India diary part 4: Our visit to Tibet Homes School, Ngoenga School, Dekyling and Rewa rehabilitation centre

Philippa Carrick CEO: “At Tibetan Homes School in Rajpur, we were met by the Principal, Mr Migmar who had organised a consultation with some of the Year 9 children. Thupten, TenNyima and Penpa had lively discussions! I loved the message of the day about being an “includer”, and also the amazing new artwork, created by the school’s art teacher during lockdowns.”

“It is always uplifting to visit Ngoenga School for Tibetan children with special needs. The warmth of our welcome was matched with the excitement of the special performance put on for us. It was great to meet the new second physiotherapist, a post we have been supporting for a number of years. We also met two students who are informally sponsored by two of our supporters.”

“At Dekyiling, we hosted a lunch for everyone who receives an annual stipend from Tibet Relief Fund. These are mainly elders living in local settlements or the scattered community, but also include retired handicraft workers and three grannies, who also worked at the handicraft centre. The momo went down fast!! We visited an elder who was not so well in her home, making sure to take a selection of momo and other treats! Living in one of the original houses that her husband, who sadly died earlier this year, had extended a little, she is suffering from gastric problems so not so mobile at the moment.”

“In Rajpur, situated at the back of the Tibetan Homes School, is the Rewa rehabilitation centre. This is a new project for Tibet Relief Fund. Such a centre is much needed within the Tibetan community and we have agreed to fund core costs for at least the first two years. We were very excited to meet Ngawang and Nikil, who both were involved in setting up Rewa, and then visit the hostel. The centre is run on the tenets of compassion and trust, so differs from the stricter regimes that are prevalent in India. Its byline is, “hope for everyone”. Ngawang, an ex-addict himself, runs the centre and develops the programmes. Walking in, it was wonderful to feel the care and warmth and see light airy spaces, with gym equipment, lots of plants and an upstairs meeting room.”

“One of the last visits while in Rajpur was to meet Dagmo Kalden Dunkyi, wife of the 42nd Sakya Rinpoche and founder of Kalden Designs that features eco-friendly products inspired by Tibet, with all profits going to charity. It was both a great privilege to meet Kalden and have a fascinating discussion about our work, areas of need within the community and ideas for the future.”

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