March 2021

Ray Yee Memorial Fund

The Ray Yee Memorial Fund was established in March 2021 in memory of our dear friend, Ray Yee (May 16, 1960 – March 15, 2021).

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Ever since Ray and his wife Janet returned home to Vancouver from their trip to China, Tibet, India and Nepal in the early 1990s, they became great advocates for the Tibetan cause. Ray dedicated the rest of his life to the cause and worked tirelessly towards this end, along with Janet and their children, Connor, Hannah and Walker.

When Canada agreed to take in 1,000 Tibetans in 2012, His Holiness the Dalai Lama specifically asked that they come from extremely remote underserved Tibetan settlements in Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India. Ray was instrumental in ensuring that the Vancouver portion of the Tibetan Resettlement Project for Tibetans coming from Arunachal Pradesh was a success.

Along the way Ray touched many lives and left a lasting impression on all those who had the honour of working with him. The compassion and love that he demonstrated through his work and friendships helped Tibetans who were new to Canada feel welcome and safe.

The family hopes that, through the Ray Yee Memorial Fund, some of his work and impact may continue. The money will be earmarked for projects to support the education of Tibetan children still in Arunachal Pradesh. There are small primary and middle schools in these Tibetan settlements for young children. Many older children attend the Sambhota Tibetan Schools in West and South India, thousands of kilometers away, a distance that makes the journey long and expensive; some travel home only once every few years.

Given Ray’s ties to the people of this region through his work on the Resettlement Project, it is a fitting match that his Memorial Fund should help the children who are still living there.

If you would like to donate to the Ray Yee Memorial Fund to support Tibetan children in Arunachal Pradesh, you can do so by:

  • Credit card online via CanadaHelps

    (CanadaHelps is a registered charity that supports Canadian charities by providing a platform for online donations; it charges TRAS a 4% fee to cover the cost of credit card transactions and other operating costs.) 
  • Bank e-transfer to email address: and add reference “Ray Yee Memorial Fund”
  • Credit card by phoning the TRAS office at 604-224-5133 (the phone line is monitored regularly)
  • Cheque made out to TRAS. Please note “Ray Yee Memorial Fund” on the bottom of the cheque, and mail it to:

    1183 Melville St 
    Vancouver, BC, V6E 2X5

Thank you for helping to continue Ray’s legacy of generosity and compassion.

Rocket Stoves for Munsel-ling School Project

For more than 20 years, TRAS has supported the 500 students and staff at Munsel-ling School, located in the Spiti Valley region of northern India. Residents of Spiti Valley experience harsh winter conditions — with temperatures often plunging to -30°C and below — which results in annual road closures between neighbouring towns for up to eight months of the year. The remoteness of Munsel-ling School means that self-sufficiency is of the utmost importance.

This year, TRAS is fundraising to support the purchase and installation of 68 rocket stoves, which will replace all of the iron stoves at Munsel-ling School. These rocket stoves are made locally in Himachel Pradesh and installed by a merchant from the nearby town of Kaza. The iron stoves that are currently installed will be sold for recycling.

The need to fund these rocket stoves is twofold. First, the rocket stoves will decrease the amount of smoke within the school, which will have a positive influence on the respiratory health of students, staff, and volunteers. Second, the rocket stoves are more efficient than their iron counterparts, which means that fewer resources, like wood and cow dung, need to be expended in order to heat the classrooms, dormitories, and staff quarters at Munsel-ling School.


Woodsmoke pollution has been shown to increase the risk of respiratory disorders and genetic defects in children. In mountain deserts like the Spiti Valley, communities often burn cow dung because wood is a scarce resource. This also affects lung health, as up to 25% of the arsenic found within cow dung can be absorbed into human respiratory tracks when it is burned. All of this may increase susceptibility to serious respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

The rocket stoves that TRAS is fundraising for are 90% smokeless. As it uses 50% less materials to produce the same amount of heat, less cow dung can be used to fuel Munsel-ling School during the frigid winter months. This means healthier lungs and happier kids.


Spiti Valley is located in a mountain desert with little forest cover and sparse vegetation. As a result, the region is not conducive to lumber production or cattle raising, meaning that firewood is expensive and cow dung is hard to come by.

The rocket stoves TRAS is fundraising for consume 50% less materials than the iron stoves currently installed at Munsel-ling School, while producing the same amount of heat. Because the stoves contain a secondary combustion chamber, less energy and heat are lost, making it a far more efficient alternative. The replacement of these stoves therefore promotes both environmental sustainability and economic efficiency.

Project Report September 2021

Total donations needed: $20,322

Hear Their Voices – a zoom event with Voice of Children update

A zoom event was held on March 3, 2021

This was a unique opportunity to talk directly to one of our key partners, and for them to talk directly to the TRAS board and to our members. Both our members and Voice of Children gave positive feedback. Turnout was good, considering this was our first such event, with more than 30 people attending.

From Voice of Children’s point of view, it provides a way for them to share their work directly, without requiring mediation. We look forward in hosting another presentation in the future.

It was particularly moving to hear directly from 2 beneficiaries of the project, Bhuwan and Harshita.

Bhuwan was born with a physical disability, which led him to feel ignored and isolated among other children in his hometown of Pathura. All this changed when he joined the Voice of Children program in 2011. Having excelled in his education, Bhuwan was hired to be a computer instructor for the Voice of Children computer literacy program and later launched his own common service computer centre in Govindpur. His time with Voice of Children has not only helped him develop the self-confidence to become a leader in his community, but it has also allowed him to support his family financially.


To donate to TRAS, please visit

A video of the event has been posted. Click here to view.

CTA Nurses Vocational Training Project during COVID

Each year, TRAS supports up to eight Tibetan students who are studying towards their nursing degrees at post-secondary institutions in India. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, each of our scholarship students continues to flourish professionally, academically, and socially. Their hard work will pay dividends to the Tibetan settlements in India where they will one day work to support their family and better their community.

1st Year student studying from home

To donate to TRAS, please visit

In the words of one student, “[I am] humbled to receive this scholarship and would like to express my heartfelt thanks for your generosity … [it] will not go unappreciated.”

Nursing student changing dressing