Flood Relief in Himachal Pradesh- update

Project 348 CTA Flood Relief in Himachal Pradesh

In 2023 His Holiness the Dali Lama’s Central Tibetan Relief Committee sent an urgent appeal to organizations such as TRAS for flood relief help in Tibetan Settlements in Himachal Pradesh. Their primary objective was to construct retaining walls to prevent future flooding which will give the residents a sense of security and relief during seasonal heavy rainfalls. See Flood Relief for Tibetan Settlements in Himachal Pradesh under New Projects

CTA, Department of Home progress report. February 2024

TRAS was able to send $5,000 to help pay for the repairs and the strengthening of retaining walls. Currently $1,000 has been raised.

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: info@tras.ca 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.

TRAS Projects – An Overview

Since 1962, TRAS has funded an array of projects in India, Nepal and Tibet. These range from a large ten-year integrated rural development project amounting to nearly $1million, to ongoing multi-year educational and health-related projects of $30,000 to $60,000 each, to smaller projects needing annual or one-time donations of $2,000 or $5,000. TRAS has funded just over 300 projects in the region.

The early thrust of TRAS’s work was directed to supporting Tibetan refugees. Later TRAS funds contributed to the creation of the Tibetan settlements in northern and southern India. In the 1980s, TRAS reached out to Indian villages near and beyond the Tibetan settlements, and gradually was able to take on larger integrated rural development projects in Nepal as well. Current TRAS-supported projects continue to support our belief that communities thrive when their children are healthy and educated.

TRAS works in partnership with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in India, Nepal and Tibet. We send no westerners abroad to manage or to work on projects. We value the fact that we are able to assist local NGOs in their efforts to help their own people.

The benefits of working through local NGOs include:

  • Local NGOs know the needs of their own communities
  • Their projects are culturally and economically viable
  • The local NGOs are strengthened in their ability to manage projects
  • Using local workers and supplies supports the local economy

The current projects are described below.  (Click on the link for more information).

Support future nursing students through the Nurses Vocational Training Project

Support Indian village children’s health and education through the Voice of Children Projects

Support the education of Nepalese village children through the READI Nepal Humla Education Project

Support promising young students in post secondary education through the TRAS Scholarship Fund (TSF)

Midwifery training through the Innovative Development Education Academy (IDEA)

Voice of Children Covid-19 Emergency Response

Personal Protection Equipment for Tibetan Healthcare Workers in Nepal

To see the regions where TRAS-funded projects are located, please see the map of currently funded projects.

The TRAS Scholarship Fund (TSF)

(Last update: 2018/08/12)

The TRAS Scholarship Fund (TSF), established through the generosity of two anonymous donors, provides bright young students the opportunity to continue their education after high school. With the knowledge and skills gained from quality universities in India, these students are then able to return home and make a powerful and tangible difference within their communities!

The Story so Far:

The TSF initially started a pilot program with the Rinchen Zangpo Society for Spiti Development, which runs the Munsel-ling School in the Spiti Valley. The school has been very successful, with TRAS supporting several projects including desks for classrooms and greenhouses for growing food during the long winters. Young graduates were looking for the chance to continue their education.

Spearheaded by Director Lynn Beck, TRAS began supporting two students per year with this new fund. The successful applicants receive $1000 (Canadian) per year, for three years of post-secondary education. This allows them to pursue their education and reach their full potential.

The clear benefits and successes of the pilot program encouraged TRAS to invite the Voice of Children and the Dekyiling Handicraft Centre to participate. As of November 2017, TRAS had 14 students enrolled in the TSF. Thanks to the TSF and their own hard work, several students have graduated, including Tenzin Yangzom and Tashi Tsomo, who are now both pursuing their master’s degrees!

Tashi Angmo

Our Well-Deserving Recipients:

Our partners abroad select the most passionate and hardest-working individuals to be a part of our program. These promising students have excelled in their studies and look forward to becoming excellent role models for their communities.

Tsering Dolker

In the words of Tashi Wangmo (BA third year) “I am elated to share with you that I scored good marks (70%) in my previous exams and I will keep trying to do my best in my coming days. I think I am very lucky…I am very thankful to you for your kind help.”

We are also very thankful to Tashi, as it was her hard-work and dedication (not luck!) that led to her success!

Tashi Tsomo

Our first two recipients studied to become teachers so that they can give back to their communities. In our second year, the two young women (Tashi Tsomo and Sherpa Dolma) were accepted at the prestigious Miranda College in New Delhi, studying mathematics. As mentioned above, Tashi Tsomo graduated with a BSc (Math honors) and has gone on to an MSc at Delhi University.

