Tibetan refugees undertake a highly risky journey across the Himalayas under harsh environmental conditions and imminent risk of arrests from the Chinese border police in search of more freedom. In close partnership with the CTA, The Tibet Fund has been administering the Humanitarian Assistance Grant from the US State Department to improve the health, education, and livelihoods of the most vulnerable Tibetan refugees in South Asia and particularly to aid in the rehabilitation process of the newly-arrived Tibetan refugees. As the primary source of Tibetan refugee rehabilitation since 1991, this grant has directly benefitted more than 90,000 newly-arrived Tibetan refugees till date.
Since 1980, the Office of the Reception Center (ORC) of the CTA’s Department of Security has taken the responsibility to oversee the protection and care of new refugees who arrive from Tibet. The ORC administers two reception centers in Delhi and Dharamsala and coordinates closely with the reception center in Nepal. The new refugees are provided with essential reception and rehabilitation services such as receiving legal and physical protection, medical care, food, shelter, clothing, and transportation. In accordance with their age, interest, and religious affiliation, refugees are enrolled in schools, monasteries, and nunneries. Tibetan political prisoners, torture victims and refugees suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are given financial support and psychosocial support.
Many Tibetans grow old without adequate social support or families to care for them due to increase in nuclear family system and migration of adult population from Tibetan settlements for employment opportunities. Unlike other developing countries, hundreds of Tibetans age with no pension or alternative income, which are further compounded by general scarcity of livelihood means in the refugee settlement. As the number of elders increases in the exile community, the need for special housing and specialized care has become especially urgent.
In our effort to provide a life of safety, dignity, and quality of life for the Tibetan elders with the support from our donors, we have supported facility upgrade and better services in elder homes by mitigating any pressing needs. The Tibet Fund continues to support several elder homes in India and Nepal including Tsering Elders Home, Jawalakhel Elders Home, and Kimdol Elders Home in Nepal; and Dhondenling Tibetan Old People’s Home in Kollegal, and Old People’s Home in Bylakuppee, India
Sponsor an elder or fund a project related to elder care. Annual sponsorship for one Tibetan elder cost $360 per year. Click here to sponsor a Tibetan elder.
The 2015 Nepal earthquake killed eleven Tibetans and destroyed numerous houses and buildings of Tibetan refugees living in Nepal, severely affecting their livelihood and security. Rebuilding the affected Tibetan community on an individual and societal level was deemed a priority. The Tibet Fund established an Emergency Relief Fund that raised $717,976 including $286,976 in private donation and $435,000 from the US State Department. New houses were constructed, damaged houses were repaired, and earthquake preparedness training and psychosocial counseling were conducted for the community including schools. A total of 4,996 Tibetans including non-Tibetans benefitted from the Nepal Earthquake Rebuilding Project which included 573 beneficiaries from new housing construction and repair, 2,564 beneficiaries from repairs and new construction of clinics, schools, monasteries and handicraft centers, and 1,859 beneficiaries from Earthquake preparedness training and psychosocial counseling. Click here to view reports for Nepal Earthquake
In November 2016, a massive fire destroyed 138 Tibetan shops selling sweaters in New Delhi. The seasonal sweater business has been the mainstay of livelihood for many Tibetan traders, the business of which has been described by some as the core of exile Tibetan economy. Tibetans from different settlements converge in the city to do business for few months during winter every year. Their business is to sell the machine-made sweaters that they buy and transport from Indian factories in Ludhiana. The Tibet Fund launched an online fundraising campaign and made a grant of $15,000 to the sweater sellers who were affected to rebuild their businesses.
In 2016, Tibetan farmers from Tibetan refugee settlements in Bylakuppee, Hunsur, Kollegal, and Mundgod in South India, faced an extensive and severe drought in 2016, resulting in disastrous crop failure and economic losses. Agriculture and related activities have been the primary occupation in many Tibetan settlements in India. State directives on irrigations and other limitations have compelled Tibetan farmers to sustain on a single seasonal crop a year from their leased land. Generally, farmers faced huge challenges in having a year’s meager harvest cover the expenses incurred in farming such as seeds and fertilizer and compensate for the labour involved in farming, and the severe drought made the situation worse for the struggling farmers. In order to relief their burden from the severe drought, The Tibet Fund provided a grant of $10,000 to the Tibetan farmers in South India.
Click here for form (in pdf format) to mail with your check or money order.