Children
 India
Project #362

Educating Tibetan Bon Children and Youth

by Creating Hope International (CHI)
Vetted

Dear Friends,

The Bon center has over 230 students in its care. The students are working hard at their studies and the center reported recent success in state level competitions. Two of the pictured students won drawing competitions in a state wide competition.

The third photo shows one student who has remained at the center for a further year to volunteer as a cook before going onto a higher education institute. These young alumni hold fond memories of their time at the center and many return to visit or help out as they can. They will always be part of this special community and have grown up with a deep sense of the value of communal effort and working for the good of others. “This community has enlightened me not only with education but from the beginning it has taught me how to eat, talk, behave with elders and love the younger ones. Most importantly it has shaped my life to be more meaningful in the world.”

Our year end newsletter is attached.Thank you for your continuing interest in the Bon.


Attachments:

Dear Friends,

The Bon center has over 230 students in its care. The students are working hard at their studies and the center reported recent success in state level competitions. Two of the pictured students won drawing competitions in a state wide competition.

The third photo shows one student who has remained at the center for a further year to volunteer as a cook before going onto a higher education institute. These young alumni hold fond memories of their time at the center and many return to visit or help out as they can. They will always be part of this special community and have grown up with a deep sense of the value of communal effort and working for the good of others. “This community has enlightened me not only with education but from the beginning it has taught me how to eat, talk, behave with elders and love the younger ones. Most importantly it has shaped my life to be more meaningful in the world.”

Our year end newsletter is attached.


Attachments:

Dear Friends,

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When the Bon Foundation officers went to the boys' hostel during a visit, the monk in charge said that some boys from rural areas were homesick for growing things so they planted a garden.  The boys living at the center created the garden and take care of it helping them learn cultivation skills and reminding them of greener lands back home.


The BCWC is a caring and nurturing place as this past student says, “The birds never forget their nest so how can I forget BCWC which is more than my home. It provides me with everything I need to develop. When I remember the past 14 years at BCWC, it brings tears of happiness to my eyes. I thank everyone at the center for their kindness and for making such a colorful life for a homeless boy.”

Please remember the children of  BCWC and support them. May our gardens of whatever kind flourish. 

When entering a new project no one sets out to fail. The idea of failure is not an option. Yes, there are risks when implementing a new idea, and obstacles that you know will pop up but failure is not one of them. The Bon are a minority Tibetan ethnic group that fled to India when the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1959. In 1968, the Bon established a community in Dolanji, India. Today, in addition to the temple, monastery and dialectic school for the monks, the community has three children's hostels, a school (through 12th class), a health center and a community farm. The students in the Bon community come from Tibet, Mongolia, India, Nepal and Bhutan. The students are either orphans (lost both parents) or “semi-orphans” (lost one parent).  Creating Hope International set out to work with the Bon non-profit at the monastery to make primary through post-secondary education possible for the community's children and youth and help them raise funds for the projects related to the children.

The plan: Invited by the Abbott, the executive director of CHI went over to India to train the monastery nonprofit leaders how to write up proposals and reports to get the projects funded and underway. What went wrong? The leaders did not think that this was as important as the other work they were doing and were reluctant to work with a western woman who they thought was going to tell them what they needed. They wanted funding and they knew what they needed; they just did not have a proper process in place that could be presented to donors for funding.  And they were not sure of this westerner.  Fear of the unknown. What to do? The CHI director was in a predicament.  She had been told in the U.S. that she was welcome, and she anticipated completing the training in two weeks. But when she got to Dolanji, there was no one to work with.  So she stepped back and waited, realizing she was not in America. The original plan had to be adjusted to expectations and sensitivity of the Tibetan Bon culture and people. She had to be patient.  Four weeks went by.  Every day she came to the monastery and circumambulated the temple with the villagers. What happened? When the leaders (the monks) were ready and got used to seeing her, they finally decided to meet with her for an hour each day.   The first day, she asked them, “What is your most important need? “ A water storage tank they said. She asked them many details about the kind of storage tank they needed and what the costs were.  After an hour, they left and she typed up what she had learned in a proposal and presented a proposal and budget to them based on what they had told her. They were amazed.  It was just a few pages but it was very simple and clear and they knew that westerners would like it.  She met with them for an hour for 6 days, listening to their other needs and asking them questions.  Each day there was a new proposal and budget in English. The result? In the first year, after presenting their proposals to interested donors, the Tibetans were able to get all six projects funded.  Moreover, they were very eager to learn more, including how to write reports.

The lesson learned? While sometimes we may set forth a process to achieve a goal, we may encounter bumps in the road or obstacles to be overcome. The key is to recognize what is happening, how we can improve on it, and continue on our set path undeterred from achieving our goal.

The Bon people have come a long way from the time when CHI first set out to give assistance. They now write their own proposals, based on what they learned.  And in the years, following they also learned how to report back to their donors. As always we hope you reflect on their journey and CHI’s to make a difference and thank you for helping the Bon people care for children and give them a quality education.

Dear Friends,

Life at the Bon Children's Welfare Center in Dolanji continues to be busy even in the height of summer. The children are fully involved in all aspects of life and take on increasing responsibility as they get older.

Good health is essential for everyone and the children learn how to stay healthy and the importance of hygiene. As the center has few volunteers the older students take on the role of carers for the smaller children, supervising their morning washing and tooth brushing and bathing.  They also make sure the children clean up their rooms and beds and wash their clothes and uniforms. Each weekend all the bed linens are boiled and scrubbed and left to dry in the sun. Last year the center made iron bunk beds to replace many of the wooden beds for cleanliness and to discourage insects.

There is a health and sanitation committee that ensures protocol is followed and any sick child is immediately brought to the on site clinic. If necessary they are transported to the off site town hospital.  Health officials are invited to attend the center and give lessons in health and safety especially about the latest diseases such as TB or Avian Flu.

Here is one young man’s comments, “When I came to the center there weren’t facilities like there are now. I was sad and lonely and only five years old. But I settled in and got lots of love and support. Now I have a modern education as well as knowing about Bon culture and history and religion. I also learned how to behave and conduct myself and care for the smaller children and take care of my health. Thank you to the Bon Center and His Holiness.”

Thank you for your continued support.

 

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Organization Information

Creating Hope International (CHI)

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.creatinghope.org
Project Leader:
Toc Dunlap
Dearborn, Michigan United States

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