Lha's Annual Report 2016: A Summary
- Category: Announcements
I, on behalf of Lha Charitable Trust, would like to convey that one of the greatest joys of this festive season is the opportunity to say heartfelt Thank You! and to wish you and your family avery happy and healthy New Year 2017 ahead.
Lha Charitable Trust is pleased to present our Annual Report for 2016. This year we carried out 36 significant projects and programmes which are expected to have a positive impact on at least 30,770 people. Lha is continuing to expand its learning and enrichment opportunities worldwide. The Trust focuses its efforts on five areas: Social services, Educational resources, Awareness of the Tibet issue, Volunteering opportunities, and Cultural exchange programmes. Since Lha was founded in 1997 we have continued to be inspired by the compassion, dedication and contributions of generous supporters and thousands of volunteers from around the globe. Thanks to you, our generous supporters and volunteers, 2016 has been an amazing and a great success.
ABOUT THE ORGANISATION
Lha Charitable Trust is an award-winning, grass-roots, 12AA and 80G non-profit organisation and one of the largest Tibetan social work institutes based in Dharamshala, India. Founded in 1997 and registered as a charitable trust by the Indian Government, Lha has continuously provided vital resources to those in need for over 19 years. Lha’s financial accounts are audited annually by a government approved chartered accountant and all tax return certificates are issued by the Income Tax Department, Government of India.
MISSION AND PROGRAMMES
Lha’s primary goal is to provide meaningful, multi-leveled social and educational services to help ease the transition for the Tibetan refugee community. Lha’s services are also open to the local Indian population and people from nearby Himalayan regions.
On a daily basis Lha serves over 200 people, hosts between 15 to 25 volunteers and provides approximately 20 different kinds of services such as language classes, tutoring, computer courses, health and environmental education, a Community Soup Kitchen, clean water, free medicine and clothing distribution, a community magazine, volunteer opportunities and co-ordination, and a public library.
We organise cultural exchange programmes for international student groups and we also provide reception and orientation services as well as arrange home-stays for visitors to McLeod Ganj.
The year 2016 has been another eventful year for Lha Charitable Trust. With the help of our volunteers and financial support from individual donors and other organisations, we were able to improve our ongoing projects as well as implement several new projects and events during the year. The events and projects we carried out this year are explained briefly below:
PROGRAMME IMPACT 2016
This year we have registered 550 new students, bringing the total number of students to date to 11,558 students since 2006. There were daily averages of 170 students attending classes. We have four different levels of English classes, three levels in both Chinese and French, basic level in German and Tibetan language. In total, we have 12 different language classes operating on a daily basis. We try to accommodate different language classes as per the demand of our community.
Apart from everyday language classes, we also arrange one-to-one tutoring for our students based on availability of volunteers. In the period 2015 – 2016, 248 Lha students were allocated personal tutors. During this year personal tutors were assigned to 160 students through Lha.
This year we had 87 new students enrolled in our computer classes including the 23 students who were given a full scholarship by Lha for free computer education. Our computer classes are categorised into basic introduction to computer knowledge as well as introduction to Photoshop and Indesign. We also arrange special courses depending on the availability of professional volunteers in a particular field. This year, we had a volunteer who is a professional web designer and we were able to organise two web designing classes for interested students.
Lha accepts donations of used and new clothes from visitors and tourists in town and redistributes them in impoverished areas throughout Dharamshala as well as to individuals. Approximately 300 local Tibetans and Indians came to the clothing distribution event and everyone was invited to take seven items of their choice. Over 28,000 clothing items were distributed during the event. There was something there for everyone, including men's and women's summer and winter wear, children's clothes, shoes, bags, sleeping-bags, shawls, and toys. Everything was donated by generous individuals and groups.
Under this year's Clear Vision Eye Care Programme, 124 people received free eye checkups. This led to 17 people receiving medicine for their eye conditions, and 102 people received free eye glasses. Our Tibetan Smiles Dental Programme provided free dental care for 118 people. Beneficiaries of these programmes were nuns, monks, lay people, and people from the Himalayan region living in and around the Dharamshala community.
Lha's Clear Vision Project was started in 2009 and the Dental Care programme began in 2011.
