Hope for Children

Project 349/350 – November 1, 2023 to October 31, 2025

One of the major projects of TRAS was the Voice of Children (VOC) Education Project run by AMAN and VIMARSH, two Indian non-profits in Almora and Nainital districts of northern India. The outcome of this recently completed project in eleven mountain villages displayed remarkable success in reducing school dropouts, child labour, and child marriages. Health, sanitation, community engagement, women’s rights and education for girls have all improved.  The project is now self-sustaining.

AMAN and VIMARSH are determined to use their experience and expertise to help more remote villages in the same way and have already consulted the women and the village elders in nine selected villages, who urgently want the Hope for Children project to begin. These villages are mired in severe poverty. There is a notable absence of adequate educational facilities. Hope for Children will provide crucial assistance to children, ensuring their access to quality education. Better health, sanitation and skills training for youth will unlock doors to higher education, employment, and improved quality of life for marginalized sections of society. Empowering women, children, and adolescent girls will reduce the prevalent violence against women, child labour and child marriages.

TRAS is excited to support Hope for Children with its very real chance of building success upon previous success. This is grassroots development at its best. We have agreed to an initial two-year project and are beginning our fundraising efforts to support it.

Many more details will emerge as the programs gear up and we’ll be reporting fully on it in the next newsletter. Meanwhile, we ask our donors to get behind Hope for Children to bring lasting change for the better to nine more villages. It will only happen with your support.

The cost of this project for the 956 children in nine villages will be $31,000 a year – a mere $33.00 per child for the year.

Flood Relief for Tibetan Settlements in Himachal Pradesh

Project # 348 – September 2023

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Central Tibetan Relief Committee sent an urgent appeal in September, 2023 to organizations such as TRAS for flood relief help in Tibetan Settlements in Himachal Pradesh.

Because of global climate changes, the Himalaya region has been adversely impacted by incessant rainfall, resulting in the destruction of houses and properties.

The cluster of Tibetan settlements in Kullu are located close to the banks of the flood prone river Beas rendering them particularly susceptible to various natura disasters, including floods, landslides, and cloud bursts. Such calamities have become a recurring problem due to the drastic change in climate conditions.

In the recent flooding event that occurred in July 2023, the Kullu Tibetan settlements situated along the riverbanks have experienced severe devastation. The existing flood protection walls at Kullu Yulokoe and 15-mile settlement were mostly swept away, leading to substantial damage and loss of houses. Unquestionably, residing in such locations poses a significant risk to human lives and property.

The cluster Tibetan settlement details are as follows:

  • Kullu Dobhi Settlement accommodates 91 households with a population of 334 members.
  • 15-mile Settlement is composed of 15 households with a total population of 60 members.
  • Yulokoe Settlement accommodates 65 households with a population of 278 members.
  • Manali Dickeyling Settlement accommodates 45 households with a population of 145 members.

The primary objective of the project is to construct retaining walls to prevent flooding in the future. This will provide the residents with a sense of security and relief during seasonal heavy rainfalls, as the retaining wall will help mitigate the risk of flood damage, property damage and loss of life.

The long-term result will not only sustain the underneath soil for a longer period but also safeguard from structural damage as well contributing to a long-term environmental sustainability.

All donations towards this ongoing work would be welcome. TRAS has been able to commit $5,000 to help pay for repairs and the strengthening of retaining walls.

News release from CTA News ( release from CTA News ( – Flooding and Damage in Tibetan Residential Areas of Kullu District

Munsel-ling School Examination Hall Flooring

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Munsel-ling School

Project 347 Start date -September 1, 2023

For more than 20 years, TRAS has supported the 500 students and staff at Munsel-ling School in the Spiti Valley in northern India. The Indian government requires that schools holding high school examinations have a separate examination hall. Until 2023, Munsel-ling students have written their exams sitting on the bare ground or on roofs exposed to the bitter winter cold.

To satisfy the government requirement, Munsel-ling School recently added a second story to the existing Cultural Hall. Now, the base floor of the Examination Hall is the roof of the Cultural Hall (which was built in 2002).

The roof of the Cultural Hall was made of sabeda bali timber beams because they were inexpensive and easily accessible at the time. The beams have suffered damage from years of snowfall and rain and have become brittle and may collapse under weight. So not only is it unsafe, but very uncomfortable for students to be sitting on the mud floor. The hall will also be used for seminars and workshops.

Examination Hall before adding teak flooring

There were three choices presented to TRAS: concrete (too cold and too heavy), cheap wood planks (would rot quickly and be prey to insect infestation) and teak flooring (expensive but long lasting and rot and insect resistant).

TRAS decided to go with the longer-lasting choice and approved the budget of $19,250 CAD to cover the 80ft by 40ft hall with teak planks.

A wood floor will also provide more comfort for the students because it helps maintain constant room temperature and will hold heat on chilly days.

At $6/square foot, the cost doesn’t sound impossible – can you help by paying for a few square feet? The total cost of this project is $19,250 and we need your help.

Click here for the progress report and photos November 2023

IDEA Skilled Birth Attendant (SBA) Training in Nepal

Project #345 – June 1, 2023 to September 30, 2026

There is a shortage of Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA) in the rural health posts and centers throughout Nepal. The presence of a SBA can dramatically reduce the chances of maternal and neonatal mortality.

The SBA course is organized by the Nepalese Ministry of Health, Nepal Nursing Council and is a three month long course (360 hours) for qualified medical personnel so that they can augment the midwives’ work by intervening when difficult deliveries mean mother and baby are at risk.  TRAS has supported the successful midwifery training through the Innovative Development Education Academy (IDEA) in Pokhara, Nepal since 2019. IDEA is a non-profit developmental organization registered with the Ministry of Health, Nepal. Since its establishment, IDEA has been involved in various types of education and training.

IDEA will be selecting 15 students every three months for this advanced SBA training with the requirement that after graduation they will be returning to their rural communities to help improve safe deliveries for mothers and babies.

The results of this program have been successful, and the Ministry of Health is satisfied.

TRAS has agreed to support 15 students for the SBA training for the next three years (2023 – 2026) and currently needs $17,000 each year.

Read the 2022 Annual Report here

Read the 2023 Interim Report here