Project #5217

Give a rural Tibetan youth an enriching summer!

by Machik
SEP 2012 Students
SEP 2012 Students

Dear Machik Friends,

This past year, we had the opportunity to serve as coordinators of Machik's Summer Enrichment Program.

From start to finish, putting together SEP 2012 was an incredible challenge!  We were learning on our feet and overcoming obstacles the whole way through - from our unexpected relocation to the city of Kunming, to the long search for a stage for the students' final performance.

But we have also never laughed, cried, danced or sung as much as we did this past summer.  It was especially a joy to work with students from the Shigatse School for the Blind. SEP opened our hearts in all directions and we will never forget the spirit of solidarity that connected us all - Tibetans, Chinese and young people from around the world.

Thank you for supporting our work in Tibet!  Check out this video Ellie made for us to remember SEP 2012.  And we hope you will see that this fiercely determined program shows what a better, brighter future for Tibetans and Chinese might one day look like.

Tenzing Wangmo Gyatotsang & Ellie McCutcheon
Co-Chairs, Summer Enrichment Program 2012



The Machik Team wants to share  pictures from the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) with you. SEP 2012 brought together Chinese, Tibetan and Global volunteers for a month to teach and learn from Tibetan children from mostly rural backgrounds.

We had our share of difficulties. The day before we were scheduled to start the program, we were told it would be advisable to move the program to another location due to heightened political sensitivities. Our volunteers and team responded to this with the resilience that drives the success of our work in a region of the world that is often unpredictable and difficult to work in.

Within 48 hours we secured another location and moved. And over the next 4 weeks, the magic of SEP unfolded! Educational enrichment, personal transformations, strong communities of trust for continued collaboration and learning...this and so much more was achieved thanks to your generous support and donations!

Please enjoy the pictures from the program. We hope you enjoy them!

We are grateful to you for making this work possible. Thuji che! Thank you!

Student from SEP 2011
Student from SEP 2011

In exactly one month from yesterday we will welcome all the volunteers to Gyalthang. After few days of orientation, 80 Tibetan students from all over the Tibetan plateau will arrive for the four weeks of Machik's Summer Enrichment Program. This is a huge deal because it will be the first time many of these rural students have left their hometown. The boy in the photo is one such student from SEP 2011--He began 2011 as our shyest and least educated student. At age 14, he was in the second grade and spoke only a local village dialect, but by the end of the program he paraded around with basic English and interacted confidently in Tibetan with fellow students and volunteers.

When the students arrive for SEP 2012, they will have the opportunity to interact with Tibetans from other areas, with global citizens from across the world, and with Chinese volunteers from all over mainland China who want to better understand Tibetan culture. At Machik, we strive to build a truly unique and open-minded team dedicated to educational service, and we look forward to much cross-cultural and inter-cultural dialogue and exchange throughout the upcoming four weeks.

We couldn't be much more excited! One of the expenses we are currently fundraising for is the living expenses of the students who wish to join us next month. SEP 2012, here we come!

Tibetan student with volunteer
Tibetan student with volunteer

After a successful Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) last year, we are now preparing for this year's program. The 2012 SEP will take place in Gyalthang (Yunnan Provine), China from July 18 to August 18.  We expect to bring approximately 60 Tibetan students to SEP this year, most of whom are from rural or nomadic families.  Also joining us will be 9 blind students from the Lhasa Blind School.  We hope you will continue to support us as we prepare for another unique opportunity to serve Tibetan youth from across the Plateau.  Please visit our project site for updated information and find out how you can contribute to this year's program.

Machik’s 2011 Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) was held from July 22 to August 19 on the Tibetan plateau and brought Tibetan, Chinese, and global volunteers to work with rural Tibetan students.

The volunteers hailed from Cornell University, Emory University, George Washington University, University of Pennsylvania, Southwest University for Nationalities, Tibet University, and the University of Virginia, among other schools.

High school students from Appleby College in Toronto, Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, and the Shanghai Foreign Language University in Fuzhong, participated in the Community Mapping Project (CMP), which documents cultural knowledge of local Tibetan communities.

The students’ accomplishments include the following:

  • An original drama performance (in English) of a Tibetan folktale by the theater class
  • Learning English
  • Studying Tibetan and Tibetan literature
  • The formation of Forever Together Ltd., a student-run social business that collaborated with the music and art classes to earn a 5,200 RMB profit, which they donated back to Machik
  • Performance of Tibetan songs and dances at the final presentation
  • Original artwork including a quilt and other mixed media art
  • Presentation on scientific projects through fun, hands-on activities
  • Creation of a music CD in English and Tibetan
  • Forming new friendships among Tibetans from different regions, Chinese, and global volunteers 

The SEP is a unique program that offers much needed educational enrichment to rural Tibetan students while strengthening cross-cultural understanding among all participants.  Thank you to all the donors who generously supported 2011 SEP.  We hope you will continue your support by donating to the 2012 SEP.  Together we can continue to enrich the education of Tibetan children and build understanding in vital ways.

Donate today to support Machik’s work of strengthening communities across the Tibetan Plateau!



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Organization Information


Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Tenzing Tekan
Development Officer
Washington, DC United States

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