Dolma Newsletter - January 2012

Dolma - newsletter - January 2012


Introduction by the Présidente                                                         

The year 2011? The year of donations! Thanks to them, we have funded further study for Chonzin, a 18 years’ old student and participated to the project of "cows" in Sonada which is the purchase of dairy cows and expansion of the barn. With this new investment, children and adults will benefit from this nutritional intake. The project will be closed at the beginning of the year.

The other highlight of this year is the trip of our two godmothers, Cecilia and Eliane to Sonada and Darjeeling. Our two godmothers were delighted by the welcome they received and brought back lots of impressions, observations, information and photos which they will share with us with during our next General Assembly on 30 March. Do not miss this session!

Unfortunately, your sponsorships are still essential to the daily lives of children and for their further education and hope for a better future. Cecile and Eliane identified fourteen young people who need financial support after the class X in Sonada.  I remember when two girls had to remain at home after the holidays due to lack of means, this can’t happen again. By now we have almost completed the support the project "cows" for Sonada and we are now launching a project to help the center improve the hygiene and sanitation by simply giving them some funding to buy some tiles. In addition, we know that the children are in urgent need to renew their shoes. New projects are therefore needed.


Thank you to our "missionaries" for their hard work. Thanks to your loyalty and your generosity, we continue our efforts and we were right to be optimistic in the Bulletin 10 of last year.

Thank you

Genevieve Soulager-Mailly


Visit to Sonada and Darjeeling by our two godmothers Cécile et Eliane

Two of our mentors, Cecile and Eliane visited India in October 2011. They stayed a week at the refugee center Sonada and 3 days at the center of Darjeeling. Their stay was very informative, full of exchanges and emotions. They were extremely well received by the center managers, teams, parents and children! It is impossible to summarize in one article all the impressions and information from our two godmothers - they will do so in person at our next meeting. But in the meantime, here is some information and pictures. 


« Tashiling Tibetan Center » in Sonada

 Let's start with the center of Sonada, city of 100,000 about fifteen miles from Darjeeling, The Camp was founded in 1965 with the help of Dharamsala and donations from foreign partners. It is located in the city, at 1700 m altitude in the Himalayas, the average temperature is 28 ° C,
Children are between 3 years and 19 years. These are happy children, playing, laughing, going to school, "lively" like other children of the world. The difference is they are very poor, living in primitive conditions and cannot attend school without the support of associations like ours.
In the camp, there are 62 boys, 80 girls in Class I to X. They are divided into three houses under the direction of two mistresses.
- 35 children are sponsored by Dolma
- 45 in Dharamsala,
- 25 by other NGOs, and other French association
- 43 children are waiting for sponsorship


 The center of Darjeeling
The center of Darjeeling is very different from Sonada because it is richer. In addition to the trade of its famous tea, Darjeeling is a craft center (carpets, wool, wood, paint on paper) and tourism. The lives of parents and children are different. Many Tibetan families live from crafts. Children living with their families, there is no shelter. However, the center helps children in their schooling. Dolma is sponsoring 23 children in Darjeeling.

Darjeeling has sever al schools and colleges that are outside the refugee center. The refugee center has facilities for children but also it has a truck and a medical aid station.


In Darjeeling, there are less orphans and single parents than in Sonada. Make no mistake, living conditions are rudimentary and our support is essential to the education of children but the needs of the center are different from that of Sonada.



The main findings and analysis of our sponsors:

Sponsorships are very well managed by the center managers. They are an absolutely essential source of money for the children and families who could not remain in camps or go to school without such aid.

Today there is a need for two types of sponsorship: sponsorship of a very young child (from 3 years) should be considered in the long term and sponsorship of students who after class X (equivalent Classe 2nde in France) continue to need our support until the end of their studies, to give them every opportunity to enter a trade.


Sonada needs are very urgent and accurate in terms of:
- Sonsorships  - 45 cases pending in total!
- Project cows - a real long-term project, under construction and that could be called "farm and market gardening project." Children have enough to eat, but almost exclusively with rice so with deficiencies: very few vegetables, milk protein, vitamins ... The origin of the project was a request to provide enough milk to the children. Currently the farm has two "good cow" that give ten liters of milk per day and two less good, 5 / 6 l per day. They need two more good cows. They are very proud of their innovation in the planting of Actinidia (kiwi tree) that will give them their first harvest of kiwifruit this year.
- Hygiene conditions - the center does not have basic products such as detergents to ensure hygienic conditions normal or hot water or enough soap, toothbrushes etc. for washing children. Humidity is a problem causing mold in all the facilities even more recent.

- The clinic, built in 1998 with funds from Dolma, is not very functional, rather "gray-green" because of constant moisture that exists in Sonada. Cecile and Eliane were fortunate to be present along with Heidi, from a Norwegian NGO "Tibet Aid - Shenpen." This meeting is the beginning of a partnership between "Dolma", "Shenpen" and the camp authorities. We will keep you updated later

In conclusion, we must just say a huge thank you to Cecile and Eliane who have personally invested in this trip: before, during and after!. Their stay is of course very important or essential for the association and our sponsors. Their experience was rewarding for them but for all the sponsors who I hope will be even more motivated to continue to support Dolma after reading this brief summary!



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