Lha Charitable Trust is pleased to present our Annual Report for 2014. Last year we carried out 42 projects and educational awareness campaigns which are expected to have a positive impact on at least 36,700 people. Thank you to our many generous supporters and volunteers, 2014 has been a great success.
MISSION & PROGRAMS
Lha’s primary goal is to provide meaningful, multi-leveled social and education 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 150 people, hosts between 15 to 25 volunteers and provides approximately 20 different kinds of services, including multi-language classes and 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 also organize cultural exchange programs for international student groups, and provide reception and orientation services and arranges home-staysfor visitors to McLeod Ganj.
Clean Water Project: Lha works hard to operate with minimum administrative and program costs, to produce the maximum output. Your donations helped us to improve and increase our services and projects. In 2014, Lha installed seven more water filtration systems under the Clean Water Project.
The funds and donations provided by many generous supporters around the world have made it possible for us to install the reverse osmosis-ultra violet (RO-UV) water filtration systems that provide purified water for both drinking and cooking needs, benefiting over 2,145 people.
Community Kitchen: Serving 50-60 financially disadvantaged people daily, 90 people have benefited from the Lha community kitchen, which provides clean water and nutritious meals. In a survey conducted in December by Lha volunteers on the effectiveness and use of Lha Community Soup Kitchen, nearly all of the users (96%) responded that the soup kitchen meals are beneficial to their health, and 87% said they come to the soup kitchen because of financial problem.
English Curriculum Book: On 21st August, we introduced a new Lha English curriculum book for four different levels: Elementary, Beginner, Intermediate and Advance. Our new English curriculum is based on the Standard English curriculum of CEFR (Common European Framework for Reference), and has been developed by Mrs Mackenzie Hizon who has 10+ years experience in the fields of international education, international recruitment, and marketing strategy.
Environmental Awareness: During the tourist season, at the end of May and finishing on 5th June - World Environment Day - Lha organized a mass clean-up program in Mcleod Ganj in collaboration with the Central Tibetan Women's Association and the Clean Upper Dharamshala Program. We distributed pamphlets in three languages on the preservation and protection of the environment.
The week-long campaign reached around 2,500 people. 105 people took part in a survey on general environmental awareness and related issues in Mcloed Ganj, and Lha presented the survey report to the Indian local Government offices and the Central Tibetan Administration’s Home Department to help them plan future improvements in the area.
To spread awareness about the critical environmental issues in Tibet, we manage the website Tibetnature.net. This environment educational site www.tibetnature.net contains 351 researched articles and is visited around 3,000 times on a monthly basis.
HIV/AIDS Awareness: Lha observed World AIDS Day on 1st December in collaboration with the Kunphen Centre for Substance Dependence and Delek Hospital, providing free blood tests for the public, and distributing condoms and leaflets on HIV/AIDS prevention to over 800 people. In the same year, Lha organized several HIV/AIDS awareness talks and campaigns, with 2,120 people taking part.
Dental & Eye Care: Lha organized the Tibetan Smiles Dental Care Project and the Clear Vision Project in the Tibetan community at Bir, where 449 people were provided with free dental care and eye care services. In addition to the local Tibetan residents, many monks and nuns from nearby Himalayan regions who are pursuing Buddhist studies in the local monasteries also benefited from these programs.
Contact magazine continues to be a very popular free source of news on Tibetan issues and community information in Dharamshala, and has been in publication over 16 years. We have introduced a new look for Contact magazine, with the first two and the last two pages in color! We have also increased the number of pages to enable us to provide more news for our readers. 700-1,000 copies of each issue are printed monthly, available for free, and distributed in the Dharamshala area.
Copies are also sent to diplomatic missions in New Delhi, institutions, the Central Tibetan Administration offices, Tibetan schools and settlements around India, and to subscribers abroad. In 2014, 11,100 free copies of Contact Magazine were published and distributed. The Contact online website received around 6,000 visitors on a monthly basis. Please read more about Contact Magazine.
Fair Trade: With an aim of becoming more economically sustainable, while at the same time helping exiled Tibetans to generate income, the Lha Tibet Fair Trade (LTFT) company was launched. The LTFT is a licensed manufacturer, retailer, exporter, importer and wholesale company.