Sherpa Dolma


Sonam Dolkar

The TSF recipients have been happily sharing their excellent report cards with TRAS, allowing us to both see their progress and share in their enthusiasm! Through the help of TRAS, its partners overseas, and especially donors like you, the TSF has provided an excellent opportunity to aid these young women in fulfilling their dreams, lifting themselves out of poverty, and improving their homes and local communities.  We thank you for your gifts, and we thank these students for their hard work and tenacity!


2020 Scholarship Report

2019 Scholarship Report

2015 Scholarship Update.

2014 Scholarship Update

What We Are All About

Whether you have recently heard about TRAS, are a new donor, or simply would like a succinct way of explaining this organization to your friends, we have written up a short explanation about who we are and the values that we hold dear.

Who we are:

The Trans-Himalayan Aid Society (TRAS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and education of children and youth in Nepal, and the northern Himalayan regions of India. We have one part-time employee; everything else is done by volunteers.

Founded in 1962 in Vancouver, TRAS operates on the belief that local people know best what is necessary for their development. We don’t send people overseas to do the work. Instead, we fund projects which are proposed and run by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in India and Nepal. TRAS is a strong supporter of grassroots, or bottom-up, development that directly benefits those involved. Simply put, we at TRAS don’t believe that we have the authority to dictate what organizations operating on the other side of the world should be doing. They’re the ones who are most familiar with the needs on the ground.

Through this approach, we avoid imposing our ideals and beliefs on others which may be incompatible or irrelevant. By allowing communities to determine their own needs, we avoid unnecessary spending on projects that won’t be used by locals.

We give our partners significant autonomy and support in order to execute their plans. Of course, they are not left entirely to themselves. TRAS actively monitors projects (for example, through regular reporting, and occasionally through visits by board members making personal trips to the area) to ensure that they are both effective and aligned with our collective goals.

Our Current Projects:

Sponsorship program. Since 1962 TRAS has supported over 750 children. TRAS members currently sponsor the education of about 130 individual children in Nepal and the northern Himalayan region of India. Children needing sponsorship have parents that may simply be too poor to send their children to school, or even to support them. They want their children to receive a quality education as well as learn the Tibetan language and culture. For more information please click on Sponsorship.

CTA Nurses Training project. In Tibetan communities in India, there is a shortage of qualified healthcare practitioners. Since 1995, TRAS has been working to solve this problem by providing scholarships for nursing students to study in excellent teaching hospitals in India, through the Central Tibetan Administration’s Department of Health. This enables young women to pursue a useful career, thereby helping them achieve independence, support their families, and provide valuable service to their communities.

READI Nepal Education project in Humla. Humla is the most remote district of Nepal, and one of the most impoverished. Families in Humla struggle to meet their basic needs, and many are unable to send their children to school. TRAS has partnered with a local NGO, Rural Empowerment and Development Initiatives (READI) Nepal, to provide education, food, and housing for 30 children in a hostel in Simikot, the capital of Humla. The children have been selected from the lowest castes, minority groups, and the very poor, and half of them are girls. By providing these children with an education, TRAS and READI hope to break down barriers and give them the tools to improve their lives.

Voice of Children project. The Voice of Children project is run by AMAN and Vimarsh, two Indian non-profits in the Almora and Nainital districts of northern India. The project aims to improve the lives of people living in twelve isolated rural villages by promoting education, keeping kids in school, and ensuring access to basic health care.  Initiatives run by this project include educational support centres that provide tutoring for 125 children in multiple subjects; bridging courses that help dropouts reintegrate into school; women’s and girls’ groups that focus on education, health awareness, and empowerment; vocational training programs; village libraries; and more.

TRAS Scholarship Fund. The TRAS Scholarship Fund provides promising young students in post-secondary education with $1000 per year for three years. Programs include teaching, engineering, law, and health-related fields. Scholarship recipients are likely to find employment after graduation, and go on to provide valuable services to their communities. In this way, the TRAS Scholarship Fund improves the lives of entire communities by helping individual students reach their full potential.

IDEA Midwifery Training – TRAS has partnered with the Innovative Development Education Academy (IDEA) in Pokhara, Nepal to assist underprivileged students in paying for their Midwifery course. Graduates of this course return to their villages and do sterling work in helping to save the lives of mothers and children.

There is a full list of accomplished and ongoing projects on our website: http://tras.ca/category/archived-projects/

How Can You Help?

TRAS is funded entirely by individual donors. If you would like to meet our volunteer board, we encourage you to attend our next annual general meeting, which will be posted on our website under Upcoming Events.

Besides fundraising events, we also rely on our supporters and donors to help promote TRAS by simply getting the word out. An easy like or share is another great way to help get our message to others! If you would like to know more ways that you can help out, please do not hesitate to give us a shout either through our Facebook page, or by emailing us at info@tras.ca.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.