LHA has completed many projects and helped to establish others which are fully funded at this time. Whenever possible, programs are set up to avoid dependency and encourage sustainability. Click Completed or Self-Sufficient Projects for a summary. Some programs do depend on annual donations from our supporters.Funds raised each year determine the amount of assistance LHA is able to provide through these particular programs listed below. Every dollar is appreciated and 100% goes directly to those in need. (A dollar goes a long way in India!) To support any program, click Donate.
Ongoing Programs in Need of Funding
TIBETAN WOMEN’S SCHOLARSHIP FUND – NURSING DEGREES
Annual Goal of $21,000. (Three $7,000 scholarships)
More than one life is changed when a youth becomes educated and empowered, as employment and healthy modeling can help entire families and community systems. Many young Tibetan women are qualified and accepted into programs, but lack funding for tuition and room/board. Our goal is to raise funds to fully support a university education for at least three women annually. The cost of a three-year degree in India averages only $7,000 including tuition, books, room/board; that's just over $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. The interest from an endowment of $333,000 would fund three scholarships annually. This project was started in 2017 by a group of Tulane University School of Social Work students, in dedication to Neysa Fanwick, a TSSW alumni who passed away July 29, 2017. Neysa had come to India with the TSSW group in 2011, and was strongly moved by her Tibetan friends and their community. The 2017 TSSW group raised funds for the first three scholarships. Dr. John Clark (email@example.com) now oversees the program. He has been to India many times to lead the Loyola University India group, which he started in 2006.
CLEAN WATER PROJECT
Annual Goal of $5,500
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 to provide clean water immediately. Since 2013, along with Lha Charitable Trust, we have now installed 27 water filtration systems 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 every day. Lha Charitable Trust now develops and carries out hygiene education programs and continues to maintain these filtration systems. Annual cost for maintenance and filter replacements of the 27 systems is about $5,500.
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. Each year volunteer groups of students from Tulane Medical School and Loyola’s Nurse Practitioner Program volunteer, along with MDs organized through Ochsner Medical Center of Louisiana. Part of their volunteer service is to perform medical assessments and health care education. On average, 80% of those screened need further medical, dental and/or eye care assistance. Through donations to the MAP Program, care is provided free to most of those referred for further care. Those with major medical issues are referred for assistance through programs set up by the Tibetan administration.
TIBETAN SMILES DENTAL CARE PROGRAM
Annual Goal of $7,000.
Many of those 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, they experience painful, serious dental problems. Approximately one third of those screened by our volunteer medical groups are in need of dental care. In 2011, Fran Phares, an LHA 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. Thanks to continued support from Fran, the program’s founder, and other generous donors, we provide all these services free of charge, using local, qualified dentists.
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 in 2009 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.
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 to those living in Jampaling Elders’ Home.
SOLAR ENERGY INITIATIVE
$9,700K goal ($3K of this goal thus far donated)
Many Tibetan monasteries, nunneries and schools – where the monks and nuns and students live – have no hot water. Solar energy experts Noah Siegel and Nick Perls have begun a solar energy initiative to provide solar energy and hot water to some of the schools, monasteries and nunneries where LHA has supplied water filtration systems. Step one, completed in 2019, was to set up solar energy panels on the LHA Ahimsa House building. (LHA had previously installed a solar water heating system that works beautifully.) Now, Ahimsa House is the first building in the area to be fully solar powered. We’ve reduced harm to the environment, and saved funds which can be used for other projects. Hopefully, others will follow our lead! We're raising funds now for the next system, to be installed on one of the local boarding schools.
INTENSIVE ESL FOR ADVANCED-LEVEL MONKS AND NUNS
$3K annual goal
In the Tibetan system, adept philosophy graduates (like Ph.D's in the West) are referred to as Geshes or Khenpos. Many speak English but not well enough to teach in English. We plan to offer an annual three-month, full-time, intensive ESL course to bring their English skills to a level which makes teaching in English possible. Our first course begins in March 2020 at the Ahimsa House building with highly skilled ESL teachers, under an advisory committee of Jetsunma (Ani Tenzin Palmo), the Dalai Lama’s former English translator Geshe Lhakdor Rinpoche, and the Dalai Lama’s current English translator, Venerable Tenzin Tsepak la.
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.
The communities we support need clean drinking water.
Lonnie Thibadeaux, back row, center, is a water
management specialist and LHA consultant.
Lha Charitable Trust General Director, Ngawang, second
from right, and Tibetan Chidren's Village school principal
Chimey, far right, celebrate clean drinking water with
LHA volunteer James Petersen.
Tulane University and Louisiana State University medical
students and other healthcare providers volunteer each summer.
LHA's dental care program serves Tibetans of all ages.
The annual goal of LHA's Clear Vision Eye Care Program
is to provide 100 pairs of glasses to needy Tibetans.
Board member Dan Winkert, right, and Stacey Stanfill,
founded the Tibetan Elder Assistance Program in 2004.