Updates From The Hope Center
So, I’ve been working with Raoul to finish the new Hope Education Center website, it should be done this week. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of the projects they are doing, these are projects I will be working on with them when I am there. I think you’ll find there is diversity, and quite a lot going on for a non-paid staff, it’s pretty inspiring!
Small Mega Concert — To get some funding, we organized a Small Mega Concert. Our board members, students and volunteers performed during this concert and it was attended by over 250 people. From the money we raised we were able to buy a computer and a printer for our office.
Demonstration — HEC was closed from the 10th of March till April as there were huge demonstrations going on all over the world for the Tibetan cause. At that time there was a lot of media in town, including BBC, CNN, etc. We came up with loads of different ideas, to try to keep the media in town for coverage and to pay attention to the current situation in Tibet. Each day, we had different plans and actions. During those days we sometimes walked in town covered in chains, we carried a fake dead body through town, we put a red band covering our mouth along with a Chinese log and we made a mummy carrying a Tibetan national flag, etc. It was effective and we felt glad that we could help to tell the story of Tibet.
Hope Education Center — We have over 150 regular students, which include laymen, women, monks, nuns and adolescents. More over, we have students from Not only Tibet, but also Thailand, S. Korea and Vietnam. So far, we have had over 400 students attend HEC. Our center focuses on all levels of development; hence the reason we offer a range of classes, from entry level to advanced grammar, conversation classes and private tutoring. Our strong focus on the proper development of the students is due to our motto: Quality over Quantity. So unlike other learning organizations in the area, we limit our classroom sizes to 15-20 students in one class, so they will have a better chance of learning. Beside from that, we arrange native Tibetan speakers who can teach English for the basic levels. For higher levels, we are asking a minimum commitment of one month because students face great difficulty learning if there is no consistency in teachers.
The monthly rent is 2000 rupees (approx $45 USD) for each room. 2×2000= 4000/-
The monthly budget of photocopying 1000/-
You can help us with our rent, office equipment, teaching materials etc.
Conversation Class — The conversation class is considered to be one of the most successful ones in the town. So far, we have had over 800 volunteers from all over the world. More over, for conversation class volunteers, we don’t need commitment. Even one day is enough to help out during the conversation class, as we believe that even that one is precious and this day will never come back again. Furthermore, our students will love to see you, meet you and learn about your country and culture.
Groovy Granny Project — This project came to existence to build a bridge between the older and younger generations. We believe that there should be more love, more care, more understanding, more teaching, more learning and most of all, we need to spend more time with the older people. This project takes place on the fourth Saturday of each month at the elderly home situated on the big Kora road around the HH the Dalai Lama’s palace. More than 150 older Tibetans are living in this elderly home. We prepare songs, dance, read poems, perform skits, play games and prepare traditional snacks and bocha (butter tea).
“Kelsang, 67 years old — I am very happy today. Thank your very much. I miss my son”.
In addition, we also help them clean the area around them. We clean their rooms, toilets, dining room and environments. As they all are old and they are not capable of cleaning. Our students join us to help.
Make a wish project — For this project we visit kids at TCV School (Tibetan Childrens Village) who have no one in India and are left behind during the winter break, when other children are visiting their family members. We ask students to make a wish and later on we go back on Christmas day to give these presents to them. Yet, due to a lack in funding, we were only able to fulfill the wishes of fifteen kids this year. We are planning to do it every year and to make it more successful, we are raising a funds right for the start of the session.
“I want a soccer ball.”- Tenzin, 12 years old.
S.O.S Project — S.O.S stands for Story of Our Students. The main aim of this project is to let people around the world know about the way our students have traveled from Tibet to India. The stories they have are heart breaking and for some it has really been like a hell on earth. We are sure that when you go through them, you won’t believe what is there in front of you, yet it is true. So far, we have finished the interviews and are currently in the process of editing. Yet, we face a shortage in funding to publish it.
We love you Dalai Lama Project — Since China is claiming that HH the Dalai lama is a wolf in monk’s robes and is accused for all the violence between Tibet and China, we want to tell them it is totally the other way round. Yet, we want to prove this in a different way and therefore we came up with this idea. For this project, those who love HH the Dalai Lama, those who appreciate his contribution to the world, those of encourage HH to carry on, those who believe in what he does and those who support him are requested to write a poem, a letter, an essay or a drawing for HH. Later on we are going to bind all the papers together and it the title of the cover will be: “We love you Dalai Lama”. We will present this to HH on his coming birthday, the 6th of July 2009. We want to make this an international project, and we set ourselves a minimum target of 100,000 people. More over, at the time of writing we are conducting this process in seven different countries so far, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Japan, South Korea, France and India. Still we are looking for more people who can help us to spread this initiative further.