TCV 2005 - 45th Anniversary

In October, 2005 Susan Stephenson of the Michael Olaf Company attended as a guest for the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Tibetan Children’s Villages in India. Literally thousands of returning TCV students, nuns, monks, local family members, and other guests covered the hills around the TCV football stadium where the celebrations were held. The slogans of TCV were clear as they are permanently displayed on many of the buildings, and they remind the children daily of the importance and purpose of their studies. They are “Others first” and “Come to Learn, Go to Serve”

The very young children from the Montessori classes were the first to perform as they faced the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa, Jetsun Pema and all of the other guests. They were lead out onto the field by their “amala’s” (housemothers) wearing blue school uniforms with the traditional white flowing scarves “katas” around their necks. They sang their hearts out.

There were dance and music performances by the older students and the teachers for hours, wearing examples of wide variety of beautiful costumes, from all of the different areas of Tibet. The favorite of everyone was the Yak dance, celebrating the beloved animal of the Himalayas. Two people under each of the large, black, white-horned Yak skins, the beloved animal of the Himalayas, danced and cavorted, butting eachother, picking up katas in their mouths, and tossing them to the wind.

During the week she met with the officers of TCV to bring to fruition the plans to bring TCV teachers to the USA to earn their AMI Montessori diplomas.

This summer a Tibetan/Bhutanese teacher who received her 3-6 diploma at The Maria Montessori Institute in London many years ago will begin the 0-3 course at The Montessori Institute in Denver (TMI), Colorado. And in the fall a Tibetan teacher from Dharamsala will begin the AMI 3-6 course at The Montessori Institute of Minnesota (MTCM). The course directors of these training centers are providing full scholarships and assistants with travel and room and board.

This will bring not only a new level of care and education of the Tibetan refugee children, but also and a long-desired contact between the Tibetan Children’s Village and Montessorians around the world.

For more information on TCV, and how to help with food, clothing, Montessori supplies, and so forth, go to:

Here is the report from the TCV website found at:

From its humble beginning forty five years ago, Tibetan Children's Village has today become a thriving, integrated educational community for destitute Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet in recent years. It has established branches in India extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in the South, with over 15,000 children under its care.

Forty five years is not a short period in anyone's life and certainly not in the life of TCV. Tibetan Children's Village realises the enormous responsibility it bears for the destiny of our Tibetan children and for the goodwill of the thousands of its donors and friends around the world who have sustained it through all these years.

Today, we are proud to see young people from our villages serving the Tibetan community in different capacities and, at the same time, accept that there are a few children who have not fared so well. In this respect, extensive efforts are being made to further improve the lives of our children, bearing in mind the lessons and shortcomings we have experienced in the past. Though much has been achieved, we still have a long way to go in fulfilling our aims and objectives of providing the children under our care with the necessary resources and the opportunities to develop their abilities to the fullest. As has been highlighted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his message on our 35th Anniversary, the future direction of our programme will be in the field of further education in specialised studies to meet the human resource needs of the community "during our period in exile and more importantly when the time comes for us to go back to our homeland.... " We shall endeavour further to improve the quality of our children's education and their cultural and social upbringing without necessarily sacrificing the simplicity of our exile life-style.

All our achievements would not have been possible without the constant blessing and inspiration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as well as the unwavering support and understanding from the people and the Government of India. And of course, we would not have been able to do so much for our children without the continued financial help of so many good friends around the world, especially the SOS Kinderdorf International, the backbone of our financial support. Not the least, we must pay gratitude and remembrance to the many, many mothers, co-workers and teachers, both past and present, who have given so much of their life and hard work simply for the joy of seeing the children secure a meaningful life. We know our road is not at the end and that there is still much to be done, for as His Holiness has stated, "The children are the seeds of future Tibet." I appeal to everyone - to our sponsors, donor agencies and my fellow colleagues- to continue to be at our side during this difficult period in our history and assist us in educating and caring for the Tibetan children in exile.


Jetsun Pema

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