April 2014

Nurses Vocational Training Project

From the time His Holiness the Dalai Lama first met with TRAS members in 1979 and spoke to them about the importance of health as well as education, TRAS has been involved in many health-related projects.  From 1988 to 1998 TRAS supported community health workers training at Delek Hospital in Dharamsala, helping to staff a small clinic in each of the Tibetan settlements in India, Nepal and Bhutan.  As the standard of education for Tibetan children in India improved, the Tibetans realised the importance of upgrading the health services by training registered nurses to staff the clinics, some of which were enlarged into small hospitals. The Tibetan community in India, Nepal and Bhutan currently has 7 hospitals, 4 primary health centres and 43 small clinics, run by the Department of Health of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), which is situated in Dharamsala.


Under the auspices of the Department of Education (CTA), scholarships are given annually to Tibetan students to pursue a variety of careers.

TRAS has provided the scholarships for nursing students since 1995, helping many young women fulfil their ambition to succeed at a useful career and, at the same time, achieve independence for themselves with the ability to help support their own families.

The CTA is able to enrol qualifying students in excellent teaching hospitals in India, and the majority of the graduates immediately find employment, either in the small clinics and hospitals of the Tibetan settlements in India, Nepal and Bhutan or in Indian hospitals.

2014 Pema - nurseTRAS considers this a worthwhile project to continue, and has just approved a further three years of support. For 2019, TRAS will be supporting eight students, each taking a three-year general nursing course. Funds needed for 2019: $6,949.

Of the last 13 students, 9 are working in Tibetan or Indian hospitals, one just completed her BSc Nursing and is looking for work, one is going on to do her BSc Nursing, one has moved to the US, and one married and moved to Ladakh.

Recent graduates have written to TRAS:

Hope you are in good health. I am always thankful to you for supporting me so far till here to achieve what I have dreamed for. With your support, I have completed my degree course and because of you, now, I am a confident lady to serve as a professional nurse.

 I graduated my college in Jan 2014 from Dr. M.V. Shetty college of Nursing, Mangalore. And currently, I am serving as a Surgical ICU staff nurse in Max Super Speciality Hospital, Dehradun. And, it’s been half a year now. I am having a good time with my profession and I love what I am doing now.


This is the recent news from my side: In our hospital, there held poster competition for Nurses Day. I participated on behalf of my department and secured 1st position and the poster I have prepared I am here presenting to you.

With this, I extremely want to thank you for gifting me my profession! You will be always in my heart and prayers.

With thanks and regards,

Namgyal Dolma ”

Dolkar Tsering

“A very warm Tashi Delek! My name is Dolkar Tsering and I am a former scholarship awardee from TRAS. I studied nursing in Mangalore, India. And I am very glad that I have completed my nursing course with less difficulty which was only possible with your kind help. I completed my study in month of October and presently I am working as a staff nurse in Neuro Operation Theatre in Max hospital, Dheradun India.

At last, I would like to thank you all for your help and making me succeed in myself. Thank you once again. 

Yours sincerely

Dolkar Tsering”





Sikkim Nutrition Program

Update December 2015 : The latest news from Lama Paljor is that the children are much healthier now that they are enjoying a nutritious lunch. For many who come from extremely poor families, this lunch is the most substantial meal of the day. The children are not falling asleep during the afternoon classes, and are better able to concentrate.  Almost all the mothers are now able to work in their fields, and work on the roads – but this work is intermittent; they may get work perhaps for a month, and then none for a couple of months. Lama Paljor feels, therefore, that he cannot ask the parents to pay for the lunch.

Lunch program 2015
He had hoped to have the greenhouse up and running this past summer, but heavy rains and landslides (caused perhaps by  the massive Himalayan earthquakes this year) have prevented the construction.  The land has been levelled, and the supplies are purchased, so we hope he is soon able to build the greenhouse and start growing vegetables.

TRAS has agreed to fund the lunch program for a further three months.

Project Overview: Sikkim is in the remote northern reaches of India, against the border with Tibet. Lama Paljor has taken up the cause of educating the children of Tibetan refugees who live in tiny villages on the Indian side of the border. The men and many women work at road building for the Indian Army – backbreaking work, done by hand.  Lama Paljor has built a hostel in the nearest little town (TRAS paid for half the third floor and the retaining wall) and now has opened a school to give a decent education to the village and local children. The children from the villages live in the hostel and are given a nourishing lunch, but the local children had to walk home for lunch. He asked if TRAS would provide a school lunch program.

Why, if they could get lunch at home, was this necessary?

Here’s the story behind the request: the lunch the mothers could provide was meagre in the extreme; the children were not getting enough nutrition to be able to concentrate; they were often late back to school because of the distances and missed part of the afternoon classes; their mothers could not work because they had to be at home to feed their children. TRAS agreed to a one-year pilot project, and with a mere $3,014 the children are better fed, the school results are better, the children are healthier and the mothers are able to do other work.  Lama Paljor has asked TRAS to provide lunches for 90 children for one more year and will continue to work on plans for a long-term solution, possibly building a greenhouse so that fresh veggies will be available year round.

Funds needed by March 2016 – $5,950


TRAS Kick Off to Summer Social – May 8th, 2014

Indian-FoodJoin us on Thursday, May 8th for the TRAS Second Annual Kick Off to Summer Social.

Catch up with TRAS members, get an update on our latest projects, and enjoy delicious Indian food at the New India Buffet and Restaurant. Some of the recently arrived Tibetans will be our guests.

Date: Thursday, May 8th

Time: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Location: New India Buffet and Restaurant, 805 West Broadway, Vancouver

Tickets: $26 – buffet meal with vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes and one beverage (wine, beer, pop, tea or coffee)

Advance ticket sales only:  Purchase online, call 604-224-5133, email info@tras.ca.

Transit Directions and Parking: The restaurant is on the north side of West Broadway, on the ground floor, and there is ample parking (use the parkade entered from Willow St., free after 6pm, or park on the street).  It is three blocks from City Hall Canada Line Station.

Buy yours early! Our last three dinner events sold out!

Third woman from the left is a Tibetan nursing student supported by TRAS

Funds raised on the night will go to support young Tibetan nursing students studying in India.

We look forward to seeing you there!    From all of us at TRAS