Testimonials & Feedback
Here are just a few of the testimonials from volunteers, the local community, and those who have participated in the cultural exchange program.
We use this feedback to help us improve our service delivery to students and monitor the welfare of our volunteers. We are committed to making sure the experience is beneficial and educational for both parties. If you have any questions about the testimonials given, or would like to share your own experience of Lha, click here to join Lha's Blog community.
"Maybe a class organized by the students where they explain Tibetan history and culture, or philosophy or politics to the foreigners. Again this could be covered in conversation but the problem with conversation is everybody is talking about everything at the same time and it's a bit wild, I don't think the foreigners get as much from it than if it were organized that different people speak at different times.
And maybe reciprocation from the foreigners point of view, such as their impressions of Tibet, their view on immolations and China's oppression etc. Also maybe culture differences etc".
Liam Berrington (Ireland) 29th October 2014
"I had such a great experience and wish I could come for longer. I was grateful to tutor 2 wonderful women in the mornings during my time there. They were so committed to learn and I could actually see progress just in our week together. I also learned much about the Tibetan experience and it has given me renewed interest in future volunteering".
Deborah McKeown (Canada) 18th October 2014
"Volunteering with Lha gave me the opportunity to meet so many interesting, intelligent and kind people - the Lha staff, volunteers and students where all brilliant to be around, and I learnt a lot from my conversations with them. I think this was overall my favourite aspect of my time volunteering. I learnt about Tibet, India, China, travelling in general and much more besides.
Furthermore, volunteering at Lha has been the most meaningful time of my life so far. To be able to contribute towards the smooth running of an organisation that I feel is doing important, positive work was an honour, an educational experience, and thoroughly enjoyable. In the future I intend to find a career that gives me a similar sense of purpose and meaning, and I will always know that Lha was the crucial first step towards this". Thank you so much!
Paul Hurley (UK) 16th October 2014
"Everything was very well organized and ran smoothly. I had a good experience during my short time at Lha and it was a pleasure to visit each day and hopefully be of some help to the students".
Maureen Pugsley (UK) 14th August 2014
"The motivation of students was really inspiring and it made the situation (the one mentioned below) less difficult. The LHA staff made me feel at ease from Day 1 and the closeness that developed with them, as well as with the volunteers made me feel part of a big family.
However, I think my best experience was during the conversation classes where the exchange with students taught me much more than what books could teach me about the Tibetans and the Tibetan culture".
Vyatka Seewoonarain (Mauritian) 9th August 2014
"I believe that the conversation class structure needs to be worked on and modified to an extent in order to allow for greater variety as the current model brings in certain monotony to the activity. One must develop a different model for every day of the week so that the variety allows for innovative thinking and a motivation for volunteers to continue the interactions".
Akshita Kariwala (Indian) 24th June 2014
"The LHA program is well organized. The orientation experience provided by Rabsel including the visit to the Norbulingka Institute was thought provoking and informative. Also, the opportunities to meet Tibetan mothers of young children as well as the young adults who eagerly participate in the English conversation classes were outstanding volunteer experiences".
Mary Ryan (USA) 27th March 2014
"I would merely like to thank you all at Lha for the Volunteering opportunity and remind you of the commendable job you have been doing".
Sree Prasad Ravi (India) 18th February 2014
"Some of students show up only once or twice a week. As a result of which, their progress is extremely slow and they hesitate in participating in class tests and group activities. I suggest a minimum of 50% attendance to be made compulsory for their sustained growth".
Apurva Kashyap (Indian) 27th November 2013
"I think that it would be a good idea to loosely structure the conversation classes somehow. I found it very overwhelming everyday going into a room of people with no idea of what we could speak of. Maybe if there were suggestions of what could be discussed each day that would help the students expand and test their vocabulary, rather than going over the same niceties of names/age/where from everyday".
Domenique Sherab (Australian) 21st August 2013
"A more clearly defined list of tasks that need to be done, follow-up and general emails to the volunteers to let them know what's going on, more organized reception service (I think a VOLVO bus should be covered by the relatively steep reception fee, and maybe one hotel can be chosen to serve as the LHA central post in Majnu Ka Tilla".
Catherina Leipold (German) 25th July 2013
"The people and the staffs were so helpful and kind from my very first email to the moment I left. I was genuinely touched and could not have asked for a better bunch of people to help organise my volunteering and research. As well as this, in less than two weeks my English student and some of the wonderful students in the conversation class became my great friends inviting me for dinner in their homes and coming out for dinner with me and my mother. I will never forget their openness, positivity, humour and incredible kindness. If only the whole world was full of people like this it would be a very different place. Meeting these people really has changed my perspective on life so thank you LHA"!