This year 11,100 copies of Contact magazine were distributed locally and posted to individuals, schools and organisations in India and abroad. Over 33 international volunteers, together with Lha staff writers, have written 151 featured articles for Contact. In line with our remit to promote democracy, we have given priority this year to coverage of the elections for Sikyong (or Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile) and chitue (members of parliament). We produced a special issue "Election Special" which gave comprehensive coverage in the run-up to voting in March. One of Contact's prime focuses is on the human rights situation inside Tibet and our reporting on this issue is an attempt to be a voice for the voiceless.
Contact magazine is a community news magazine featuring news about Tibetans inside Tibet, Tibetans in exile, and details of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's activities. It is the only monthly English news magazine which is distributed freely around the Tibetan communities and posted free of cost to individual subscribers around the world. Since this year's June issue, we also feature one 'people' story in each issue – 'people' stories are profiles of the people who make up the Dharamshala community. Contact magazine is also updated regularly online at www.contactmagazine.net where there are 4,000 visitors monthly. A PDF version of Contact is made available to the public every month at http://issuu.com/; so far this has received 6,194 views.
Since 2010, Lha has installed water filtration systems in 24 different institutions, benefiting over 13,700 people. The aim of this project is to ensure that people can access free, filtered water, thus helping to keep the community healthy into the future. This year we have serviced all the water filtration systems that we installed and changed the filter "candles" to provide maintenance.
We conducted an evaluation survey of our Clean Water Project for 2016. Our volunteers Tine Niklasson and Ashley Summers, who are studying Global Nutrition and Food Policy at VIA University College in Aarhus, Denmark, did a survey among teachers in India and wrote an in-depth report on the project. According to their survey 60% of teachers in schools with access to clean water (provided by our filters) reported an increase in their student's' class attendance after the installation of the water filtration systems. 79% of students reported an improvement in their overall health after drinking filtered water.
This year 79 new beneficiaries have registered to eat at the Lha Soup Kitchen, where we serve healthy and nutritious lunches for over 50-60 needy Tibetan refugees every weekday. Since its inception in 2011, the total number of people who have benefitted from this project is now 408. In November 2016 one of our volunteers (Todd W Rawls, a survey sociologist) did an assessment survey on the project to enable us to look at ways of improving the service. According to his report 98% of the beneficiaries are satisfied with the quality, nutrition and variety of the food served at the Community Kitchen.
Under the category of preserving and promoting Tibetan culture and language, Lha manages a bilingual website www.samdhongrinpoche.com where all the teachings, writings and speeches of Professor Samdhong Rinpoche are accessible to the public in either written or audio forms. Rinpoche's website has 6,000 visitors monthly.
This year alone, we have completed 39 pages of transcriptions in English, published 113 translations and transcriptions, and published 300 quotations on this website. This year we have also published 15 transcriptions and translations on the website in the Tibetan language.
To date we have uploaded 875 audio files of Rinpoche's teachings or speeches, uploaded 100 videos of Rinpoche's speeches and teachings onto Youtube, and uploaded 1,185 photos to Rinpoche's online gallery. The Youtube uploads have received approximately 100,000 views to date. Rinpoche's audio uploads on Sound cloud has over 2,000 regular listeners and 82,000 listeners to date.
To coincide with the celebration of His Eminence Prof Samdhong Rinpoche's 77th birthday, we launched the 7th Volume of the book Collected Works of His Eminence Prof Samdhong Rinpoche. The Collected Works include His Eminence's speeches, writings and interviews. The 500-page volume, in Tibetan, is a continuation of the series edited by Dr. Tenzin Dhonyoe. 500 copies of the book were printed for free distribution.
This year Lha organised two mass clean-up events in Mcleod Ganj. The first was organised in collaboration with Tibet Charity to mark World Environment day. The second was initiated by the Tibetan Settlement Office, Dharamshala. During these events, Lha - along with other local NGOs - collected a tremendous amount of garbage from the Mcleod Ganj area.
Lha has been working with many local organisations to keep the town clean and green for several years. Lha's Environment Care Project works at educating the public through our environment website http://www.tibetnature.net/en/, tri-lingual brochures, and organising mass clean-ups. The Tibet Nature website has over 4,000 visitors monthly.
