WHAT IS THE TIBETAN RELIEF PROJECT?
The Tibetan Relief Project, Inc. (TRP), is a registered, non-profit charitable organization that was established in 1997 to help destitute Tibetan refugees living in exile as well as Tibetans living within Tibet. Its work has been inspired and encouraged by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In 1949 Communist China first invaded eastern Tibet. A year and a half later, a Tibetan delegation visiting Peking was forced to sign a document called the “17 Point Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet”. Despite strong resistance by the Tibetan people, the Chinese government proceeded to “liberate Tibet” which amounted to the military occupation of Tibet. In 1959, after a failed national uprising against the Chinese army in Lhasa, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India where he sought political asylum. He was followed by 80,000 Tibetans.
Since then the Chinese have directly or indirectly caused the death of more than 1.5 million Tibetans. Over 6,000 monasteries have been destroyed. The suppression of Buddhism has resulted in the death, imprisonment and torture of monks, nuns and lay people. Tibetan women have been subjected to forced abortions and sterilization. Schooling is terribly inadequate for Tibetans and is geared toward Chinese reading and writing skills rather than Tibetan. There has been massive environmental destruction as China’s continues to exploit Tibet’s forests, mineral wealth and wildlife.
In more recent years, the most alarming tactic has been China’s population transfer policy which has brought more than 7.5 million Chinese into Tibet. Tibetans, currently estimated at 6 million, have thus been outnumbered in their own country. As a result of the population transfer, Tibetans have been marginalized creating massive unemployment and poverty.
Peaceful dissent is not tolerated, and any attempt at voicing opposition to Chinese policies is a life-threatening risk. As a consequence in a Chinese-ruled Tibet, Tibetans are increasingly losing their own heritage.
It is for these reasons that Tibetans are seeking refuge outside Tibet, even for a short while. In freedom, despite the many hardships they encounter, they are able to practice their religion, study and live relatively free of fear while working towards their aspirations for a free Tibet.
Newly arrived refugees face tremendous difficulties in India, even though there are many established Tibetan communities-in exile, such as in Dharamsala. First of all, their stay is precarious since very few are granted the documents they need to legally reside in India. Secondly, India’s climate, lower altitude and diseases cause many Tibetans to fall ill and most do not have enough money for medicine. Newcomers do not know the language nor the local customs and work opportunities are scarce. Even within the Tibetan community-in-exile, dialectal differences and lack of education and skills useful in exile make it very difficult for refugees to support themselves. Higher educational opportunities for adults are extremely limited and financially beyond their means. Many children, who have come to India on their own in order to go to school, can not see their families in Tibet for years. In summary, the pain of separation from family and friends, the ongoing concern for the safety and well-being of those left behind in Tibet, health problems, financial worries and adapting to life in a new country cause a great deal of physical and psychological stress for recent arrivals.
The Tibetan Relief Project helps Tibetans both individually and otherwise. Since TRP's inception, the selection and support of recipients has been given on the basis of annual interviews with the main support going to individuals and families.
The Tibetan Relief Project works to achieve the following:
• To provide Tibetans in exile and in Tibet with the support they most need
• To sponsor education for Tibetans in exile and in Tibet
• To help with medical expenses
• To provide means for refugees to return to their homeland
• To keep Tibetan culture alive within Tibet and around the world
• To help with environmental preservation in Tibet
• To raise awareness in the West about the Tibetan situation
• To establish a personal heart-felt connection between the sponsors and
• recipients through the exchange of photos and letters
The Precious Umbrella is an auspicious Buddhist symbol. It signifies “the wholesome activity of preserving beings from illness, harmful forces and suffering in this life…as well as protecting and benefiting people under its cool shade.” As such, we feel it is an appropriate logo to represent the spirit of our work in helping provide Tibetan refugees with hope through the generosity of our precious donors.
Yes, I would like to help the Tibetan Relief Project.
Please make your donation payable in US dollars via PayPal:
Or send a check or money order payable in US dollars to:
Tibetan Relief Project
PO Box 231532
New York, NY 10023
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
All donations are U.S. tax-deductible.
TRP’s Tax I.D. # is 13-3976554.
As a contributor you will receive TRP’s annual newsletter.
For more information, email: email@example.com