About Tibetan Village Project Australia Inc.
How the Tibetan Village Project Australia Inc. Began
Don Cullen established Tibetan Village Project Australia Inc. early in 2005. This was a result of a detailed search to find an effective way to do something worthwhile for the people of Tibet.
Most of our projects are small scale initiatives that work directly with Tibetan villagers through our Tibetan associates. They know the local situation, understand the culture, and speak the local dialects. The TVPA board, local Tibetan associates along with Don Cullen cover all aspects of project implementation.
- · Medical Clinics
- · Schools
- · Orphanages
- · Arts and Craft Centre
- · Thanka Painting Centre
- · Green Houses
- · Shower House
- · Composting Toilets
At this stage we conduct medical clinics in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and Kham. The clinic in the Kham region, which is in Suhurong village in Minyak, was built and began operating in November 2011. This clinic provides accommodation for our resident doctor, Doctor Drolma, a larger patient treatment area as well as providing temporary accommodation for women and children who have been subject to domestic violence or need ongoing medical treatment. There will also be regular training on personal hygiene for the local villagers. Our other medical clinics are located in the Tibetan Autonomous Region in Cheda Shol and Samye.
Tibetan Village Project Australia Inc. currently has 2 schools and provides and pays the teachers stipends. TVPA donates school supplies and clothing - in particular sporting equipment, bags, hats, gloves and shoes. We also provide a hot meal at lunchtime for all children.
TVPA has also provided adult education to a large Nunnery in Minyag, Kham. There are 74 Nuns of which 51 are illiterate. TVPA has provided a teacher to teach the basics of reading, writing and maths.
TVP supports orphanages. One is run by the monks in a Monastery in Kham. We provide stipends for the 3 monks who teach the 47 boys. Not all boys at the orphanage will become monks; about a third will join the Monastery. The remainder will pursue normal lives on the land.
We provide school supplies, clothing, blankets, shoes and food. In 2012, we provided for a master in Thanka painting to teach the boys this cultural heritage.
We started building green houses in remote villages in 2006. We have since constructed 8 green houses. Prior to construction, each site is carefully assessed ensuring good soil and water. Generally they are administered by the local community, but all are tailored to suit the local situation. For example, TVPA has built green houses beside the homes of two widows. These widows tend the gardens and the produce grown supplies children at a local orphanage. Monks from the Monastery who teach the boys are also beneficiaries. The widows then sell any excess produce at the local market giving both a supplementary income. TVPA provides ongoing support and advice. Green houses have increased the growing period from 4 to 10 months a year, greatly improving the nutrition of the villagers by making fresh vegetables available for most of the year.
Water is a huge issue in Tibet, although there is plenty of water, in a lot of cases, Monasteries and Nunneries are built in isolated locations and though winter is not so much of a problem in obtaining water, summer presents a huge problem in some areas. TVPA is looking at ways of assisting not only the Monasteries and Nunneries, but small villages as well to help over come this important issue.
One of the biggest problems in most regional areas of Tibet is the disposal of human waste. The increase in disease created by poor sanitation has been nothing short of staggering. TVPA was initially approached by a Nunnery to help them come up with a solution.
By working alongside the authorities and representatives from Monasteries and Nunneries we have constructed a composting toilet block. This has created a huge demand for our help. The many approaches from other Nunneries, Monasteries and villages have been over whelming.