Our Tibet Nature website focuses on environmental issues faced inside Tibet. This year we have published 63 environment-related articles and translations on our website. The website serves as a source of news and researched articles from various authors and news sources on Tibet's ongoing environmental issues.
Under this programme we organised two events this year to promote early childhood literacy, in collaboration with the Tibet Fund. Our lead resource person was Mr. Jamyang Gyaltsen, a former Education Officer at the Department of Education, Central Tibetan Administration, who worked in collaboration with Tenzin Dekyi. The first event was a celebration of World Storytelling Day and over 300 children and their parents took part. One thousand children's books were distributed freely among the participants. In July, we conducted the second event to promote early childhood literacy: a workshop was conducted for 42 parents, focusing on the importance of reading and its contribution in their child's imagination development.
We arranged three talks by His Eminence Professor Samdhong Rinpoche on varying topics to different audiences. Several talks by Geshe Lhakdor, Director of the Tibetan Library, were arranged for international students who were participating in our Cultural Exchange Programme.
Under this programme we hosted 13 different student and professional groups. In total, there were 142 participants from across the world. Most of the foreign student groups helped Lha language class students to improve their English, French and Chinese while the medical professionals helped us with our eye and dental care and medical projects. In addition to their volunteerism and contributions, participants visited several Tibetan institutes to learn about Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan Medicine, and the political situation in Tibet. We also arranged talks for the groups by Tibetan professionals on these subjects. This was a great opportunity for us to share our culture, tradition and religion with our foreign friends.
We are the largest volunteer host and coordination organisation in the Tibetan community with an average of 15 – 20 volunteers participating in Lha activities daily throughout the year. In the summer months, this increases to an average of 25 – 50 volunteers daily.
This year we have worked with total of 587 volunteers from across the world who donated their valuable time and service. We create a wide range of volunteer opportunities for both skilled and unskilled individuals from across the globe. While most of the volunteers work directly with Lha, others are placed throughout the Tibetan community. Each year, we accommodate different services based on the availability of volunteers. Volunteers play a crucial role in the continuation of our services to the community.
East Meets West: Mindful Medicine Conference
This year from October 23 - 25, Lha organised its first medical conference East Meets West: Mindful Medicine. Ten doctors from the United States, five from the Tibetan Delek Hospital and three from Men-Tsee-Khang (Tibetan traditional doctors) participated in the three-day conference for mutual learning. The event was very successful and we are planning to make this conference one of our annual events in future.
This April, Lha hosted a nutritional expert and consultant from Switzerland named Maria. Maria gave a basic course in nutrition to Lha students and covered the physiology of digestion, nutrition, minerals, vitamins, eating habits, and more.
Spreading the Word in North America
Mr. Ngawang Rabgyal, Lha's Director, travelled to the United States and Mexico for a month to raise awareness about both Lha as an organisation and its activities. He met and paid tribute to the organisations who work in partnership with Lha to continue their support Lha's work and become involved in promoting Tibetan issues. The support and participation from many organisations around the world enables us to carry out our social services. During his trip, Ngawang visited many organisations, universities and communities to speak about Lha's cultural exchange programme.
Multi-Purpose New Hall
Another milestone in Lha's list of activities this year was the inauguration of a new multi-purpose hall on the top floor of Ahimsa House by His Eminence Prof Samdhong Rinpoche. As well as using the hall for ourselves for the sustainability and self-reliance of the organisation, we also aim to rent it out to those looking to host events including conferences, meetings, workshops, etc.
One of the events which we carried out this year for the first time was a fundraising event in the community. On July 9, 2016, our volunteers Hewlet and Paulina Wrotynska from Poland organised and funded a barbeque. Lha staff and our two volunteers worked together to hold a barbeque, open to the public, at Ahimsa hall. More than hundred people showed up to support this very successful event.
Lha was awarded the first Environmental Care Award by the Tibetan Settlement Office (TSO) for Dharamshala at the inaugural TSO local leaders meeting on November 25th. TSO Awards were presented to various organisations to honour outstanding service for the Tibetan community, dedication to the Tibetan cause and for social services.
The award was presented by Mr. Ngodup Tsering, the Education Minister for the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, representing Sikyong Lobsang Sangay who was in North America.
