Lha depends on the goodwill of volunteers and monetary and material donations for it to provide essential rehabilitation resources to the exiled Tibetan community. Lha is a non-profit organization dependent on monetary contributions from philanthropic corporations and generous individuals. In India, even a little goes a long way, and a lot goes very far!

Payable to: Lha Charitable Trust
Lha Office Temple Road, Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, 176219
Distt Kangra, Himachal Pradesh

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Lha Charitable Trust is delighted to announce the launch of the annual report 2017. 
The year 2017 has been a very special year for Lha Charitable Trust as we celebrate our 20th anniversary. It has been a year of experimentation, learning and evolving. This year we carried out 34 significant projects. The year threw up many challenges, prompted us to push ourselves to new limits, become innovative and emerge with new insights. It also made us face many situations where we were challenged to change, modify or recreate the modality to work with our beneficiaries. However, what did not change for us is our zeal to create opportunities for our community for better health and education. The path for this work has never been smooth, and we have faltered, learnt and evolved into being more rooted and compassionate. We have also strengthened and streamlined our interventions through regular monitoring, evaluation and timely strategic decision making. In times of crisis and pain, what has helped us stay the course is the faith that has been bestowed on us by our beneficiaries, partners, funders and well-wishers. This year we were fortunate enough to see many such moments, and we would like to give you a glimpse of these through this annual report.

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ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
Lha Charitable Trust is an award-winning, grass-root, 12AA and 80G non-profit organization 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 20 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.

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MISSION AND PROGRAMS
Lha provides meaningful, multi-leveled social and educational services to help ease transitions for the Tibetan refugee community. Lha’s services are extended to the local Indian population and people from nearby Himalayan regions.
Each day, Lha serves over 150 people, hosts 15-25 volunteers and provides approximately 20 different services, including language classes, tutoring, computer courses, health and environmental education, a community soup kitchen, clean water systems, free medical services, clothing distribution, an international community magazine, volunteer opportunities and coordination, and a public library.
We organize cultural exchange programs for international student groups, provide reception and orientation services for incoming foreign volunteers, and arrange Tibetan home-stays for visitors to McLeod Ganj.
The year 2017 has been another eventful year for Lha Charitable Trust. With the help of our volunteers and financial support from individual donors and organizations, we were able to improve our ongoing projects and implement new projects and events during the year. The events and projects we carried out this year are explained briefly below: 

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PROGRAMME IMPACT 2017

International Language Classes
Language classes continue to be the most well-received service offered to the Dharamshala community and remain central to Lha’s mission.  The full weekday schedule provides classes in 5 different languages, including 5 levels of English, 3 levels of Chinese, 3 levels of French and 1 level each of German, and Tibetan. Lha’s language classes are open to students of all ages and backgrounds and are attended by Tibetan refugees, local Indians and those from other Himalayan communities. The majority of Lha’s language students were younger and older adults from Tibet, including monks and nuns. In total, there were 13 language classes each day, Monday-Friday, 650 new students registered, 154 individual tutoring sessions, 150+ students attendance per month, 1,748 total student attendance classes for 2017.

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Computer Classes
Lha has a well-established computer training program that provides students with viable job skills which improve their employment opportunities. In 2017, Lha provided students with introductory computer training as well as more complex software skills in Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. There were 51 students enrolled in computer and IT workshops for this year.

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Clothing Distribution
In its 15th year, the clothing distribution program partnered again with the Dharamshala Rotary Club to distribute over 3,000 articles of clothing to 30 families in the slum areas of lower Dharamshala, in an event attended by presidents and members of the Rotary Club and Lha’s Director, Ngawang Rabgyal. Every month, the Dharamshala Rotary Club distributes articles of clothing to those in need, with particular attention paid to individuals living in high-need areas of lower Dharamshala.

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Clear Vision and Smile Dental Projects
In 2017, our Clear Vision Eye Care and Tibetan Smiles Dental Care projects benefitted over 365 monks and nuns. This year, these projects took place in two specific institutions:  Bir Nyingma Monastery and Shuksib Nunnery in Dharamshala, both in June 2017.
The program is scheduled to coincide with the arrival of Tulane University medical students, who travel from the U.S. every summer to visit Lha and provide free medical services to the Tibetan community. This year, the medical groups visited the two institutions and performed eye and dental exams. Each routine check-up was followed by any services required. Of 365 patients: 205 received necessary dental treatments, including fillings, scaling, extractions, crowns, and medicines. 142 received eye exams, with 95 receiving free eyeglasses. 71 received medical check-ups and necessary medicines.
The group worked with local dentist Ms. Natasha from Perfect 32 in McLeod Ganj, Tanu Optical eye glass centre near Zonal Hospital, Dharamshala, Rotary Eye Hospital Pragpur, Bhajnath and Verma Eye Care and Optical Clinic.
The Lha Eye Care project was started in 2009 and the Dental Care project in 2011.

