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.