My Cappuccino Versus His Future by Crystal Water

Altruism, hospitality and non-violence are just a few of the many wonderful qualities that Tibetan culture embodies. And they are also qualities we need so much in the world today. However, because many Tibetans are in exile their culture becomes more endangered. The Tibetan Children’s Education is working to keep the culture alive.

Since 2000, I have been sponsoring a Tibetan child through The Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation. It has been very fulfilling for both of us. For Ludoe, who comes from a very sweet family with little funds, it has meant a chance to get a good education through Tibetan, English and Hindi along with his Tibetan peers in exile. He has now finished his primary and secondary education and is enjoying his first year of college.

For me, I can’t even begin to express how wonderful it is. Every time I get one of his letters, it makes me happy that I can help someone else in a way that will really change his future. Now we even communicate through Facebook so we get to stay in frequent contact. When I go to visit him in Clement Town—a Tibetan colony in India—his family treats me with a kindness that I could never imagine. Despite the language barrier, they are so warm, friendly and also grateful. This just fills my heart up. I almost feel guilty because to me it is not very much money, like a cappuccino a day, and to them it is the future of their son. Coming from a country where we have so much opportunity, I if given the chance we should try to spread this around.

Several years ago TCEF also started a sponsor a grandparent program, and of course I had to jump right in on this too. My husband and I sponsor two grandparents. Just before Christmas we received some letters from them expressing their gratitude. Although they cannot speak English themselves, some of the children sponsored through TCEF helped them to write us letters. For elderly Tibetans who are getting less mobile and not capable of working, it is also very important to have some financial support. With just $30 a month, they can buy much needed medicine and food.

My message is then to spread the love (and money) to support the Tibetan’s in exile and help to preserve their wonderful and altruistic culture.

Crystal Water
Helena, MT