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Contact Magazine
Contact Magazine is the monthly news magazine published by Lha, distributed internationally in print and online, which addresses Tibetan current events and community information. This year, we have printed 11 issues of Contact, with 10,230 copies of the magazine in total. Over 160 Tibet-related news articles are featured, written by Lha staff and 30+ volunteers from around the world. Copies of the magazine are distributed freely around Dharamshala, with over 300 posted to embassies in Delhi, schools, institutions in India, and abroad. Contact is a voice for the voiceless, primarily focusing on news related to Tibetans inside Tibet, who continue to experience China’s ongoing abuse of human rights. Contact also publishes articles about Tibetans living in exile, activities of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration, and environmental news from Tibet.
Apart from news reports, monthly issues of Contact also contain one featured ‘People’ Story in the Dharamshala Voices section, profiling a Tibetan’s life story. This year, we have published 11 different People Stories representing different backgrounds of Tibetan refugees living in exile. 2017 marked Contact Magazine’s 20th anniversary of publication.

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Clean Water Project: Installation of the 25th filter system
On June 12, 2017, the Clean Water Project installed its 25th water filtration system in Kamrao Gapa Tibetan Settlement near Dehradun, which will provide safe drinking water to 229 residents. The 25th water filtration system was generously funded by the Tibet Relief Fund UK. This year, we also carried out maintenance for all 25 water filtration systems that have been installed since the program’s inception in 2010.
Water filtration systems are installed in areas most prone to waterborne diseases, where safe drinking water cannot be accessed by all. We have implemented the project in areas where filtration systems can benefit the maximum number of residents, such as monasteries, nunneries, schools, hospitals, and institutions. Through the Clean Water Project, over 16,200 beneficiaries now have access to clean water.

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 Community Soup Kitchen
Lha’s Community Soup Kitchen registered 43 new beneficiaries this year. Of all our projects, the Community Soup Kitchen is the only one that is dedicated solely to Tibetan refugees. Through this kitchen we provide free, nutritious meals to Tibetans in financial need in the Dharamshala community who come to us seeking help. In the past, the kitchen provided free meals to those who could not afford to pay and all others paid just Rs. 15 [$0.23] per meal. Since 2017, the meals are free for all beneficiaries. Since its inception in 2011, our Community Soup Kitchen has helped a total of 451 people. Safeguarding our beneficiaries’ health is our priority, we also provide fruit with the meals and all the ingredients are prepared with filtered water.

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Lha Staff at Sharing Civic Experience Workshop in Taiwan
This year, as part of Lha’s employee growth and development, and efforts to increase international networking, two of our staff participated in Sharing Civic Experience: NGO and Global Citizenship Education in Taiwan, where representatives of 35 NGOs in 10 countries came together to discuss issues in the international NGO community.
Lha’s General Secretary Dorji Kyi and Contact Magazine editor Tenzin Samten attended the four-day workshop organized by the Global Education Centre at the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies, and Paulo Freire Institute in Malta which took place from August 22 – 25. Dorji Kyi spoke briefly on the history of Tibet, the current status of Tibetans in Tibet and in exile, and about Lha’s goals, objectives and projects.

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Volunteering Opportunities
Lha is the largest volunteer host and coordination organization in the Tibetan refugee community in Dharamshala, India. At Lha, a wide variety of meaningful volunteer opportunities are available for both skilled and unskilled individuals. Most volunteers work directly with Lha, while others are placed throughout the community with other NGOs.
In 2017, Lha received a total of 431 volunteers through online registration and drop-in, from different countries. Volunteers were placed according to their interests and the needs of the community. They participated, in small or large part, in nearly all Lha’s programs. Most of them taught language classes and helped with our English Conversation Class, a daily one-hour class which improves students' English listening and speaking skills in an informal environment. Here, the volunteers had an opportunity to share stories and ideas while learning about individuals from the Tibetan refugee community and their culture, often making new friends. Lha students also had the opportunity to understand different cultures. Lha offered its volunteers the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with Tibetan refugees and local Indian and Himalayan communities, while gaining hands-on experience working with a non-profit, community social work organization.

