With the three key areas (Cultural Preservation, Youth Leadership, and Volunteerism) that were identified through previous dialogues, IMTD continues our fundraising efforts through grant applications to the US State Department and donor organizations. Simultaneously, we have started communication with Tibetans in the United States and India to get a better understanding of their needs, strengths and weaknesses. We are also collaborating with Tibetan students at Earlham College, experts on the Tibet-China conflict and NGOs in India to develop project activities that will promote leadership skills and roles, cultural preservation and volunteerism among the Tibetans in India.
In August 2011 and January 2013 IMTD conducted five-day conflict resolution workshops in Bangalore, India. Post-training, participants were surveyed and 82% expressed a desire to further discuss alternatives to returning to the Tibetan Plateau and how to further strengthen the Tibetan community living in exile. Two main topics that were frequently mentioned among the participants were the importance of cultural preservation and the need for youth leadership in the community. In addition to the two urgent need areas IMTD believes that there is a third area where improvements can be made within Tibetan civil society: volunteerism. Because volunteerism crosscuts all areas of civil society, increasing volunteerism is a sustainable solution that will help Tibetans to empower themselves with the tools necessary to strengthen their own communities.
IMTD believes that by overall strengthening of youth leadership and volunteerism in civil society, NGOs can create a stronger and more resilient civil society that will be more responsive to the needs of Tibetans living in exile. Volunteerism has the ability to empower the masses by allowing individual community members to feel mobilized in their own community’s development while concurrently preserving Tibetan culture. The end result of increased volunteerism is a paradigm shift in community development, which will have lasting impact, long after PRM funding ends.
We hope to raise enough funds in the near future to implement the new project activities!
Thank you for your support and dedication to the Tibetan people.
TIBETAN REFUGEE 2013 PROGRAM GOAL:
Improve the livelihoods of vulnerable Tibetans living in exile in India through the strengthening of civil society among all refugees. Strengthening civil society allows Tibetans to help Tibetans and is therefore a sustainable, responsive and long-term solution to development challenges.
Founded by former United States Ambassador John W. McDonald, The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) has over 20 years of experience working with Tibetans in exile. Based on prior dialogues, IMTD has identified three key areas in which vulnerable groups of Tibetans living in exile in both North and South India feel there is a great need for improvement.
1. Cultural Preservation
2. Youth Leadership
The goal of this program is to strengthen deliverable services in these domains and assist in creating a more responsive and comprehensive refugee Tibetan civil society. In addition to the above, this project will foster crosscutting relationships among those in Tibetan civil society, The Central Tibetan Administration, The United Nations System and the Indian government. The relationship building will be key to future successful delivery of Tibetan development services and will allow for more streamlined communication between all stakeholders.
After completing a successful training program in Bangalore in January, IMTD's Tibetan Communities program has undergone some significant changes. IMTD managment has found an excellent new Program Manager, Pat Fiander, to take over for me as I move on from IMTD. Over the last two months IMTD, Pat, and I have consulted on re-evaluating our program goals, implementation strategies, and project design. The basic design of this particular project will remain intact, but Pat has a number of new and exciting changes in store that we think will significantly improve the capacity of the TIbetan people to realize the change they seek.
Pat will update you as he finalizes any program design changes, and you may continue to follow your contributions to a future of peace and fulfillment for Tibetans. Please stay tuned.
I would like to personally thank all of you for the personal investment each and every one of you has made toward the success of this program. Your contributions and our shared dedication to peace have afforded me the truly rewarding opportunity to work with a noble, kind, and beautiful group of people for a future of hope.
We have just completed our conflict resolution training program for Tibetan community leaders in Banglore, India! We had 20 participants this January, ranging from monks and teachers to Settlement Officials and marketing executives from Tibetan settlements in South India. The training, led by political psychologist, Dr. Eileen Borris, focused on developing basic mediation and conflict management skills through understanding the structures of multi-track diplomacy. Participants learned how to utilize the tools and resources available to them to build new peacebuilding structures within their communities, and how to strengthen the structures that already exist. Emphasizing the importance of sustaining the message and movement of nonviolent activism, the training was an initial step in empowering the Tibetan Diaspora to take action toward achieving their desired future, as well as in support of their brothers and sisters inside Tibet.
A few take-aways, as expressed by our 2013 participants:
The most poignant lesson eminating from our training was one of true inspiration, gained from the insightful words and contributions of our motivated participants who are determined to find peace for their people.
We continue to provide support and resources to our participants in their efforts to build peace, both within their communities and across the Diaspora. Meanwhile we are hoping to raise enough funds in the near future to hold a cross-settlement dialogue.
Thank you all for your support.
The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy would like to thank all of you for your patience and support for our Tibetan Communities Program. Over the last three months we have been in communication with the Tibetan Chief Representative Offices under the Central Tibetan Administration in India regarding arrangements for our dialogue and training program. There have been a few developments:
We have not yet settled on new dates for the program, but will likely schedule it for January or February. Stay tuned!
Thank you again for your support and dedication to the Tibetan people.
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