Lha's Deputy Director Mr. Lobsang Rabsel attended the meeting and received the award on behalf of Lha Charitable Trust. The Settlement Officer said the award was presented for Lha's environmental days of action and mass clean-ups, and to acknowledge that Lha staff, students and volunteers provide a committed workforce for these activities.
Lha also has a bilingual Environmental website, www.tibetnature.net
The Lha Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year 2014-2015, as per the Audit Report required under section 12A (b) of the Income Tax Act 1961, Govt of India, shows a total income of INR 98,20,062.37 (USD 163,667.7) and total expenditure of INR 94,48,025.48 (USD 157,467.09) which includes administrative costs of INR 36,31,463.00 (USD 60,524.38) and project costs of INR 52,78,470.98 ( USD 87,974.51).
In order to be self-sufficient and sustainable in meeting our administrative expenditure and in providing our daily social services such as our language and computer classes, Lha organises student exchange groups and accommodates volunteers at Lha's Ahimsa house to generate revenue.
However, to keep up with the growing needs of the community, and to maintain the operation of our other social services and special projects such as the Soup Kitchen, Contact magazine, Clean Water, Clear Vision, Tibetan Smiles Dental Care, Environmental Initiatives, HIV/AIDs awareness, etc., we continue to rely on generous donations.
We are also open to new projects and events, depending on the community's needs at any time. For such, we are highly dependent on donations and sponsors.
Lha Fundraising Needs for 2017
• Lha Soup Kitchen: US $14,400 ($1,200 a month).
o The Soup Kitchen provides 50-60 healthy lunches daily for Tibetan refugees in need.
o Funds are needed to purchase food items as well as to provide nutritional education workshops.
• Commercial Oven for the Lha Soup Kitchen: US $7,800
o To be used for vocational training on preparing food and making pastries.
o Pastries made will be sold as a fundraising endeavor for the organisation.
• Commercial Coffee Machine: US $47,00
o To be used in vocational training programs in making coffee.
o Coffee made will be sold along with the pastries as a fundraising tool.
• Clean Water Program: US $5,300
o Provides annual maintenance and new filters for the 24 water filtration systems Lha has previously installed both in Tibetan and Indian communities throughout northern India.
• Clear Vision Program: US $3,000
o Provides free eye care and glasses for community members in need.
• Tibetan Smiles Program: US $7,000
o Provides free dental care for community members in need.
• Medical Assistance Program (MAP): US $4,000
o Provides free medical care for community members in need.
• Solar Energy Program: US $4,700
o Provides solar energy set up for a school or monastery.
o The more of these grants we receive, the more institutions we can support.
• Solar Powered Hot Water Program: US $3,300
o Sets up a solar powered hot water system for a school or monastery.
o The more of these grants we receive, the more institutions we can support.
On behalf of Lha Charitable Trust and all the beneficiaries, we would like to express our heartfelt thank you for all your generous assistance in carrying out our daily initiatives which could not have been as successful as they are without your kind support. Thank you very much, Louisiana Himalaya Association, Tulane University, The Tibet Fund, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, Tibet Freunde Swiss, Lifework International, Rustic Pathways, Loyola University, The Forgotten International, Warwick Valley Rotary Club of New York, Hospice Group from the US, and various other individuals and organisations.
Lha has been going strong for many years and continues to be inspired by the generous supporters and dedicated volunteers from all around the world to tend to the needs of the impoverished and underprivileged communities in India.
The Year Ahead
Each year our programmes and projects are adjusted to meet the conditions and needs of the region. With your generous support, we hope to continue providing these invaluable services to the local community and engage in new initiatives in the coming year. All monetary contributions (large or small) from philanthropic corporations and generous individuals are greatly appreciated and helpful. In India, even a little goes a long way, and a lot goes very far!
Please follow the links for more details, updated reports and news. If you would like to read our latest updates, please visit Lha's website www.lhasocialwork.org.
Below are some quick facts about Lha's work in 2016. We hope for continued success in 2017. Thank you once again for your unwavering support; we could not have achieved these things without you, the volunteers, and of course the dedication of the students and the community.
