Educating the Children

Sponsorship Program for Children

Kyitsel-ling Children

You Can Transform a Child’s Life

His Holiness The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Administration in Exile, with the support of the Government of India and various other organizations and individuals have done a wonderful job with Tibetan education in exile. Over the past fifty plus years thousands of Tibetan children have received excellent education.

As a refugee community, the Tibetans have done remarkably well. Most Tibetan refugees began their lives in exile as road labors. Over the years, many of them have transitioned in business. But, life for Tibetans in exile has never been easy and there are many Tibetan families that need help. Some of them are poor – others come from broken homes, or have some sickness or other problem in their lives. These families need help to educate their children.

TCEF’s sponsorship program connects an interested person here in the West with Tibetan children that need help. Over the past ten years, we’ve made hundreds of connections.

Current sponsorship rates are $45 a month. Sponsorship funds help to pay for school tuition, uniforms, books, medical and health care needs etc. At TCEF’s collaborating institutions -Kyitsel-ling Tibetan Children’s Education Center, Clement Town and Sukhavait Boarding School, Sikkim – the sponsorship funds also cover all boarding and lodging expenses.

Sponsored Child at Zuluk, Sikkim

Getting started

The easiest way to get started is to fill in the online sponsorship form, following the links to our sponsorship subscriptions. Using pay pal or will let the foundation know of your interest and prompt a response.

If you have a TCEF brochure,fill in the sponsorship form and mail it to :TCEF, PO Box 1403, Helena, MT 59624. call (406)443-6078 or send a short email to to express your interest and a member of TCEF will respond promptly.

FAQs on Sponsorship

How are children selected for sponsorships? Will children write back to sponsors? What gifts can we send them ? Interested persons may have many other questions. We’ve a FAQ section to help, but also welcome any question that prospective sponsors may have. An email to works the best for us.

How You Can Help

Here are all the different ways that you can help educate a Tibetan refugee child’s education:

* Sponsor a child’ school education. Make a commitment to change a life. The gift of education can transform lives. Take a child right through school.

* Make a sponsorship commitment to sponsor a child’s education for three years. At the end of that period, you can renew your sponsorship or TCEF will find another sponsor for the child to build on the education already received from your sponsorship. To date, we’ve been able to find replacement sponsors for every child that had an initial sponsor.

*Make a one time donation to our sponsorship program. Your donation will enable us to immediately help a child until we find a regular sponsor.

$45.00 USD for each month, for 30 installments

$135.00 USD for each 3 months, for 12 installments

$270.00 USD for each 6 months, for 6 installments

$540.00 USD for each year, for 3 installments

One-time Donations

Find Out More about Children’s Sponsorship





Sponsorship Duration

I would prefer to sponsor

Preferred Payment schedules

Preferred Payment Methods

Read more

FAQs on Sponsorship Program

Test Text

I want to sponsor a child. How do I begin the process of sponsoring a child?

The easiest way to get started is to fill in the sponsorship form online and email it to us. Once we receive that form, we will try to find a child that matches your request and send you a short bio data and photograph of the child for your sponsorship. You can also do an online sponsorship subscription. Pay pal and immediately e mail us of sponsorship subscriptions and a TCEF associate will e mail you to start the sponsorship process.

How much time will it take for me to get the bio data and photo?

It depends on whether TCEF has on file a child that matches your request. If we do, we will send it right away. But in many cases, we have to send that request to the sponsorship committee in India. Then it may take about a month or two to get the photo and bio-data.

When do the sponsorships commence?

For administrative convenience, we request sponsors to accept either the 1st. of January, when the new school term in India begins, or the 1st. of July, when the second term begins after the children return from their annual Summer vacations – depending on which month sponsors were closer to when they committed to the sponsorships. So, if you committed to a sponsorship say in May or August 2004 we will request that the sponsorships commence from July 2004 and if you committed to a sponsorship in November 2004 or February 2005, we will request that the sponsorship commence from January 2005.

These are requested/recommended dates for commencement. For online sponsors, the sponsorship commences when the first online subscription comes through. Other sponsors can also opt to start the sponsorships from the date of sponsorship commitments or payments.

What payment method options are available to sponsors?

Checks made in favor of Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation or TCEF and mailed to PO Box 1403, Helena, MT 59624 is our preferred payment method. Sponsors can also do a sponsorship subscription online using pay pal or from this site. Sponsors can also call or email us about using credit cards and we can also help set up an Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) using

What payment schedule options are available to sponsors?

