- Parent Category: Projects
PROJECTS IN INDIA
Actual situation in India :
After the arrival of the refugees in India , the cultural, politic, religious structures have been re-established. The monastery naturally became the guardians of the in-heritage and preservation of what was know and brought from Tibet . Naturally during the reconstruction of the cultural microcosm, and the organization of the living of people having lost all what they had during their flee, lay people turned toward the monastic ones. They were better organized, honest and trustful, could take in charge the education of the younger.
Many of them were high scholars with knowledge of all branches of science. This first role of depository of the core of the Tibetan way of life evolved under the impulse of monks and especially of His Holiness the Dalaï Lama. They took care of what they had, and worked at the re-establishment of what they've lost.
Many projects emerged, with short and long terms views. Many of these were initiated by monks to help the local populations. Till nowadays, the monastic organization is a reference for those who want to ensure a good education to their children. Many Tibetans living in remote places in Ladhak or mountains, are sure to find within those structures a high educational standards, free of charge, where the child will not be turned away if the family cannot provide any financial support.
Inner organization in India :
Tibetan monasteries are often organized in little houses where one or more adults take care of children. All ages are living together, the elders teaching the younger ones, and providing the material necessities of life. The atmosphere and way of caring is the one we can find in any families. The children follow the school dispensed by the monastery, take their meal partly with the monastery, partly at home, where the adults make the relay. No child is left apart, alone in an unfriendly environment. One house contains many children of the same age, often coming from the same place with a common background.
Nobody is forced to remain a monk, and those feeling no vocation for the religious life can easily give back their vows and return to the lay life.
In between they will have had the opportunity to get a usual education following ethical principals. At teenage they will make the choice to pursue philosophical studies, or medical studies, help more practically the monastery, make a practical apprenticing, learn arts, etc..
Lacks and needs:
Although the faith and will are presents, the different structures often lack money. The number of students increases every year, but not the sources of income. In the sole monastery of Sera-Jhe for example, it's only recently through the kindness of a food fund established by a foundation, that the monastery is able to provide breakfast and lunch to all the monks. But with a population of around 6000 monks, the quantities needed every day are enormous.
Young monks arriving are of course always welcomed in the existing houses. But sometimes the increasing number gives birth to surpopulation. Difficult when you are a student, having to take care of three young monks living in the same 6 square meters as yourself, to study in good conditions.
Insalubrity is often encountered, by lack of structures, and lack of proper education.
The answers are often simples, to provide a financial support to the one in need, and to help build the basic necessary structures. Nevertheless such actions have to be done within a proper frame, to avoid all abuse and un-useful help.
Financial support should help cover the basic needs in order to leave the person to concentrate on his studies, without worrying for food, clothes and basic medical needs.
Building the basic structures implies to build adequately to the real needs, in sizes and not to fall into excessive luxurious buildings.
Education fees for primary school are usually easy to cover. But when the same children enter high school the fees are almost impossible to cover for most of the families. For all the families whose children have chosen a lay life, higher education is most of the time a dream and a frustration.
Projects and work in progress:
The actual sponsorship system established by AMCHI provides support to children in India and Tibet. This system exists since 1986, some of the current sponsors are sponsoring the same child since more than 12 years. Trough the years AMCHI was able to build showers in different places, helped to built and equip a little dispensary, organized the expedition of little material and medicines.
Now that the situation of such refugee camps and monastery is worldwide known, the situation is materially improving. It is a good sign for the local population, but incites to more carefulness in what and how is built.
One of AMCHI's project in India is to built showers and toilet blocks, in houses regrouping from 100 to 300 monks, where the facilities are often limited to one big tap for 50 persons, and a few old toilets. Impossible in such conditions to wash all the body, which is a very delicate situation in India , where lots of germs exists and simple wounds easily degenerate.
These constructions will be followed by a basic education of young and adults monks on hygiene. Why to wash, the effects on health, how to properly wash.
AMCHI also set up a fund for education to pay the fees for the children wanting to learn. In cooperation with the school and the families, and following strict and practical rules for it.
India being a wide country, it happens often that some families are living in remote places, where almost no education is possible to find. In such case the children have to leave the family and go to some relatives. There they have to attend a boarding school. Usually and with great financial struggle, the children can receive a primary education, and a college education. But after the costs of boarding and school become so high that the biggest part of them have to give up their education.
We are actually paying the boarding and school fees for one child. The cost is around 700 euros every year. Without help it would be impossible to maintain this help, and give the same chances to more children.