Ngawang Rabgyal (Director)
Lha Charitable Trust
Temple Road, Mcloed Ganj
Distt. Kangra, H.P. India
Office phone: +91-1892-220992
Office Mobile: +91-9882323455
Lha's You Tube Channel
Lha's Facebook Page
Contact Facebook Page
Lha's Twitter Contact Twitter
2016 LHA IMPACT
• Provided language classes for 2,211 students attending Lha's classes, based on monthly attendance
• Enrolled 550 new students in language classes
• 87 students attended Beginner and Intermediate computer classes
• Distributed over 28,000 free articles of new or used clothing to both the Tibetan and local Indian communities
• Served 50-60 needy people daily, with a total of 79 people benefiting from the Lha community kitchen which provides clean water and nutritious meals
• Provided free eye examinations to 124 Tibetan refugees and people from Himalayan regions, 17 people received medication and 102 people received free eye glasses
• Provided free dental care services to 118 Tibetans and people from the Himalayan region, including dental check-ups, cleanings, fillings, extractions, providing medicines, x-rays, etc.
• Circulated educational pamphlets, organised awareness campaigns, and arranged a mass clean-up on World Environment Day, reaching and affecting around 2,100 people
• Provided support letters for 47 students. The Indian Government requires a letter from an educational institution from newly arrived refugees as proof that they have registered as relocating to India for educational opportunities
• Worked with 587 new volunteers who donated their valuable time and energy
• Organised Cultural Exchange Programmes for 13 international groups, including University and High School students and professionals, with around 142 participants
• Published and distributed 11,300 free copies of Contact Magazine
• Organised two educational events to promote early childhood literacy with over 342 attendees.
• 1000 free books have been distributed to Tibetan children.
QUICK FACTS FROM 2003 TO 2016
• 11,422 students have benefited from our language courses.
• 2,955 students have benefited from our computer classes and IT workshops.
• Approximately 1,581 students from international education institutes participated in the cultural exchange programme.
• Over 7,421 volunteers from over 42 different countries have contributed to Lha's work.
• 34,340 free books have been distributed to Tibetan and local Indian schools and libraries.
• More than 38,047 articles of clothing were collected and distributed through the donation centre.
• 24 water filtration systems have been installed under Lha's Clean Water Project, which continues to provide purified cooking and drinking water to over 13,300 people.
• 577 people received free eye check-ups, and glasses were provided for more than 445 people through the Clear Vision Project.
• 658 people benefited from the Tibetan Smiles dental care project with services such as dental check-ups, cleanings, extractions, dispensing medication, etc.
• 80,300 copies of the free publication Contact have been distributed since 2009.
• 169 people have graduated from Lha's massage courses.
• 67 people have graduated from Lha's photography courses.
• The Lha Community Soup Kitchen has served 50-60 people daily, and has benefited 408 people since its opening in July 2011.
• 770 students have been provided with a recommendation letter to comply with the Indian Government's requirement of a letter from an educational institution as proof for newly arrived refugees who have been registered as relocating to India for educational opportunities.
• Since 2015, 692 parents and students have benefited from educational talks that Lha has organised.
• Since 2015, 130 elderly people have benefited from projects at the Jampaling Elders Home.
Lha Annual Report: Activities in Detail
• February 20, 2016 – Lha hosted a dinner for Lha's tireless volunteers in celebration of the Tibetan New Year.
• 2016 – Lha worked with 587 volunteers from across the world.
• March 2016 – In the month of March, Lha conducted an evaluation survey on the Clean Water Project with help from our volunteers Tine Niklasson and Ashley Summers, who are studying Global Nutrition and Food Policy at VIA University Collage in Aarhus, Denmark and who did a survey on schools in India and wrote an in-depth report on the project.
• March 19, 2016 – Lha organised this year's first educational event to celebrate World Storytelling Day where storytelling, free book distribution, and talks from experts were arranged. Over 300 children and their parents attended the event and 1,000 children's story books were distributed free of charge.
• March 22 – April 2016 – Lha's Director Ngawang Rabgyal travelled to the United States and Mexico, visiting various organisations and universities who work in partnership with Lha, supporting Lha's work and becoming involved in promoting Tibetan issues.