Sponsors are free to choose payment schedules that work the best for them. Annual ($540) or half yearly ($270) work the best for us. But sponsors are free to opt for quarterly ( $135) or even monthly ($45) payment schedules.

Are the contributions tax deductible?

Yes, TCEF is a 501(c)(3) organization and all sponsorship contributions will receive our tax deductible receipt.

How much of sponsorship contributions go directly to the children or elders and how is the rest utilized?

Current sponsorship rate is $45 per month. Out of this $30 or $35 goes directly to support the child you sponsor. The remainder goes to either helping other children without sponsorship funds or for admin. While TCEF sponsors are paired with children or elders, they  are also supporting the sponsorship programs as a whole. For the elders, current TCEF sponsorship rate is $35 a month. Out of this $25 or $30 goes directly to help the elder you sponsor.

Can I write to my sponsored child?

Yes! Your sponsored child/children will love to hear from you. Most TCEF sponsorships are coordinated through Kyitsel-ling Tibetan Children’s Education Center, India. You can write to your sponsored child at the following address:

Name of your child
c/o Kyitsel-ling Tibetan Children’s Education Center
G 179 Tibetan Colony
PO Clement Town
Dehra Dun (UK) India 248002

If you sponsor a child through the Sambhota Tibetan Schools, Dharamsala,you can write at this address:

Name of Child
c/o Sponsorship Coordinator
Sambhota Tibetan Schools Society
Sherab Gatsel Lobling (TTS)
PO Khanyara Road, Dharamsala
Distt.Kangra (HP)
India 176218

You can also mail your letters to TCEF, PO Box 1403, Helena, MT 59624 and we will gladly forward your letters to India.

Will my sponsored child understand my letters? Will he/she be able to write back to me?

The medium of instruction in Tibetan schools in exile is Tibetan till class V. Till this grade English is studied as a second language. So children in lower grades know only a little English. But there will always be others to help translate letters – a sponsorship secretary, teachers, older children. Your sponsored child will write to you at least twice a year: around Christmas and in the summer. If he/she is in the lower classes, they may not be able to write much in English but they will send you wonderful drawings and a few sentences. From class VI onwards, the medium of instruction is English and children can write longer and more meaningful letters.

Can I send a parcel to my sponsored child?

Yes, they’ll love that even more. Our experience suggests that Registered Parcels stand a much better chance of safe delivery. Also, be sure to declare it as a ‘Gift’ on the customs form so that your sponsored child does not have to pay customs at his or her end.

What can I send him or her? What do Tibetan children in India like?

Like children anywhere, a Tibetan child will be thrilled with whatever you send: toys/dolls, clothes, school supplies etc. A lot depends on what you want to send them. Our suggestions include soft dolls, toys and sports items. The advantage of these items over clothes is that all their friends can also share in the joy of your gift.

Do Tibetan girls get equal opportunities to study as boys?

Yes, very much so. According to the Current Status Report 1998 – a detailed study of Tibetan children’s education in exile, there were slightly more girls than boys in the Tibetan 90 odd Tibetan schools in exile. Kyitsel-ling also has more girls than boys!

What subjects do the children study?

Till class 5, Tibetan is the medium of instruction. Besides Tibetan language, they study English, Hindi, Mathematics, Social Studies and General Science. From class 6 onwards, English is the medium of instruction. In India they follow a system of school education popularly known as the 10+2 system. After class 10, children have two more years of high school where they can opt to major either in Arts, Commerce or Science. Besides core subjects, Tibetan Dance, Music & Drama, Computer Education and Physical Education are important parts of their curriculum.

What happens when children graduate from school? Are there opportunities for further studies?

The Tibetan Administration in exile and other Tibetan organizations offer a variety of scholarships that will enable many school graduates to pursue a college education in India. In some case, TCEF sponsors continue to support their children through college. TCEF has a fledgling college sponsorship program. For $1000 a year, you can support a deserving Tibetan child attend college in India.

Read more

Kyitsel-ling Education Center

HHDL laying foundation stone

Kyitsel-ling is an boarding hostel that provides excellent learning facilities and supplementary education. Through our sponsorship program, children from the poorest segments of the Tibetan community can stay at Kyitsel-ling and attend school. The foundation stone was laid by His Holiness The Dalai Lama on November 21, 1997, who named it KYITSEL-LING, which means “the place of happiness’. The Kyitsel-ling children attend the local Tibetan settlement school (classes KG to XII) and come home to Kyitsel-ling.

