See Completed or Self-Sufficient Projects for a summary of finished projects and financially self-sufficient and sustainable ongoing programs. LHA endeavors, whenever possible, to set up ongoing programs in a way that avoids dependency. But some programs depend on donations from LHA supporters. Funds raised each year determine the amount of assistance LHA is able to provide. To support any program, see Donate. Every dollar is appreciated and goes directly to those in need. (A dollar goes a long way in India!)
Ongoing Programs in Need of Funding
TIBETAN WOMEN’S SCHOLARSHIP FUND – NURSING DEGREES
Annual Goal of $18,000. (Three $6,000 scholarships)
More than just one student is affected when a youth becomes educated and empowered, as employment and healthy modeling can help entire families and community systems. Many Tibetan women seek a degree in nursing, since jobs are available and nursing degrees are easily transferred abroad or back to Tibet. Many are qualified and accepted into programs, but lack funding for tuition and room/board. Our short term goal is to raise enough funds to fully support at least three Tibetans through nursing school annually. The cost of a three-year nursing degree in India is only $6,000 including tuition, books, room/board; that's just $2,000 a year per student! Our long term goal is to continue to support and grow this scholarship program, in order to have a lasting impact and provide opportunities for years to come. An endowment of $333,000 would fund three scholarships annually. This project was started in 2017 by a group of Tulane University social work students, in dedication to Neysa Fanwick, a TSSW alumni who passed away July 29, 2017. Neysa had come to India in 2011, and was strongly moved by her Tibetan friends and their community. The group raised $18,000 for the first three scholarships! Professor John Clark of Loyola University came up with the idea for this project and will oversee it as we move forward.
LHA CHARITABLE TRUST SOUP KITCHEN
Annual Goal of $14,400. ($1,200 per month)
In Dharamsala, most refugees arrive from Tibet with no money, speaking only Tibetan, which makes it almost impossible to find employment. Eager to learn, they come to our language school and study for many hours each day. They, and many other Tibetans, are hungry. Anoop Jain, a Tulane University undergraduate, was determined that LHA should have a Soup Kitchen, and in a few years raised funds to build and furnish a kitchen and dining hall. The soup kitchen now provides a healthy lunch to roughly 75 Tibetan refugees daily. For the first two years of operation (2012-13), to help get things started, food was fully sponsored by St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Fayetteville, Arkansas, two of whose members, retired teachers Milton and Mimi, had volunteered with LHA and brought the idea of sponsorship back to their church. We're now seeking monthly sponsors or a new annual sponsor. $1,200 per month or $14,400 per year covers operating costs.
MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (MAP)
Annual Goal of $4,000.
In a new environment with minimal resources, many Tibetan refugees endure unnecessary suffering and some die due to lack of funds and/or confusion about western medical care. MAP helps refugees who can't afford medical care, striving also to provide preventative care, and community-focused health education. Simultaneously, LHA investigates the causes and seeks to eradicate the community's health-related issues. Over the past three years Tulane and LSU Medical student teams, headed up by LHA’s MD consultants, came to Dharamsala and assessed more than 1,000 Tibetan refugees. 77% of them needed either medical, dental and/or eye care. With help from social work volunteers, local practitioners and our generous donors all those in need received the care they needed free of charge.
TIBETAN SMILES DENTAL CARE PROGRAM
Annual Goal of $7,000.
Many Tibetans we serve come from remote areas of the Himalayas where dental services are not available and diets are much healthier. In India, their diets now often include processed sugar and other foods harmful to teeth. Lacking dental hygiene education and financial resources, many experience painful, serious dental problems. In 2011, Fran Phares, a volunteer who taught English to a young Tibetan girl, Nima, noticed the pain behind Nima's smile. Nima had never visited a dentist and had no money, so Fran took her to a dentist, who removed the pain from behind the smile, and LHA has since committed to providing a broad range of quality dental services to those in desperate need. This program keeps growing as we continue to discover more Tibetan refugees in desperate need of dental care. Approximately one third of over 1,000 Tibetan refugees assessed, from 2015-2017, by our LSU and Tulane Medical School teams needed dental care. LHA provided the services they needed free of charge, using local, qualified dentists. Please help if you can.
CLEAR VISION EYE CARE PROGRAM
Annual Goal of $3,000.
In LHA's classrooms, it is not uncommon to find a student struggling due to visual difficulty. Many Tibetans need glasses. The cost of an eye exam, including transportation and a new pair of glasses, is roughly $20. This program was started by LHA volunteer an Loyola University student Aubrey Lynn, with the help of volunteer Elana Rauda, from Calgary, Canada. Our annual goal is to get 100 pairs of glasses for Tibetans per year, and to fund eye surgeries and/or medications for those in crisis situations.
