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 Childrens 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 amalas (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 Childrens Village and Montessorians around the
For more information on TCV, and how to help with food, clothing, Montessori supplies, and so forth, go to: http://michaelolaf.net/childrensprojects.html
Here is the report from the TCV website found at: www.tcv.org.in/index.shtml
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.
Return to The Michael Olaf Tibetan Children's Village page: http://michaelolaf.net/motcvproject.html