January 2016 Update from the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center
27 January, 2016
I take this opportunity to convey all of you a very Happy New Year with my most grateful and sincere thanks on behalf of our children and aged people of the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre, Darjeeling for your continuous support for our children and elderly people of this Centre over so many decades.
Your kind assistance, love, care and continuous support for our children has helped them to get their proper schooling and to brighten their futures. However distance we may have, you will always remain close in our hearts and thoughts through our good work and prayers. Your generous help not only inspires our children, but it also inspires their uneducated parents to know the value of education for their children so they can have better lives in their future, which the parents could not afford by themselves for their children without the support of their sponsors. With your great endeavor, we are able to run our Sponsorship Program for children and elderly people of the Centre smoothly and successfully since it was started by our late President, Mrs. Gyalo Thondup (Ama Lachamkushola), mother of our present President at the Centre for needy Tibetan Refugee Children that are in distressful conditions to fulfill their desire to be educated and become useful members of their own community.
I would also like to express our deepest gratitude to all our Global Ministries sponsors, who helped us over years not only for our Child and Elder Sponsorship Program but also to make our Centre what it is today by contributing their valuable donations to buy necessary medicines for our clinics where we treat the poor and needy patients from all corners of this region irrespective of cast and creed for a minimum fee for so many years. With your kind support and inspiration and combined efforts and dedication of several years, we are fulfilling our dreams and achievements for the Centre to come true.
At present, our total number of workers is 81, but one-third of these workers are old and sick at home. The maximum number of young workers are in the carpet weaving section and most of the able older people are in the wool sorting section because they can’t do hard work due to their age and health. Besides these workers, we have 27 male and female staff members working in different departments of Centre.
Overall, the number of our children at the Centre is 37 and in addition, there are 35 number of poor and needy children in Kalimpong’s school for whom we are also providing their educational and welfare support through the Centre’s sponsorship program for the last few years with the request of their school’s Principal to our President. Most of these children got sponsorships through your kind efforts as you may know already.
For the last two or three years, our monk in charge of the Centre’s temple collected donations from all the Tibetans and other followers of Buddhism to build one small monastery for the goddess of MAITRI BUDDHA (Coming Buddha) as well as a prayer room and two big prayer wheels at the top of the hill of our existing monastery which was completed a month ago. The inaugural ceremony had there one of the highest priests (Rimpoche) from Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) who was invited to inaugurate it and he also gave teachings on Maitri Buddha for every afternoon for six days for all the attendants of the Centre and local people of Darjeeling. We were all very lucky to have his teachings and blessings for six days.
Most of our children who completed their college education find their own way to settle down with their own lives and we can’t force them to work in the Centre after their college education, because most of them would like to go for further studies to get a better scope after college education by their own. However, one or two would like to work in the Centre after their college education.
As you know that Centre was started by our late President for those poor and homeless Tibetan refugees who had to flee from Tibet and come over to Darjeeling for shelter during Chinese aggression in Tibet in 1959. Her far-sighted vision and ideals were to make them stand on their own feet one day by using their own skills of handicrafts to survive as they all were used to in Tibet, so she thought of giving the name of Centre is Tibetan Refugee “SELF-HELP” Centre for the betterment of their future by using their own skills to survive that we are now witness to such wonderful results of her hard labor and struggles in the Centre today.
If there are any deserving children for new sponsorships I will definitely request you for them as of now I don’t have any.
Though, we have still to go ahead to achieve many more things with our commitments for our children are going on well so far and have to prepare for the coming generations as well. We believe that your support is an immeasurable value for the Centre and as well as to our children and elderly people who always depend on the Sponsorship Program without which they shall not be enjoying the facilities rendered to them through the Sponsorship Program so far.
So, in keeping in view of the above facts that our Children and Elderly Sponsorship Program is so important for the present and coming generations with a hope for them to have a better education and to brighten their future.
Therefore, we need your support for them as much as you can though it may be little but it helps a lot for them for making their future bright. We do hope that you would kindly continue your support for them in future as well. We assured you that your kind contribution for each of our children’s welfare and education will not be found wasted at all.
Please accept our most grateful thanks for all you have done and are doing for the children’s education, elderly people welfare and additional help to the Centre for medicines for our clinics for the last so many years.
Welfare Officer for Tibetan Refugee Children