The showroom-cum-shop is based at Lha headquarters in Dharamshala and offers a wide range of handmade Tibetan craftworks. So far, we have set up a few partnerships including the Free Tibet online store in the UK. We welcome any businesses wishing to form partnerships and set up exhibition tours. For more information, please visit www.tibetfairtrade.com.
Student Exchange Groups: Last year, we received 17 groups from the US, Mexico and Australia with around 320 people participating in the culture exchange program. This is the highest number of international students that we have hosted in a year since the conception of the program in 2002. Organizing student exchange groups and arranging student groups and volunteers’ stay in Lha’s Ahimsa House has enabled Lha to raise revenue to become more self-sufficient and sustainable in providing our daily social services, including our multi-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. 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.
Social Media Award: Lha was awarded the second place in the category "Best Practices of Social Media Usage" in the south Asia-wide 3rd eNGO Challenge Award - Celebrating Digital Information Tools for Communities - South Asia, 2014.
The Award recognizes the best NGO practices of using Information and Communication Technologies. The presentation ceremony was held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi on 5th November. From thousands of NGOs around South Asia, 307 NGOs from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were nominated.
Website Launch: As an initiative towards preserving Tibet’s culture, language and heritage, and to help it to flourish, Lha launched a bilingual (Tibetan and English) website on His Eminence Professor Samdhong Rinpoche (www.samdhongrinpoche.org) where Rinpoche’s writings, speeches and teachings are now made freely available to the general public. The website consists of 459 researched articles, 253 audio and video clips, and receives over 11,000 viewers on a monthly basis. Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, an eminent and distinguished scholar, teacher and philosopher, is a life-long campaigner of Gandhian principles and works closely with His Holiness Dalai Lama.
Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche was the first Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the Central Tibetan Administration and a former speaker of theTibetan Parliament-in-Exile. Currently, his services are valued at the highest level as Patron, Advisor, Chairman, President, Chancellor and visiting scholar in various institutions and foundations, including Chancellor of Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies based in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh; a member of the Expert Advisory Committee, Ministry of Culture, Government of India; and President of the International Buddhist Congregation.
The Lha Annual Financial Report of the fiscal year 2013-2014 as per the Audit Report under section 12A (b) of the Income Tax Act 1961, Govt. of India shows the total income of INR 73,46,268 ($122437.8) and total expenditure of INR 71,21,009 ($118683.48) which includes administrative costs of INR33,65,732 ($56095.5) and project costs of INR27,28,906 ($45481.76).
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 invaluable services to the local 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
Below are some quick facts about Lha's work in 2014, and we hope for continued success in 2015. 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.
Director - Lha Charitable Trust.
For monetary donations:
By Wire transaction:
Bank Holder Name: Lha Charitable Trust
Account Number: 2517000101008335
Bank Name: The Punjab National bank
Swift Code: PUNBINBBPAR
Branch Bank: Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, H.P
By cheque, payable to "Lha Charitable Trust". Please send by mail to:
Lha Office Temple Road, Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, 176219
Distt Kangra, Himachal Pradesh INDIA
By Online Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Bank, American Express and Bank Transfer via Moneybookers.
Simply click on the Moneybookers link in the upper Right side of the Lha's website.
2014 LHA IMPACT:
- Provided language classes for 2,678 students attending Lha's classes, based on monthlyattendance
- Enrolled 796 new students on language classes
- Hosted 171 students attending Beginner and Intermediate computer classes
- Distributed over 2,303 free articles of clothing to both the Tibetan and local Indian communities
- Served 50-60 financially disadvantaged people daily, with 90 people benefiting from the Lha community kitchen which provides clean water and nutritious meals
- Introduced a standardized curriculum for the English Elementary, Beginner and Intermediate classes, based on the Standard English curriculum of CEFR (Common European Framework for Reference)
- Provided free eye examinations to 71 Tibetan refugees and free glasses to 32 people
- Provided free dental care services to 383 Tibetan refugees, including dental check-up, cleaning, fillings, extractions, providing medicines, x-rays, braces, etc
- Organized several HIV/AIDS awareness talks and observed World AIDS Day with awareness campaigns, distributed condoms and pamphlets to over 2,920 people
- Circulated pamphlets, organized awareness campaigns and mass clean-up on World Environment Day reaching around 2,500 people
- Provided recommendation letters for 254 students. The Indian Government requires a letter from an educational institution as proof from newly arrived refugees that they have registered as relocating to India for educational opportunities
- Worked with 454 new volunteers who donated their valuable time and energy
- Organized Cultural Exchange Programs for 17 international groups, including University and High School groups from the USA, Mexico and Australia, with around 320 participants
- Published and distributed 11,100 free copies of Contact Magazine (700-1,000 copies published every month)
- Installed seven brand new water filtration systems, serving around 2,145 people in total with purified water for both their drinking and cooking needs
- Undertook a survey on the Lha Clean Water Project to assess the benefits of the 16 water filtration systems installed so far (from which 7,000 people have benefited)
- Conducted an environmental survey
- Around 340 books distributed to local schools through Rotary Club Dharamshala.
