The news of the massive earthquake on Saturday in Nepal came as a huge and unwelcome surprise to us all. Nepal and its people are very close to my heart, after four trips there over the past seventeen years. It is my spiritual and my second home, so the news of such devastation and suffering left me feeling raw and in shock. My sense of disbelief and powerlessness has lingered into the days following the quake, as I hear about the death toll rising, the massive relief effort under way and gain a sense of the level of the destruction on the global news. The chaos and suffering caused by the quake is almost impossible to imagine, as I sit here writing this in my comfortable home, with access to every amenity possible, close at hand.
Yoga and giving
My sense of powerlessness has been somewhat alleviated by attending yoga class last night, where we collectively meditated and prayed, in our own way, for Nepal. I felt the positive energy and love in the room rise, even as I also cried inside. I sincerely believe in the power of healing through positive thoughts, so know our energies here will help. So often we suffer disaster/charity overload when we are constantly bombarded with disturbing images and words in the media, yet my feeling of helplessness was transformed into something far more positive during yoga.
I am also helping in a small way by donating money to ROKPA, a non-profit, non-religious charity based in Scotland’s Samye Ling monastery. ROKPA have for many years worked in Nepal helping Tibetan children, and following the quake have launched an appeal to help the ROKPA children’s home in Kathmandu. Please give a little to this charity, or any other collecting for Nepal, if you can.
Below it an interview with Sonam, who is establishing the charity ‘Social Educational Development Project’. This blog post outlines the background and details about the Tibetan Refugee Camp Sonam lives on, her family background, her education and work experience and her hopes for the future of her people.
Name: Sonam Dolma
Place of birth: Nepal
Home: Tashi Palkhiel Tibetan Refugee Camp
Date of birth: 20th September 1989
Background to Tashi Palkhiel Tibetan Refugee Camp
Tashi Palkhiel Settlement was established in 1962. Approximately 700 people live on the camp, comprised of 150 households. The camp was established with the generous and kind support of the Red Cross, formally known as (SATA), the Nepalese government, the Swiss Government, Services for Technical Co-operation Switzerland and other voluntary associations. Seven refugee camps were established in various parts of Nepal. Tashi Palkhiel Settlement is the oldest and the most populated.Continue reading Interview with Sonam Dolma→
This blog post to about travelling in Nepal with my children and the donation giving we were involved in when we were there.
My one-year-old daughter squeals with happiness as she is thrown high up into the air by an equally delighted Tibetan woman, who bounces her ceaselessly into the bright blue sky and down into her open arms. Overwhelmed and humbled, I fight back tears as I observe this beautiful interaction between Tessa and Dolma. I have returned to Tashi Palkheil Tibetan Refugee Camp, sixteen years after I lived here as a gap year student, this time with a different purpose and with my young family. Continue reading Donation giving to Tibetan Refugee Camps→