Fall 2016 Update

October 5, 2016

We are off to  McLeod Ganj to visit our Tibetan friends and see what Simple Gifts can offer to support Tibetan children in exile.  We will be arriving in late October, just in time to celebrate Diwali!  A visit to  the Tibetan Childrens Village (TCV) in Upper Dharamsala is arranged to we can check in with one of our students who lives there. We will also be meeting with the Sponsorship Director to look for another student to sponsor in the coming years.

We have collected a special fund in honour of one of our directors, David Vanderhorst.  Our intention is to identify an area to contribute in a tangible way – perhaps sports equipment, library books or school supplies.

We will also be visiting two nuns at Geden Choeling Nunnery to catch up with their lives and ascertain how we can support them in their studies and every day life needs.

Many gifts have recently arrived to add to what we are able to give. All of the donations go directly to the children and nuns to ease the burdens of being refugees and to give them a chance at more opportunities for their future.

We expect to have a lot to share when we have returned from our trip. Tashi Delek

 

 


2013 Report – Good News!

November 9, 2013

SIMPLE GIFTS SOCIETY  Fall 2013  Report                        

 

Gift Recipients

Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) schools

Simple Gifts is paying partial scholarships for two students. They are both in grade 9; Tashi Phuntsok is attending TCV Chaundra and Tenzin Kunchok is in TCV Dharamsala. They have each written us letters, telling us of their interests, aspirations and activities along with their report card. They have expressed their gratitude for the help with their studies.  TCV has also expressed its gratitude for the support from Simple Gifts in helping them provide education for Tibetan children. “We have so many high school children who don’t have sponsor and getting even one or partial sponsor makes our day. And when one child gets a sponsor their level confidence goes up as they can now relate their happiness and joy to the sponsor like their own parents and siblings.”

 

Spitti Valley

In this very remote and impoverished area of northern India live many Tibetans. In the past Simple Gifts has sent money to the families of two children so they could attend school at a local Tibetan Buddhist monastery.  Rigsel has now entered a monastery in southern India. Pema has just entered the Geden Choeling Nunnery in McLeod Ganj.

 

Simple Gifts was also supporting a high school student Wangmo Tenzin. She has now entered a college in Simla (northern India) and would like to become a teacher. We have committed to assisting her with her college fees and room and board until she graduates.

 

Geden Choeling Nunnery

Ani Wangmo and the newly arrived Ani Pema will be receiving ‘pocket’ money from Simple Gifts. The nuns basic food and shelter is provided by the nunnery, however, any other things like tea, powdered milk, sugar, socks, pencils are purchased by the nuns, if they have the money.  We are grateful that because we have spent many months in McLeod Ganj and India, we know an appropriate amount of money to give the nuns to supply these small extras.

 

Lhakpa Chundak continues to be our communication link with the nuns. She is a teacher at a local Tibetan school and has internet access. Simple Gifts will be sending her a gift for her invaluable services and time.

 

Fundraising

The last time we were in McLeod Ganj Simple Gifts purchased a kilo of hand crafted glass beads made by a Tibetan Women’s Co-op.  We sold all the beads to two bead stores and various people on Vancouver Island.

 

Sweaters & Cameras

About 20 sweaters were knitted and given to me, along with 2 disposable cameras, to send to McLeod Ganj. The shipping was very expensive, so we will not be able to do this again.  The sweaters were distributed in the area and the cameras, which were mailed back to us, have not been received.

 

Flashlights

We were generously given five LED crank flashlights for the children attending school in Spitti Valley.

 


NEW PROJECTS 2012

August 11, 2012

While we were in McLeod Ganj we went to visit the Tibetan Children’s Village in upper Dharamsala. We had a lengthy conversation with a staff person there who answered our questions about the sponsorship program. Her perspective, from her own experience as a graduate of TCV,  was that the high school students were often forgotten about, as potential sponsors are often looking for a very young child.  The older students are also in need and particularly in the form of connection and interaction with others outside the Village.

Since Simple Gifts is no longer supporting Tenzin Rigsel’s education, we can expand our support to students living in Tibetan Children’s Villages. In addition to giving a partial sponsorhsip to Tashi Phundok, we have just received some information about a potential female highschool for Simple Gifts to give a full time sponsorship.  We will share the updates as they arrive.


SMALL GIFTS TO NUNS

August 11, 2012

While we were in McLeod Ganj we worked hard to try to find a way to give some kind of support to Ani Wangmo and Ani Kunsang. They were very hesitant to ask for anything for themselves. We knew they were both travelling to the Kalachakra in Bod Ghaya in January 2012 and asked if there was some way we could help with the trip. The results were that Simple Gifts purchased a sleeping bag for Ani Kunsang and a backpack for Ani Wangmo. We also gave them some funds to help them buy food and gifts when they were there.

Ani Wangmo told us that her brother, Tashi, is in a Tibetan Children’s Village. He is living there and receiving an education. Many children have sponsors who assist with clothing, pocket money and other small needed items. We talked about Simple Gifts offering a partial sponsorship to Tashi so he can have a little money of his own.  The Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) system has many schools in India, and houses and schools Tibetan orphans and those without parents in India.  They operate a sponsorship program that supports students and creates a caring connection with someone outside the school.


UPDATE ON CURRENT CHILDREN 2012

August 11, 2012

The first thing we did when we arrived in McLeod Ganj was to visit with our Tibetan friends and catch up on the news of the children Simple Gifts is sponsoring. Kelley Metrow a Canadian supporter of Simple Gifts was travelling with us, so she accompanied me to meet the nuns and hear the latest news. We went to the Geden Choeling Nunnery to meet with Ani Wangmo who is one of our contacts with the Spiti Valley and the children. Her new room mate (since Ani Choenyi’s passing) is also from that region and was very helpful in bringing us up to date with the children.

First we brought a gift of about 30 simple caps the nuns can wear to bed to keep them a little warmer in the very cold winter months.  They were very happy to receive them and promised to share them out amongst the other nuns. I took pictures of Ani Wangmo, Ani Kunsang and Kelley sporting the hats. See photos further down the blog page….Thank you to Pam McGuire for knitting all of them!

Then Kelley and I received an update about the children. Lhakpa, our internet connection to the nuns, was also with us to provide translating and clarification when needed.

Tenzin Pema is in her last year of grade school.  Tenzin Rigsel, after 6 years of sponsorhsip by Simple Gifts, has now entered into a monastery. Wangmo, our oldest student, will be completing high school in December 2012 and is eager to continue her studies. She is a high achiever, very smart and motivated to continue her education.

Simple Gifts is asking Pema for her plans, if she wants to enter high school and if so, which school. We are also in touch with Wangmo to find out what her aspirations for further education are and how we can assist her.


Lhakpa and Karma

November 14, 2011

Our Simple Gifts Team in Dharamsala


Simple Gifts Team meets the Nuns

November 4, 2011

Vicki, Joseph, David and Kelly are in Dharamsala this week to meet with the Nun’s and connect with the children.  Above is Kelly, our top fundraiser, Ani Wangmo and Ani Kunsang. They are all wearing the hats that Pam knitted for the nuns. They were very happy because in January they will travel to Bihar, India where His Holiness is giving the Kalachackra initiation. to 500,000 people. It is very cold there so the hats will keep them warm.

Remember to follow our India 2011 trip blog on the link to the left for up to the minute ( maybe days) news.