QUICK FACTS FROM 2003 TO 2014
- Over 6,291 volunteers from 40 different countries have contributed to Lha's work
- Approximately 1,229 students from international education institutes participated in the cultural exchange program
- 33,340 free books distributed to Tibetan and local Indian schools and libraries
- More than 33,200 articles of clothing were collected and distributed through the donation center
- Installed 16 water filtration systems under Clean Water Project, which continues to provide purified cooking and drinking water to over 7,000 people
- 10,317 students have benefited from our language courses
- 2,748 students have benefited from our computer classes and IT workshops
- 367 people received free eye check-ups, and glasses provided for more than 258 people for Clear Vision Project
- Free publication and distribution of 57,900 copies of Contact magazine since 2009
- 169 people have graduated from Lha's massage courses
- 415 people were benefited from Tibetan Smiles – dental care project with services such as teeth check-up, cleaning, extractions, medication, etc.
- 67 people have graduated from Lha's photography courses
- The Lha Community Soup Kitchen has fed 50-60 financially disadvantaged people daily, and has benefited 258 people since its opening in July, 2011
- 622 students have been provided with a recommendation letter to comply with the Indian Government requirement for a letter from an educational institution as proof for newly arrived refugees who have been registered as relocating to India for educational opportunities.
Lha Annual Report-details
- 8th Jan: Around 1000 items of clothing were distributed to slums in the lower Dharamshala area through Red Cross Society of Kangra District and Dharamshala Rotary Club. The items were donated by Lha volunteers, visiting students groups, and tourists in 2013.
- 23rd March: Installed the 10th Reverse Osmosis water purifier system in CST Puruwala Tibetan settlement in Simour, Himachal Pradesh. This project was sponsored by the Australia Tibet Council Group and it is currently benefiting 50 students and 10 staff members at the school.
- 6th May: Installed the 11th Reverse Osmosis water purifier system in Sambhota Tibetan School in Paonta, H.P. The water system is benefiting 354 students and 65 staff members. The Heidi Kieselstein family from the USA, sponsored the project.
- 6th May: Installed the 12th Reverse Osmosis water purifier system in Dawa Rinjue School Society, Herbertpur, Uttarakhand. This system was sponsored by Ryan Lockee and his sixth grade class of St. Gabriel’s School, San Francisco, California, USA. This system is benefiting about 475 students and 25 staff members.
- 13th May: Installed the 13th Reverse Osmosis Water purifier system in Government College of Teachers Education, Dharamshala, H.P. Fundraised by Mike Emanaker, sponsored by Employees and Friends of Valley View Hospital, Colorado, USA. The purification system is benefiting 300 students and 50 staff members.
- 16th May: Conducted an awareness talk on HIV/AIDS and distributed brochures. The talk was given by Jade Conlon and more than 40 Lha students participated.
- 27th May: Received the students exchange group from Centenary College, Louisiana, USA. The group consisted of 10 students lead by Prof. David Otto and Michael Smith. The students participated in the mutual learning program, and visited the CTA complex, Bir Tibetan Settlement, Tso-pema and Mandi.
- 5th June: Observed the World Environment day by organizing a mass cleanup and public awareness campaign on environmental issues in collaboration with CUDP and Tibetan Women’s Association. Around 100 Lha students and volunteers participated in the program.
- 16th June: Received the students exchange group of 18 students from Tulane University, USA led by Mr. Michael and his team of tutors. The group participated in the mutual learning program, and visited the CTA complex, Norbulingka, Tibetan Library and other tourist venues in Dharamshala.
- 12th-20th June: Conducted an Environmental Survey to highlight the key environmental problems in the locality and find solutions. 107 business owners, locals and tourists participated. The survey report has been sent to the offices of the local Indian Government and the CTA.
