Lha’s Director Ngawang Rabgyal has spent a month in the United States and Mexico where he made many new contacts as well as renewing old friendships.
He met and paid tribute to the many organisations who work in partnership with Lha, supporting Lha’s work and becoming involved in promoting Tibetan issues. “The Tibetan exile community is indebted to the support of the many American people who devote their time, effort and monetary aid to Tibetans" said Ngawang, "Support from so many organisations around the world enables us to continue our work and help our Tibetan brothers and sisters who are struggling to make a new life outside Tibet and to preserve Tibetan culture and language”.
Ngawang was invited to speak to many of the organisations who made him welcome and to spread the word about what is happening inside Tibet. He also spoke of the many Tibetan refugees who live in North America and around the world and their continued efforts to garner support for their cause from the international community. In his presentations, Ngawang was able to tell people about the work of Lha and to distribute information leaflets and Contact magazine.
Lha’s cultural exchange program is providing many young Americans with the opportunity to experience Tibetan and Indian culture first hand and to find out for themselves what it means to live as a refugee in India. Ngawang met leaders and instigators of the exchange programme as well as some of the students who have come to India over the years.
One of Ngawang’s first visits on his arrival in America was to give a presentation to the Warwick Valley Rotary club in New York. While in New York he visited the Tibet Fund, New York to discuss the development of further partnership programmes and to thank them for their support in the past. The Tibet Fund and Lha have worked together on a number of projects in the past; the partnership has been a great success and both the Tibet Fund and Lha are looking forward to working together on many more projects in the future.
On to New Orleans in Louisiana, and an awareness campaign, including a fundraising event for the Lha Clear Vision Project organised by Lha’s sister organisation, the Louisiana Himalaya Association. The event included taster sessions of meditation and a sound bath, Yoga, Buddhist teachings, music concerts, food and more.
At the Tulane School of Social Work in Louisiana, Ngawang and Dukthen, one of Lha’s advisory board members, enjoyed a celebration of the achievements of the partnership between Lha and the Association. It was a great opportunity to express heartfelt gratitude to the Association for their genuine dedication, generosity and unflinching support to Lha in particular and the Tibetan Refugee community in India in general for over 17 years. Their enthusiasm is inspiring and they are to continue their support in the years to come.
Moving on to Mexico, Ngawang was invited to speak at the University, and at Tec de Monterrey (ITESM), one of the best and largest private Institutes in Mexico.
At ITESM he discussed developing the existing partnership, particularly focusing on the Cultural Exchange Programme. “I was utterly impressed and touched to meet Directors, Professors, teachers, and students who were very eager and interested to know about Tibet and Tibetan culture. It was also wonderful to meet old friends and students who have participated in Lha’s Exchange Programmes and to hear about their positive reaction to their experiences on the programme” said Ngawang.
He went on to meet discuss possibilities for future partnership programmes with Tibet House, Mexico where they do great work in creating awareness of the Tibet issue and on preservation of Tibetan culture, identity and heritage. Their branches in Mexico and Latin America work closely with the Central Tibetan Administration and other Tibetan NGOs.
Back in Wasington DC, Ngawang was invited to give interviews to the two main Tibetan news services Radio Free Asia and Voice Of America. The two-hour interviews gave him the opportunity to speak in detail about Lha’s work and initiatives and what Lha is able to achieve thanks to the generous sponsorship of people in North America and around the world. The interviews were widely accessed by many thousand people both in exile and inside Tibet. He was also given the opportunity to visit the White House and the World Bank.
Who did Ngawang meet?
New York: Warwick Valley Rotary Club President, Neil Sinclair, John Mickowski, and other eminent local representatives. At the Tibet Fund, New York, he met the President Rinchen Dharlo la and Executive Director Lobsang Nyandak la. Also, former Lha volunteers and Tibetans living locally.
Louisiana: At the Tulane School of Social Work, Dean Dr Ronald Mark; Assistant Dean Dr Julianna Padgett; Professor Carolyn, Director of Global Programs; Dr Elaine Wright; Professor Ngawang Legsh; Louisiana Himalaya Association President Mr Neil Guidry and board members; MSW India Program Director Mr Michael Smith, and other friends and supporters. Lha’s advisory board member Ms Dukthen Kyi.
Mexico: BPM TECH, Managing Director Ingmar Frey, Tibet House, Mexico President Mr Marco Antonio Karam; IBERO University, Mexico City Director of academic cooperation Ms Sonia Elizarbeth. At ITESM he met the Director Dr Chandra Bushan; Director of Social Development Ms Naidel Ardila; Director of International Office Academic Direction Ms Babriela Parada and Coordinator of the International Programme Ms Maria Teresa. Naidel Ardila, Sylvain Jacques and other friends arranged the successful Tec visit.
Washington DC: Mr Kaydor Aukartsang of the Office of Tibet Washington DC; Kasur Tenzin Tethong la, Director of Radio Free Asia Tibetan Service; MrBuchung K Tsering, Vice President of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) ; Mrs Tenchoe Gyaltso, Associate Director of ICT; Ms Laura Manley, Co-Founder for the Centre for Open Data Enterprise and Consultant with the World Bank’s ICT global practice; Ms Tenzin Pakyi, National Endowment For Democracy; Mr Lobsang Gyatso, Director Voice of America Tibetan Service and VOA Chief Editor Mr Tseten Wangchuk and other staff members; Ms Laura Manley, a Lha advisory Board Member and Ms Renate Seiwert, one of Lha’s most enthusiastic and dedicated former volunteers.
On behalf of Lha, we would like to thank everyone involved with Ngawang’s visit to North America for their precious time, support and energy which made the trip such a success.
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