• April 7-9, 2016 – Lha's Deputy Director Lobsang Rabsel and General Secretary Dorji Kyi participated in three-day conference at Tarab Ling, Dehradun on Strengthening Tibetan Civil Society. The conference was co-hosted by SOIR-IM, The Tibet Fund, and the Tibet Relief Fund.
• June 4, 2016 – Lha organised a charity clothes giveaway where over 28,000 new or used clothing items were distributed free of charge to approximately 300 local Tibetans and Indians.
• June 6, 2016 – Lha, in collaboration with Tibet Charity, organised a mass clean-up around the Tsugla-khang area to observe the World Environment Day, with over 100 people taking part in the event.
• June 6, 2016 – His Eminence Prof Samdhong Rinpoche inaugurated Lha's new multi-purpose hall on the top floor of Ahimsa House. The new hall can accommodate between 30-40 people and will be used to host meetings, workshops, conferences, etc.
• June 6, 2016 – Lha hosted a group of 14 students from Tulane University, led by their group leader Michael D. Smith, to participate in our Cultural Exchange Programme.
• June 18, 2016 – Lha hosted the first group of students from Rustic Pathways, with 15 students taking part in our Cultural Exchange Programme.
• June 23, 2016 – Lha staff, students and volunteers took part in the mass clean-up drive initiated by the Tibetan Settlement Office in Dharamshala, where members of Lha and other non-government organisations collected a huge amount of garbage from the Mcleod Ganj area.
• June 24, 2016 - Lha hosted a second group of students from Rustic Pathways, with 14 students taking part in our Cultural Exchange Programme.
• June 28, 2016 – Lha hosted a student group of 13 medical students from Louisiana State University as part of the Lha Cultural Exchange Programme.
• July 2, 2016 - Lha hosted a third group of students from Rustic Pathways, with 14 students taking part in our Cultural Exchange Programme.
• July 5, 2016 – Lha, in collaboration with the Tibet Fund, held a workshop for Tibetan parents on Early Literacy Development which was attended by over 42 parents
• July 6, 2016 – Lha hosted 11 students from Loyola University New Orleans to take part in our Cultural Exchange Programme.
• July 9, 2016 – Lha organised a fundraising event which was funded by Lha's volunteers Karol Hewlet and Paulina Wrotynska from Poland.
• July 16, 2016 - Lha hosted a fourth group of students from Rustic Pathways with 11 students taking part in our Cultural Exchange Programme.
• July 17, 2016 – Lha hosted a group of medical students from Louisiana State University who volunteered through Lha to provide free eye check-ups to 124 people and free dental care to 118 people. 102 people were given free eye glasses.
• July 18, 2016 – Lha hosted 7 students from Lifework International to take part in our Cultural Exchange Programme.
• July 25, 2016 – Lha hosted a fifth group of students from Rustic Pathways with 11 students to take part in our Cultural Exchange Programme.
• September 2, 2016 – Lha hosted a group of nine students and two professors from Tulane University's School of Social Work.
• October 4, 2016 – Lha hosted 12 professionals from Hospice Care in the United States as part of our Cultural Exchange Programme.
• October 23, 2016 – Lha organised East Meets West: Mindful Medicine Conference where 10 doctors from the United States, five from Delek Hospital in Dharamshala and three from Men-tse-khang took part.
• November 5, 2016 – To celebrate His Eminence Prof Samdhong Rinpoche's birthday, Lha invited Rinpoche to give a talk The ways of maintaining motive, and carrying out works by socialservice workers to a group of volunteers, dignitaries from monasteries and other non-government organisations. Following the talk was the launch of the book Volume 7 of the Collected Works of His Eminence Prof Samdhong Rinpoche.
• November 7, 2016 – Lha hosted the sixth group of students from Rustic Pathways with 15 students taking part in our Cultural Exchange Programme.
• November, 2016 - during the month of November, Todd W Rawls, a survey sociologist and Lha volunteer, conducted an assessment survey on Lha's Community Soup Kitchen to look at possible ways for future improvement to the service.
The launch of the book Volume 7 of the Collected Works of His Eminence Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, After an introduction by Mr. Ngawang Rabgyal, Director of Lha Charitable Trust.
Lha's English Conversation class for Improving our student's English speaking and at the same time sharing thoughts and cultural exchange with international volunteers.
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