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Environmental Protection and Awareness Programs
Lha began environmental protection work in 2008 with area cleanups and Tibet Nature, Lha’s bilingual website dedicated to educating global Tibetan and Himalayan communities and the general public about environmental protection and conservation issues related to Tibetans and the world. This year, we expanded the area cleanups into a full program: Monthly Mass Cleanups. Every third Saturday, we came together in a collective effort to keep Dharamshala clean, with the combined efforts of staff, volunteers, and students. We collected trash on the roads and hillsides around the most travelled areas of McLeod Ganj and filled an entire dump truck or more each time.
Tibet Nature remains very active, including current environmental research articles in both English and Tibetan, and is updated regularly as new information becomes available. This year, Tibet Nature published 38 Tibetan articles and 10 English articles.
On World Environment Day, Lha held an essay contest for our students, in both English and Tibetan, with the theme “Connecting People to Nature.” The prizes were Rs.1000, Rs.700 and Rs.500 for first, second, and third for both languages. 37 students participated in this contest.

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Preservation of the Tibetan language and culture
Under the category of preserving and promoting Tibetan culture and language, Lha manages a bilingual website www.samdhongrinpoche.com, where an extensive collection of valuable teachings, writings, and speeches by the Venerable Professor Samdhong Rinpoche are accessible to the public, in written, Video and audio forms. This year alone, we completed 95 pages of transcriptions in English and 78 pages of transcriptions in Tibetan. We also published 63 videos on the YouTube channel and 53 audio files on Soundcloud.com. 37 articles - 25 Tibetan and 12 English – were published on the website.
To date, we have uploaded 928 audio files and 160 videos of Rinpoche's teachings and speeches. YouTube uploads have received approximately 252,500 views. Rinphoche’s Sound cloud audio content currently has over 2,300 regular listeners and 119,020 total listeners.
We also have a daily Tibetan class that is attended by adult Tibetans who want to learn to read or write in Tibetan. Attendance for daily Tibetan classes averages ten students throughout the year.
In June 2017, Lha organized a three-month intensive Advanced Tibetan Language class designed especially for Tibetan people working in Tibetan NGOs and institutes. Thus, classes were held after office hours. 38 people registered for the class and the majority attended regularly.
As a part of its preservation work, Lha manages several websites in the Tibetan language.

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World AIDS Day 2017
Lha organized an awareness campaign on 1st December- World AIDS Day - to educate people about this epidemic which has affected more than 36.7 million people around the world. During the street procession, we distributed more than 1,000 condoms and pamphlets in McLeod Ganj. The event was held at the McLeod main square and volunteers, students, locals and many tourists participated.
Lha observes World AIDS Day every year to commemorate those who have died from the disease and to campaign in support of those who continue to suffer from it. Lha is a part of a collective effort to prevent new infections and create an AIDS-free generation. This year's World AIDS Day theme was “Right to Health.”

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Cultural Exchange Programs
Lha hosted 14 International Exchange Groups in 2017. This included 6 student groups from Rustic Pathways, 1 student group from GoBeyond, 2 student groups from Tulane University, 1 student group from Loyola University and 5 groups of professional medical practitioners and hospice caregivers from the United States. Around 170 foreign students and professionals participated in the Lha Culture Exchange Program this year.  We also hosted one visiting group each from Australia Tibet Council, Operation Groundswell from Canada, and University students from Singapore.

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Second Annual Medical Conference
This year we hosted the Second Annual Mindful Medicine Conference from October 29 – 31, in collaboration with the Tibetan Delek Hospital, the Ochsner Medical Centre of New Orleans, Men-Tsee-Khang, the Louisiana Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and the Louisiana Himalaya Association. The main topic for the conference was the “Mind Body Connection,” however the participants also discussed philosophies such as compassion, meditation, and mindfulness.
The 15 participants were doctors and nurses from the United States, Men-Tsee-Khang, and Delek Hospital. The 8 doctors from the United States visited the Tibetan Delek Hospital and Men-Tsee-Khang to learn more about traditional Tibetan medical practice. We hope to schedule this event in October every year.

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Educational Talks
This year we arranged several educational talks for our students, foreign exchange groups and volunteers.
Some of the most notable speakers included His Eminence Professor Samdhong Rinpoche who gave two talks last year; Geshe Lhakdor (Director of the Tibetan Library) who also spoke twice; Mr. Lobsang Yeshi (current parliamentarian) spoke once to a group of students. The topics covered included Tibet’s history, culture, and the current situation, Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness. Mr. Tenzin Kunchok from GEO Hazard of India, gave a presentation on the “Disaster Preparedness Program” to Lha students.  This was considered important as Dharamshala is located in zone V (highest risk zone with intensity MSK IX or Greater) in the earthquake hazard map of India.

