This 2009 annual report will give you a basic update on all the work we’ve been doing, including the nearly complete pay-off of our new social service building. Since moving into the new building last summer, our services and projects in Dharamsala have been going great!This year has seen a flurry of activity, both stateside from enthusiastic supporters, and here in McLeod Ganj
One of our main goals from the inception of Louisiana Himalaya Association “LHA” in 1997 was to establish a fully Tibetan run, self sufficient and sustainable social work organization within the Tibetan Community. Thanks to all of you, we are almost there. Lha Charitable Trust “Lha”, established in 2005, is now a fully Tibetan run organization which originated from and is supported by the Louisiana Himalaya Association.Lha Charitable Trust now has its own Board of Directors, all Tibetan, and employs 7 full time Tibetan staff.
Over the past 12 years we have continued to fulfill our mission of providing material resources and social services to the Tibetan community in exile while bringing the ancient knowledge and wisdom of the Tibetan culture back home to Louisiana. This year in New Orleans, LHA hosted 5 Tibetan Rinpoches and participated in a number of events promoting Tibetan Culture and Awareness.In Dharamsala we continue to offer services and resources that empower Tibetans with social, financial and language skills.
57 students and 6 professors from Tulane University, Loyola University and Centenary College joined other LHA volunteers from Louisiana this summer in Dharamsala to volunteer services to the Tibetan Community.
These students were each paired with a Tibetan Refugee of similar age.The Louisiana Students taught needed English and computer skills while learning invaluable life experiences from their Tibetan Partners.
477 volunteers from 28 different countriesvolunteered with Lha’s volunteer coordination program.
These volunteers all made a personal connection with the Tibetan Community while engaging in meaningful service. They also learned first hand about themessage and spirit of the Tibetan community.
Over 300 Tibetan Refugees per day attended our FREE classes, over 2,000 new students this year, and many more benefited from the other community servicesoffered:
Most Refugees arrive in India destitute, fleeing oppression.Many come from nomadic herding communities; their skills and language are no longer helpful in their new circumstances. Through the services we offer, many are able to find work to support them and also provide financial assistance to their families inside Tibet who are often in dire circumstances.
Regular, Free, Ongoing Services Include:
7 English Classes
2 French Classes
2 Chinese Classes
4 Computer Classes
2 Community Libraries
A Community News Paper
Massage and YOGA training courses
A Donation Drop OffCenter (distributes an average of 200 articles of clothing and a wide array of medical supplies on a monthly basis)
Extra Programs and Projects this Past Year Included :
Ngawang's Rabgyal, Lha's General Manger, had his first book published: Environmental Protection and International Endangered Species Issues . He was invited by the Wildlife Protection Society of India to lecture on UN’s WorldEnvironment Day. The audience turn out was over 8500 people!
(For more info on these and other projects go to www.lhaindia.org and click onNews)
Some extra Donations received this year included:
The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama donated 5 new computers to Lha's computer school.
A grant from The Tibet Fund was used to purchase seven new computers, seventy-five grammar books, one hundred twenty text books, fifty mats and one hundred twenty dry erase markers.
The Tibet Relief Fund donated a photocopy machine and an office computer.
The Universal Responsibility Fund ofHis Holiness Dalai Lama granted $1600 for photography projectsand another $1790 was granted from The International Campaign for Tibet “ICT” Rowell Fund
4 Massage tables were donated by BCMT alum and a massage chair was donated by their BCMT instructors group.
And of course, it is due to the generosity of our regular financial supporters and a host of new ones that continue to enable all this to happen. Thank You !
We have almost received enough donations to fully purchase the New Building!
Once again, our supporters have been most generous towards this goal. Besides our regular supporters and fundraisers that brought in $20,000 this year, we also had two anonymous family foundations that donated $10,000 and $30,000, respectively.We are now only $39,000 away from paying off the entire mortgage. The pay-off of the new building will render our Tibetan friends of Lha Charitable Trust totally self sufficient and sustainable!
The two bottom floors of this four story building will accommodate the expansion of services offered while the two top floors will be retained as rental units for the University groups and volunteers. The rent earned will be enough to pay salaries, utilities, other expenses and the total annual rent of Lha's downtown building, which we have been renting from the Tibetan Handcraft Cooperative. The 400 Tibetan families that compose the Coop will continue to receive rental income and Lha Charitable Trust will have the space within the2 buildings to continue expanding to meet the growing needs of the community.
As we are so close to the completion of this long term goal, LHA has begun researching other areas of need throughout the Himalayan Regions of India, Nepal and inside Tibet. Next year’s report will update everyone on potential new programs and projects!
Thank you all once again for your continued support and encouragement over the years. It has been truly been amazing to watch this all unfold and touch so many lives.
P.S.If you or anyone youknow would like to get more involved as a volunteer and/or are able to make a donation please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our websites:www.lhainfo.org (for donations),www.lhaindia.org (for volunteer opportunities)
In India the primary goal of LHA is to help facilitate a healthy transition for the refugees, and provide assistance as they work to rebuild their lives and preserve their sacred culture. In Louisiana, we work to support the India projects and work to help make Tibetan teachings available in the west. We strive to create a cross-cultural bridge between the people of Tibet and those of Louisiana In the wake of the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina, LHAinc. expanded its mission to provide social and material support services in Southwestern Louisiana and Mississippi to storm affected communities as well.