CLEAN WATER PROJECT
Annual Goal of $5,300
Many areas in which we work have unclean, poor quality water supply systems coupled with poor and often overflowing sewage systems, a recipe for disease. This infrastructure problem is too big for LHA to tackle so we looked at other routes and found a direct approach. Since 2013, along with the help of Lha Charitable Trust, 25 water filtration systems have been installed in schools, monasteries and nunneries. The end result of LHA’s three year clean water initiative, organized by Johanna Gartner, is clean drinking water for more than 10,000 people. Lha Charitable Trust now develops and carries out hygiene education programs and continues to maintain those filtration systems that we've installed. Annual cost for maintenance and filter replacements of the 25 systems is $5,300. We are hoping to find an annual sponsor for this maintenance.
TIBETAN ELDER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TEAP)
Annual Goal of $1,000.
An unfortunate fact of refugee life is that families become separated, often without any means of communication. The Tibetan Administration oversees Jampaling Elders home where over 200 Tibetan Elders live and are supported. Many more live out in the community on their own. LHA strives to assist both those living independently and to donate material goods and volunteer hours to those living in Jampaling Elder's Home.
ANIMAL CARE PROGRAM
Annual Goal of $1,000.
No government-supported animal rescue services exist in Dharamsala. Cows, dogs and cats roam freely and are often hit by vehicles or have other painful difficulties. Recently, another NGO, Tibet Charity, set up an animal care facility which includes a a spay/neuter and rabies vaccination program. (Thank you Tibet Charity, and all volunteer veterinarians who visit!) LHA uses donated funds to directly help the animals in need.
THE HAPPY FEET PROGRAM
Annual Goal of $500.
A $20 donation covers the cost of a new pair of shoes. This program is open to Tibetans of all ages. Often, we are approached by individuals in need, and some days we post a volunteer by a frequented path in the Tibetan community to reach out to those who might not ask. Donations of new or good condition used shoes posted directly to India are also gratefully accepted. For shipping info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Projects in Need of Funding
AHIMSA HOUSE COFFEE SHOP
Our Tibetan partners would like to establish a small coffee and pastry shop in a space adjacent to the Ahimsa House soup kitchen in Dharamsala to help generate another permanent source of regular funding for the soup kitchen. The coffee shop will also serve as a small business learning platform and a teaching tool – pastry chef and barista volunteers from around the globe will teach their skills to members of the Tibetan community. The space will also offer an additional international gathering spot to further promote awareness LHA's projects and the Tibetan situation. (Approximate project budget breakdown: building materials/construction costs $23K; commercial oven $5K; commercial coffee machine $3K; kitchen equipment $1K; furniture $1K)
SOLAR ENERGY INITIATIVE
Many Tibetan monasteries, nunneries and schools – where the monks and nuns and students live – have no hot water. Solar energy expert Noah Siegel is beginning a solar energy initiative to provide solar energy and hot water to schools, monasteries and nunneries where LHA has supplied water filtration systems. Step one will be to set up solar energy panels on the LHA Ahimsa house building. Recently, LHA installed a solar water heating system that is working beautifully there. The panel will reduce energy costs for Lha Charitable Trus, and serve as a model for the rest of the community.
COMMERCIAL KITCHEN EQUIPMENT
$10,800K (Oven is $7,800, coffee machine is $3K)
Our Tibetan partners would like to establish a small shop in a space attached to the soup kitchen in the Ahimsa house building, where they could sell coffee and baked goods. Space is available for a commercial oven and professional coffee brewing machine that could help to generate a permanent source of regular funding, plus serve as a teaching tool. Chef volunteers from around the globe could teach their skills to members of the Tibetan community.
See Completed or Self-Sufficient Projects for a summary of finished projects and financially self-sufficient and sustainable ongoing programs.
Dedicated to Tulane University social work school alumni
Neysa Fanwick (above top, right) the Tibetan Women's Scholarship
Fund supports young Tibetan women
pursuing nursing degrees.
Board member Dan Winkert, right, and Stacey Stanfill,
founded the Tibetan Elder Assistance Program in 2004.
The communities we support need clean drinking water.
Lonnie Thibadeaux, back row, center, is a water
management specialist and LHA consultant.
Many refugees are unable to afford proper footwear.
Through LHA's Happy Feet Program we offer shoes to
those such as the Tibetan woman whose feet
are pictured here. She had just endured a harsh
winter in this difficult condition.
LHA's dental care program serves Tibetans of all ages.
Thanks to generous donations, LHA's soup kitchen serves
healthy meals to hundreds of needy Tibetans each week.
LHA's Animal Care Program helps stray dogs
and cows in need of veterinary assistance.
The annual goal of LHA's Clear Vision Eye Care Program
is to provide 100 pairs of glasses to needy Tibetans.