More than 40 percent of refugees are children and youth who flee Tibet in search of a better education and economic opportunity. Most arrive with very limited academic skills or formal training in Tibetan language and culture. Due to the steady influx of new refugees, Tibetan exile schools are overcrowded and their resources stretched to the limit. The Tibet Fund has helped establish schools for new arrivals and, through the U.S. State Department’s annual Humanitarian Assistance grant and The Tibet Fund’s Sponsorship Program, support basic education, vocational training, food, clothing, shelter and medical care at three schools for newly arrived refugee children and scores of other schools throughout the exile community.
Tibetan Scholarship Program (TSP) has been one of the most successful higher education initiatives undertaken by the Tibet Fund. Established in 1988 with the funding from the U.S. Department of State, the goal of the TSP is to provide scholarships to Tibetans in exile for higher education in the US.
The Tibet Fund has effectively implemented the program which has enabled a total of 444 Tibetan students to receive higher education at some of America’s most prestigious educational institutions, including Harvard, Columbia, Yale and the University of California, Berkeley.
In any given year, The Tibet Fund provides full support to approximately 16 students. As part of our cost share agreement with the US Department of State, the Tibet Fund raises an additional $250,000 to fully cover the expenses of our students. We are grateful to the many colleges and universities that provides tuition remission under this program.
Our children sponsorship program has reached out to the most disadvantaged sections of the Tibetan society and act as an intervention to help alleviate their source of vulnerability. Currently support over 80 institutions and organizations in exile. In 2016, the sponsorship supported 480 school children, 203 monks, 106 nuns, 41 disabled children, 26 elders, and 8 performing art students.
This aid and assistance has brought them succor from their otherwise daily struggles to focus on other life goals such as educational enrichment and employment opportunities. The works in this area not only target at breaking the cycle of deprivation but also substantively enhance the lives and wellbeing of the most vulnerable sections of the society.
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The Sikyong Professional Scholarship Program (SPSP) was an initiative to support high achieving Tibetan students from India, Nepal and Bhutan who wish to pursue professional degrees at the most selective colleges, institutes and universities in India. Applicants will receive scholarships of up to INR 300,000 a depending upon their academic need.