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Celebration of Lha’s20 Year Anniversary
Lha celebrated its 20th anniversary of providing social services for the Tibetan community, local Indians, and people from Himalayan regions. The anniversary function commenced with the lighting of the butter lamp by the Chief Guest, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Khenpo Sonam Tenphel. The Lha report20 years: An Incredible Journey and Achievement Report was distributed in Tibetan and English, launched by the Chief Guest, and a short documentary on Lha’s projects was screened during the gathering. The event was attended by Special Guest, CTA Justice Commissioner Dr Nawang Rabgyal, along with representatives from numerous Tibetan and Indian government departments, local and international NGOs, as well as Lha’s students, volunteers, and former staff members, who filled the hall at TIPA to capacity.
Lha Director Ngawang Rabgyal briefly introduced the organization in Tibetan, its activities, and achievements, followed by General Secretary Dorji Kyi, who gave the same report in English. Lha Board Member Dukthen Kyi read His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s special message for the occasion. Finally, the keynote speech was delivered by the Chief Guest. Lha’s founder and board members, long-term volunteers, and the longest serving staff member were also honored at the ceremony.

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Financials
Lha Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2017-2018, as per the Audit Report under section 12A (b) of the Income Tax Act 1961, Govt. of India shows a total income of INR 6,716,762 (US $103,300) and total expenditures of INR 72,100,035.48 (US $1,109,200), which includes the administrative cost of INR 27,80,640.45 (US $42,780) and the project cost of INR 3,129,996.36 (US $48,150).
Donations 
Through coordinating student exchange group activities and providing student groups and volunteers with accommodation in Ahimsa House, Lha has raised sufficient revenue to become more self-sufficient and sustainable in providing daily social services, including the language and computer classes.
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.

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Thank you 
On behalf of Lha Charitable Trust and all our beneficiaries, we would like to express a heartfelt thank you for all your generous assistance in carrying out our daily initiatives, which could not have been a 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 Relief Fund UK, Tibet Freunde Swiss, GoBeyond, Rustic Pathways, Loyola University, Louisiana Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and numerous other individuals and organizations.
Lha has been going strong for many years and continues to be inspired by our generous supporters and dedicated volunteers from all around the world, who enable us to tend to the needs of the impoverished and underprivileged communities in our part of India.

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The Year Ahead 
Each year, our programs and projects are adjusted to meet the conditions and needs of the region. With your generous support we hope to continue providing these services to the community and engage in new initiatives in the coming year. All monetary contributions from philanthropic corporations and generous individuals are greatly appreciated and helpful, large or small. 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 
Thank you once again for your unwavering support; we could not have achieved what we have without you, the volunteers, and of course the dedication of the students and the community.

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2017 LHA IMPACT
• Provided language classes for 1,748 students, based on monthly attendance
• Enrolled 650 new students in language classes
• 51 students attended Beginner and Intermediate computer classes
• Distributed over 5,000 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 90 people benefiting from the Lha community kitchen, which provides clean water and nutritious meals
• Provided free medical checkups, eye examinations, and dental care services to 365 Tibetan refugees and people from Himalayan regions
• Circulated educational pamphlets, organized awareness campaigns, and held a mass clean-up on the third Saturday of each month, reaching and affecting around 3,000 people
• Provided support letters for 63 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 431 new volunteers who donated their valuable time and energy
• Organized Cultural Exchange Programs for 14 international groups, including University and High School students and professionals, with around 170 participants.
• Published and distributed 10,230 free copies of Contact Magazine
• The three-month intensive Advanced Tibetan Language class benefited 38 people
• 1,000 free books have been distributed to Tibetan children
• 1,200 free condoms have been distributed to in McLeod Ganj community on World AIDS Day
• The 25th Water filter machine has been installed at Kamrao Tibetan Settlement.

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QUICK FACTS FROM 2003 TO 2017
• 12,208 students have benefited from our language courses.
• 3,006 students have benefited from our computer classes and IT workshops.
• Approximately 1,751 students from international education institutes participated in the cultural exchange program
• Over 7,852 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 43,047 articles of clothing were collected and distributed through the donation centre
• 25 water filtration systems have been installed under Lha's Clean Water Project, which continues to provide purified cooking and drinking water to over 13,550 people
• 942 people received free eye check-ups, and glasses were provided for more than 600 people through the Clear Vision Project
• 863 people benefited from the Tibetan Smiles dental care project with services such as dental check-ups, cleanings, extractions, dispensing medication, etc.
• 90,530 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 453 people since its opening in July 2011
• 833 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 organized
• Since 2015, 130 elderly people have benefited from projects at the Jampaling Elders Hom.

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Thank you very much,
 
Yours Sincerely

Ngawang Rabgyal (Director)
Lha Charitable Trust
Temple Road, Mcloed Ganj
Dharamsala-176219
Distt. Kangra, H.P. India
Office phone: +91-1892-220992
Office Mobile: +91-9882323455 
Website: www.lhasocialwork.org
www.samdhongrinpoche.com 
www.tibetnature.net
www.contactmagazine.net 
  Lha's  You Tube Channel
 Lha's Facebook Page
Contact Facebook Page
Lha's Twitter 
Contact Twitter

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