Grassroots Support

I’ve woken this morning feeling like the weight of the world has been lifted. It’s one thing to have a vision. It’s another to implement it and yet another to know it has been well received.

My day started yesterday with a meeting with Rabten at the Tibetan Children’s Village School (TCV). He reported that ‘the 300 Days for Girls packs had been a very good thing for the girls health. The girls where all using them well and were very happy. Everyone is very happy.’

I spoke to Rabten about what could be possible and if it would fit within the school principles and practices. There are many changes occurring with the school because they are no longer part of the SOS charity.

Politics rears its ugly head in many forms and the power of China to influence organisations worldwide is daunting. China were successful in lobbying for the removal of Tibetan schools from the SOS charity. Sometimes it really does feel like the little guy against the big ones. What this has resulted in is the TCV school has to depend on individuals to support them.

The other part of this story is that as refugees they are welcome to live in India they just can’t attend Indian government schools. The Dalai Lama created an education system for Tibetan children and of course being listed as a charity provided them with greater access to support because donations were tax deductible. I know from my own experiences if l had been set up as a charity there were big businesses very open to funding my projects. But not being a charity meant the door closed.

Within this setting the school has a limited budget and any projects need to be self funded or be of low cost to the school. Educating the children is their priority and with these changes the number of children needing sponsorship has risen.

So up pops me with two ideas about pickling vegetables and the teaching of making washable menstrual pads. Rabten saw the value in the projects and is excited to see what can be created. He even asked if l knew anyone who could build greenhouses and teach them how to grow vegetables in a greenhouse.

Over the coming months many conversations will be had. I will be looking for volunteeers to come help me make this real. We will need sewers, picklers, builders and gardeners. Our initial thoughts are a week long project of training. Depending on the organisation and planning involved it could be 2020 or 2021.

I had Karma busy yesterday tracking down the materials we would need here in Leh. I want to put the money back into the community and ensure whatever we do it is sustainable.

It’s very exciting times ahead and if you would love to join me, let me know.