Jennifer Ellen Smith (British) 19th June 2013
"I didn't like the volunteer handbook because it gave me a wrong impression before I got here- that the organisation is very strict and doesn't really appreciate the work done by the volunteers. Before I came didn't know what to expect because I thought "they should be grateful for the work we do for free". However this impression was not true at all. I would redesign the handbook so that volunteers feel already from the beginning comfortable and get a sense of how wonderful people there are at Lha".
Jan Prazak (Austrian) 20th November 2012
"Getting to know Tibetan people beyond the superficial level was a valuable experience in many ways: to hear their stories, to develop friendships, to learn that people can suffer so much and still be warm, compassionate and deeply caring. The opportunity to give a little after receiving so much was also very rewarding. By accepting the last minute challenge of taking on teaching of the elementary class I gained confidence and had a week of fabulous practice in teaching English language at this level in a classroom context. Just being part of such a wonderful organisation was also a treasure.
Thanks soooo much for this GREAT opportunity to be part of your wonderful team. Hopefully one day I will return for an extended stay. Tashi delek dear friends".
Eric van Beurden (Australian) 12th March 2012
Thank you so much for making my stay in McLeod Ganj a memorable one. I think Lha does an excellent job creating a community within the volunteers and then integrating them into the local community.
The best part of my volunteer experience was getting to know the girls we tutored! They were really, really wonderful. One girl, Tsewang, even went out of her way to introduce us to Tibetan culture by showing us music videos and feeding us tsampa.
I really enjoyed the tight-knit community of volunteer and watching all of my students slowly improve their knowledge of the English language throughout my teaching experience. I also enjoyed learning a great deal about Tibet, as well as developing my own experience within the field of social work and NGO administration.
Everything was very well organized. My emails were responded to quickly and it was the most professional grass roots organization I found whilst searching the internet.
I felt like I have learned a lot about the situation in Tibet, which I had very little knowledge of before I came. I really felt appreciated by the student I tutor and massively enjoyed the opportunity to meet and talk to locals in conversation class or just with my student or her friends which doesn't often happen when you travel.
Conversation classes were a great way to understand more about Tibetan culture. Teaching the beginner English class has improved my self confidence, organization skills and knowledge of the English language. I have also enjoyed meeting the other volunteers and felt welcomed into the community." – Jessica "I was told that Lha had a huge presence in the community and was a solid organization with a stellar reputation, so I decided to go for it!
The integration with the local Tibetan community, meeting a network of other teachers and volunteers gave a sense of expat community and support in a place that could otherwise be a bit daunting. My students have been lovely and it's been mutually beneficial for my own education regarding Tibetan issues and of course, I hope, for the students I taught.
Getting to know the girls we tutored! They were really, really wonderful. One girl, Tsewang, even went out of her way to introduce us to Tibetan culture by showing us music videos and feeding us tsampa.
Lha was able to connect me with students to personally tutor. These relationships have truly shaped my positive experience here in McLeod Ganj. Also Lha's connection with other organizations helped me find volunteering opportunities that allowed me to work with children and babies.
The best aspect of my volunteer experience at Lha was getting to know my students. I also learnt a lot about the Tibetan cause. All the staff and other volunteers were very friendly and helpful, which also made it a wonderful experience.
The great, friendly atmosphere among staff and volunteers, most of my students were really motivated and interested in improving their skills in English and French, and Rabsel, the volunteer coordinator, is an exceptionally nice and generous person who makes you feel comfortable as soon as you get off the bus!
Working with Tibetans has been wonderful! They are the best students and I learned a great amount from them and about myself while teaching and being welcomed into the community.
Getting first hand information about Tibet from my students, as well as discovering the challenges of the Tibetan refugees. The whole experience made me feel that I now want to do more.
The welcoming community! Everyone at Lha was open and nice, right from the beginning. Although I didn't do everything with Lha, I liked the Wednesday movie nights and hiking to Triund. Events like these give volunteers friends in a friend place.
The best experience I had was tutoring my student Yangzom Dolma. It was very rewarding to meet and become friends with such an amazing and kind person. I also really loved running the dental and eye care project. I got to meet many wonderful people who, for the next few months, stopped me on the street to say hello. I hope that whoever continues the project finds it as rewarding as I did.
Watching how people with zero computer knowledge use it after a few weeks, which nowadays is essential. They were so happy and grateful! In the advanced classes, I liked how students craved more and more knowledge in their favorite software. I also really enjoyed meeting people with different backgrounds, having students with different backgrounds, and working with Yangzom.