- 30th June-10th July: Received the students exchange group from Lifework International consisting of 12 students in the group; who participated in the mutual learning program, and other cultural exchange programs.
- 5th-28th July: Received 4 different students exchange groups from Rustic Pathways. A total of 90 students from different colleges and high schools in America have participated in this program.
- 7th-26th July: Received students exchange group from Loyola University. 17 students participated in the mutual learning program and other cultural exchange programs.
- 8th -25th Sept: Received a group of students from Tulane University School of Social work, led by group leaders Dr. Ronald Marks, Professor Carolyn Weaver and adjunct Professor Michael Smith. Students participated in the Lha mutual learning program and other cultural exchange programs.
- 23rd Sept: Received a group of students from Rustic Pathways Australia, a group of 12 students led by group leader Divya Parameshwara, participated in the Lha mutual learning program and cultural exchange program.
- 13th Oct: Received a group of 10 people from HomecareAssociation of Louisiana, USA, led by Mr. Warren Hebert, Chief Executive Officer. The group consisted of doctors, nurses and social workers.
- 15th Oct: Installed the 14th reverse osmosis water Purifier system in Jampaling Old People’s Home, Dharamshala, H.P. This project is currently benefiting around 148 elderly people and 13 staff members. Funds were raised by the Tibet Fund, USA.
- 24th Oct: Mrs. Tenchoe Gyatso, Associate Director for Chinese Engagement & Tibetan Empowerment Programs and Lizzy Ludwig, development manager, of the International campaign for Tibet and members of Trustee of the Rowell Fund for Tibet visited Lha.
- 26th Oct: With funds raised by the Tibet Fund, USA, Lha installed the 15th reverse osmosis water purifier system in Central School for Tibetans Shimla, H.P. which has around 428 students and 52 staff members.
- 27th Oct: Installed the 16th reverse osmosis water purifier system in Kham Kathok Settlement, Sataum Sirmour Distt, H.P. which has around 225 residents. The funds for this system were also raised by the Tibet Fund, USA.
- 5th Nov: Lha Charitable Trust was awarded the second position in the category “Best Practices of Social Media Usage” in the 3rd eNGO Challenge Award- celebrating Digital Information Tools for Communities- South Asia, 2014 in New Delhi.
- 5th Nov: Launched His Eminence Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche’s website and a felicitation volume in gratitude of Rinpoche, as a part of celebration of his 75th birthday.
- 10th Nov: Lha collaborated with the Environmental desk of Tibetan Settlement Office Dharamsala to organize a mass clean-up at Dhasulni Village at Mcleod Ganj.
- 12th Nov: A group of 18 people from Australia, Scotland and US led by Australia Council for Tibet (ATC) visited Lha office and Ahimsa House.
- 13th Nov: A group of 20 students from American School of Bombay, India in collaboration withRustic PathwayvisitedLha
- 14th Nov: Lha organized Tibetan Smiles project - a dental care program - in the Tibetan Settlement of Bir, Himachal Pradesh, where 378 were provided free services including teeth check up, cleaning, filling, extraction. Lha also provided medicines, X-ray, braces and etc.
- 19th Nov: A group of seven members from the Australia Council for Tibet (ATC) visited Lha office.
- 24th Nov: Lha conducted a survey on the Lha community soup kitchen; with aims to find information for future improvements. 57 took part in the survey of 36 questions. The reports proved that the soup kitchen has been extremely beneficial. Till now 267 people have been benefiting since 2011. Most users (85%) report that they come regularly throughout the week, showing a consistent need for this service. A large majority of users, 87%, say financial problems are a main reason for why they come to the soup kitchen. Nearly all users (96%) agree that the lunches are beneficial to their health.
- 1st Dec: Observed the World HIV/AIDS day in collaboration with Kunphen Center for Substance Dependence and Delek Hospital. Lha organized a free blood test where 60 people participated, and a total of 800 people participated in the whole program.
- 12th Dec: A group of 13 students and 2 teachers from Mexico visited Lha for nearly a month as a part of the Culture Exchange Program.
- 17th Dec: Lha organized the Clear Vision Project, a free eye care program in Bir, Himachal Pradesh. 71 people benefited in different ways, such as eye check-ups for 35 people, eye medicine for 14 people, and glasses 32 people.
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