Schools for Nomads in Sershongthang and Tsarasumdo

Two boarding schhols for primary school-age nomad children have been built near the settlements of Sershongthang and Tsarasumdo in the still very remote southern part of Dagyab, with active help from the local people. At this time 173 children are receiving tuition and care. They are being taught by ten Tibetan teachers. The teachers are being supported by seven additional employees, who cook and perform janitorial services, among other things. The first generation of children has now completed their six-year course of schooling and about half of them have gone on to the state middle school.

Teachers and Pupils in Tsarasumdo

The nomad areas in Dagyab are very extensive and at very high elevations, many people live year-round or at least in summer in tent communities bound by kinship, moving from one pasture to the next. The climate is very harsh, and life circumstances are hard and simple. Due to the distant and changing locations of the families, it was absolutely necessary to plan the schools as boarding schools. No expenses for food and lodging were to arise for the families. It is difficult enough for them to have to do without their children's labor power. If we were to demand correspondingly high tuition fees most of the families could no longer afford to send their children to the schools. Tuition, care and supervision are on a full-time basis for nine months of the year; from September to May. Tibetan teachers from the region are employed at both schools. The subjects taught are Tibetan, mathematics, natural history, geography, history, music and technology. Chinese is taught as the first foreign language starting in the third year. Examinations are held twice a year. Although the schools were created with Association funds, the requirements for state school certification of the Autonomous Region of Tibet must of course still be fulfilled. A small health-care station in which a Tibetan doctor practices has been added to each of the schools.

Sponsorships for Children in Dagyab

In the meantime sponsors who make regular donations for pupils of the nomad schools have been found for about 120 children. This support is most encouraging, and we wish to express our thanks here once again.

A Nomad Child

For the future, we shall be tending towards organizing "neutral" sponsorships not connected to individual children. This has been the approach we have taken from the beginning with support for the nuns (see: "Nuns' Projects"). We hope that our numerous sponsors will understand our reasons. In this way the funds will serve the general improvement of the children's living standard, and the children can count on regular donations. They are the weakest link in the chain.

Sponsorship Coordinator: Hanne Grimm, Märzgasse 10, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany Tel. and Fax: 0049 6221 / 23736, grimm@dagyab.de

You can support the nomad children (in the future as neutral sponsorships) with a monthly donation of 13 Euros that is debited from your account on the 15th of each month.