Tibet Relief Fund annual review: Supporting ex-political prisoners and theirs families start afresh

Grant amount: £2,800

The Gu Chu Sum movement is run by and for ex-political prisoners and their families. Many are monks and nuns who have been imprisoned and tortured in Tibet for “crimes” such as peaceful protest or passing information out of the country.

Some members of Gu Chu Sum have endured horrific treatment in prison and don’t have the resilience or physical strength to attend regular Tibetan schools or get jobs. Gu Chu Sum works to help them, providing medical help and the essential tools to rebuild their confidence and become as independent as possible.

One initiative is a tailoring workshop that provides training and employment to around 30 people, whilst their own school provides education for up to 30 students each year in English, Tibetan and computer skills.

Having supported the school in the past, last year we appealed to you for funds to pay the school’s teachers in 2016. We had an amazing response and were able to fund the salaries of three teachers for the year, as well as buy textbooks and stationery.

Past students have gone on to successful careers in teaching, government positions and university studies. This would have been unthinkable for many of them without the help of Gu Chu Sum. An education for Gu Chu Sum students means a new start in life and a brighter future!

“It’s incredible for me to see the students grow into speaking English and work on the computer. Tibet Relief Fund is supporting us with the teachers’ salaries and the textbooks and stationery for the school, which is like handing the students the right equipment to flourish after the horrible torture and cruelty they’ve gone through. Thank you for assuring them that a dream can be limitless.”

Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar, Vice President of Gu Chu Sum

Gu = Nine Chu = Ten Sum = Three
The numbers mark three significant months in modern Tibetan history: September 1987, October 1987, and March 1988, when major protests in Lhasa, Tibet, were violently suppressed by the Chinese government.

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