The Need for a Children’s Hostel

Kyitsel-ling Library

While it is true that some Tibetan families have done well in exile, many continue to be very poor. Kyitsel-ling is a home for the poorest of the poor, children from broken homesand homes where the parents’ poverty and lack of literacy does not allow them toactively support the children’s academic growth. A large majority of Tibetan refugees in India make their living by selling sweaters and jackets. During the winters, they travel to different cities in India for business. Often their children’s education gets disrupted as they are compelled to follow their parents for lack of a place to stay. Kyitsel-ling ensures that at least some of them can have an uninterrupted academic year.

Appreciating these needs, the establishment of Kyitsel-ling has been welcomed by all sections of the Tibetan community in exile. Initially planned as a center for fifty children, now it serves one hundred.

Programs at Kyitsel-ling

Traditional Dances

One of the major aims of Tibetan education in exile is to help transmit Tibetan cultural heritage to the children. Kyitsel-ling’s location within a major Tibetan settlement helps to transmit the Tibetan culture to the children. Tashi Kyil Monastery is our next door neighbor and the center is surrounded by the sights and sounds of all things Tibetan. Traditional Tibetan prayers, Music and Dance are part of the children’s daily curriculum.

At the same time, we offer resources for a quality modern education. Resources at Kyitsel-ling include a small library and computer room. We hope that the education children receive at Kyitsel-ling will help Tibetan children to be firmly rooted in their own culture while be comfortable with the modern world.The happiness of the children here is paramount. We added a children’s park and small recreational center. Games and sports are a big part of the children here.

Computer Education

The basketball court is the ‘center’ of many activities at Kyitsel-ling. Kyitsel-ling holds an annual local basketball tournament.The Kyitsel-ling children attend school at the local Tibetan settlement school and come home to Kyitsel-ling where tutors provide them with supplementary education in all school subjects. Additional staff are employed to teach computers, traditional Tibetan Dance and Music and to organize supervized games and sports.

Over the past twelve years since its inception, Kyitsel-ling has touched the lives of hundreds of children. In the years ahead, we hope that we’ll be contribute our fair share towards the education of Tibetan children in exile.

Read more

Sukhavati Educational Hostel

High in the Himalayan foothills of northeastern Sikkim at 9430 feet lies the village of Zuluk. Once a pit stop on the ancient Silk route between Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan and China it is now home to less than 600 people from approx. 6o families. They are ethnic Tibetan and Nepali having migrated here in the 1960‘s in search of political and cultural freedom and the promise of a better life. They were given work in road construction which ended in 2002. Now the only work is road maintenance which employs 12 people per year. The children and elders do menial tasks for the soldiers in the army border camp in exchange for foods and oil. They are not citizens of any country.

The nearest school for these children was a difficult long 10 km walk up and down the mountain taking several hours. As a result many did not attend school regularly if at all.

In 2007 under the leadership of Lama Paljor and the assistance of the Shambhala Association of New Caledonia, funds were raised , the villagers donated their labor and the Sukhavati Educational Hostel was built in Phadamchen Village, 10 kms below Zuluk. This allows for 60 boys and girls to regularly attend secondary school.

Sukhavati Educational Hostel

2008- TCEF joined forces with Lama Paljor and began sponsoring the education of these children. Without this hostel and the sponsorship program, these children would not be able to attend school. These kids are eager to learn and they understand the importance of their education to break the cycle of poverty. Sponsorship is critical to maintaining the hostel.

The children come from dire poverty and their families DO NOT have the money to pay for their children’s education. Sponsorship provides school fees, room & board, clothing and basic medical care.

2010 – in partnership with the Trans Himalayan Aide Society (TRAS) based in Vancouver Canada, TRAS and TCEF funded construction on the much needed third floor . It will be used as a dinning hall , study hall and general recreation room.

2011 – A Thermal Solar Water unit is in the process of being installed thanks to the generosity of our friends in the Monbuk Rotary Club in Australia. This will enable the children to have hot showers for the first time in their lives.

Sukhavanti Sleeping Facilities

Currently the Zuluk Hostel in Phadamchen has 52 children. There are two staff members , one man and one woman who all cook, clean and care for the children. The children are provided three meals a day of mostly dal, rice and vegetables. The Hostel is home away from home for these children while they become educated. Your sponsorship dollars make this happen!

2012 – TCEF helped to bring the first computers for the children here. We believe this was a major boost to the education facilities of the children. In the years ahead, we look forward to doing more projects for them.

Read more