TCEF Blog

The Enterprising Tibetan Sweater Sellers by Karma Tensum

Throughout history, the story of human survival through adaptation is fascinating and even inspiring. In its own way, so is the story of the Tibetans in exile. Did you know that most Tibetans in exile eke out livelihoods as roadside hawkers, selling sweaters, shawls, jackets, gift items, and other warm clothing items? This article on the Enterprising Tibetan Sweater Sellers is also the story of the Tibetans’ challenges and triumphs in India’s exile. I believe that to know the Tibetan sweater sellers is to understand the essence of the Tibetan people’s story in exile.

5 Lessons From the Tibetan Culture by Karma Tensum

Often I think of ways for us to give back to this amazing community of sponsors and supporters who donate hard-earned money to support a child or elder they’ve never met on the other side of the globe. I’ve always been passionate about sharing the Tibetan culture and nowadays my head is wrapped around trying to share aspects of Tibetan culture that have the potential to benefit others. Viewed from that lens, this is also an expression of my gratitude to everyone who supports our work.

My Journey with TCEF by Jane Amdahl

My journey with the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation began in 2004. I had been saving up for years to take the trip of a lifetime and the time had finally come. After looking at my options, I decided to go to the most exotic and faraway place I could think of: Tibet. I signed up for a group tour and before I knew I was on my way.

The TCEF Story by Karma Tensum

The core of TCEF’s story is about the empathy that individual people in the West have for Tibet and Tibetans. One reason to share this story is that we are marking our 25th anniversary this year, but perhaps even more importantly, I wanted to share it for inspiration. I’ve been sad, other Tibetans have despaired that somehow the world has forgotten us, forgotten that we still exist tenuously as refugees in exile, that we are not receiving the attention that will bring our plight into global awareness. The immense love and support we’ve received from our founders, sponsors, and supporters are sources of inspiration. It conveys very clearly that, although governments may not care or have compulsions not to act, ordinary Americans do care – care enough to put their energy and money where their hearts are.

Celebrating the Tibetan Spiritual Heritage

Spirituality is the lifeline of the Tibetan people. Without it, they would lose their soul and their foundation. Most Tibetans find some time, some space for it in their daily lives. For many, the time spent on spiritual practice is the most important and meaningful part of their day. And not all religious practices are the same either. Many lay Tibetans have a regiment of reciting segments of prayers from the scriptures followed by accumulating sacred mantras. Others may begin their day at their altar, offering freshwater and butter lamps to the Buddhas and then reading the scriptures. Still, others make time for meditation and quiet reflection.

One of the Most Rewarding Things I’ve Done in Life: Roberta Anderson

I have had the pleasure of sponsoring three different children since I first visited Kyitseling in 2004. I was deeply moved by my initial visit to this hostel for Tibetan refugee children for many reasons. I think the thing that impressed me the most was seeing how much respect, love, and care the older children were showing towards the younger ones—and how truly creative and kind the adults at the hostel are. This hostel is much like a big family, and a beautiful model of how a group of people can live together in a harmonious and mutually supportive way.

The Tables Story by Mary Kitchen

Back in the summer of 2009 my husband, Guy, and I signed on to go with a TCEF service group to India for their February-March 2010 trip to help the Tibetan refugees in northern India. Guy never planned on taking a trip to India until one day when he happened to see pictures of how the Tibetans and other people in the Himalayan mountains of Sikkim were living in such difficult conditions. He turned to me and said “I can fix that”. He was referring to leaking metal roofs on the small metal homes that housed the families. The rest is history!

Inspiring & Necessary by Anne Jablonski

Inspiring and necessary: these two words probably best express the experience for me of being part of TCEF’s Elder sponsorship program.  It was, in many ways, such an easy choice:  I’ve have been so blessed to have personally met and spent time with many of the people who created and sustain this incredible organization.  Their compassion and commitment to a meaningful solution to ease some of the very difficult hardships faced by Tibetan exiles is a tonic for my own heart and for the One Great Heart that pulses love and hope to all of us.  So much tender and sincere caring exudes from everyone in this organization – it’s really so little for them to ask of any of us to be a part of the spirit of humanity that they are cultivating.

Can You Spend Your Money Any Better? by Dan Fritz & Cheryl Hart

Approximately ten years ago, we had great good fortune to meet Karma and Gensung Tensum at Thanksgiving dinner, in the kitchen of The Feathered Pipe Ranch.  Just being in the Ranch’s most vital productive center was always an honor and a privilege.  It was big, roomy, homey, alive with the the cooking of fabulous food, and central to every person who made the great ranch function.  Access was selective—those who were currently running the ranch and those who had dedicated their lives to contributing to that effort, so when India Supera introduced us to Karma and Gensung we already knew that they were walking a well-intentioned path.

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.