”
ROKPA Calendar 2013
Due to the survey that was published in A few ROKPA calendars with pictures of children from Tibet
our last edition of ROKPA Times there
and Nepal are still available.
haven’t been enough orders to produce the DVD feasibly. Approximately 50
orders are still needed to start production.
Helfen, wo Hilfe gebraucht wird. Nachhaltig, seit über 30 Jahren. Tibetisch
es Spri chw
ort: „Was für die ist für das He Welt da s Wasse rz die Freun r dschaft ist, .“
The DVD costs CHF 25.00 without
The calendar costs
shipping. Unfortunately, delivery before
CHF 20.00 without
Christmas won’t be possible.
shipping. If you order right
now we can still deliver
© Texte in diesem Kalender: Gesammelt und ins Englische Tibetische Sprichwörter. Deutscher Taschenb und aus dem Übersetzt von Tibetischen Lhamo Pemba. uch übersetzt von Mit einer Transliter Verlag. Rainer Bull. ation herausgeg eben Mont ag tag
8 Viele Kinder und Jugendlic he – aktuell dank ROKPA nahezu 10’000 9 in Tibet und – erhalten in 14 Nepal eine Ausbildun jedem einzelnen 55 Kinder leben g. Jahr im ROKPA 15
Children’s Home geratenen Müttern in Kathmand eine Berufsaus u. In der Werkstatt bildung und Wir haben mit bieten wir in 16 bereiten sie Ihrem Geld viel Not 21 auf ein Leben Gutes tun können mehr tun. In ohne Abhängigk Ihrem Sinn! und werden eiten vor. mit weiteren 22 Spenden noch viel So
können Sie spenden: 28 Credit Suisse: IBAN CH73 0483 5045 5090 1100 Postfinance: 1, Konto 455090-11 29 IBAN CH54 0900 0000 -1, Clearing 8001 9029 Nummer 4835 5, Konto CHF 80-19029-5
och erstag Freita
Sonntag 6 | Heilig
ROKPA 20 an 488
17 Beispiel für CHF 20.–:
In der Schweiz sind Spenden zugunsten von ROKPA steuerbefreit . Zudem ROKPA seit 31ZEWO-zertif ist 2004 iziert.
e drei König
Order via email at email@example.com or via phone
ROKPA INTERNA TIONAL | Böcklinstrasse firstname.lastname@example.org 27 | 8032 | www.rokp Zürich | Schweiz a.org | Telefon +41 44 262 68 88 | Fax +41 44 26268 89 |
SMS-Spende 10 CHF 99.– bis ROKPA XX (Betrag, nur Zahl) an Zielnummer 488.
+41 44 2626888.
© Michael Marchant
1 | Neuja
Wir brauchen Ihre Hilfe!
I AM ROKPA
I am a child of the ROKPA family... “Before I was accepted to the ROKPA Children’s Home
children who wanted to talk to me. I learned manners
I had been living on the streets of Kathmandu.
and how to be disciplined. And I was able to go
The constant hunger was the worst for me. There were
to school, which is so important for my future. I have
always fights over food and the older children took it
many dreams. For instance, I want to have my own
away from the younger ones. When I came to the
camera one day, so I can be a professional photo-
ROKPA Children’s Home, I was surprised at all the
I‘ve made a commitment to ROKPA… “The trips to Tibet are always an eye-opener for me.
spected by the local population. ROKPA supports
Nothing here is as it is at home. Accommodation at
many schools all over Tibet, which offer a mix of
the Chopdrak school for orphans is very humble but
traditional and modern education. Our goal is to
there is always a waiting list for students. This shows
educate more and more children and teenagers at our
me that the education at this school is highly re-
schools for an ever more demanding job market.” Pim Willems, ROKPA in Holland
I work for ROKPA... "As well as being mother to two grown-up sons,
Tens of thousands of images, especially of Lea Wyler,
I have worked for many years together with my
have accumulated over the years. It was necessary
husband (photographer) in our own business. Among
to develop a suitable storage system and to install the
other things, I have built up an extensive digital image
necessary software for the database. Thanks to
archive with an online database. When I found out
the archive, the images are accessible to the ROKPA
that ROKPA were looking for an image archivist,
team in Zurich and to all 20 field offices around
I immediately felt spoken to. The job fulfils my wish
the world. The images help to show ROKPA in the
for something socially responsible to do in my spare
best light and to get the donations which are needed
time, to which I can bring my expertise. After
travelling through Nepal and making many different contacts, I also feel very connected to the people of this barren mountain land.
Now ROKPA has an App, too For the users of an iPad, now the
You can download the ROKPA app from
ROKPA Times can be read on it, too.
the Apple store for free.
From January 2013 onwards the so called
The App has been programmed for free by
back issues (starting from 2012) and the annual report – in English, too – can be accessed via App. The archive of the ROKPA App will be continuousely expanded. By the way, the App is beingl be used for the documentation of the various activities of ROKPA by Lea Wyler, too,
the company NTH in Biel for ROKPA. By the way: We are interested in presenting information for our donors via internet. We are grateful if you use your mail for communication, as we can cut down on expenses. If you choose to do so, please let us know your mail address by mailing to email@example.com.
when travelling. 11
We need your help!
Helping where help is needed: sustainably, for over 30 years.
tion SMS dona 9.– HF 9 of up to C
Every single year, many children and youths in Tibet and Nepal – currently
X ROKPA X nly) to o rs e b m u n (amount, 88. 4
almost 10,000 – receive an education thanks to ROKPA. 55 children live in the ROKPA Children’s Home in Kathmandu. In the Workshop
of r donation Example fo 0.–: 2 CHF to 488 Rokpa 20
we offer vocational training to mothers in need: we prepare them for a life of independence, without having to rely on others. We have already achieved a lot with your money and with more donations we will be able to achieve even more. On your behalf! You can make a donation to this account: Credit Suisse: IBAN CH73 0483 5045 5090 1100 1, account 455090-11-1
In Switzerland, donations to ROKPA are exempt from tax. ROKPA has been ZEWO certified since 2004.
Clearing Nummer 4835 Postfinance: IBAN CH54 0900 0000 8001 9029 5, account CHF 80-19029-5
Phone +41 44 262 68 88
Fax +41 44 26268 89
Published on Dec 20, 2012
Our magazine, the "ROKPA Times", appears several times per year and reports in detail on current and planned ROKPA projects in Tibet, Nepal,...