LONG DISTANCE ADOPTIONS
In the course of the 2010 Tibet mission, about 2000 children in the villages of Dakshu Shang, in Central Tibet, and their families, received help from the Association.
In the capital of Lhasa, cold weather jackets, sweaters, trousers, thermal underwear, t-shirts, leather and canvas shoes, socks, hats, towels, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and so on were bought for each child. Based on the population list provided by the local government, each family, including those formed solely of old people, also received money and supplies of rice and flour. The distribution of food was particularly important
this year due to the lack of rain in the area, which completely destroyed the crops of most families. The distribution took place at Gangchen Monastery, which is traditionally a focal point of aid for the local population.
The adopted children in each village were identified and photographed and many families have written simple but very grateful thank you letters to their benefactors. The children yet to be adopted were also photographed.
As in previous years, the aid was divided equally among the adopted and non-adopted children in order to avoid further suffering.
WATER AND CLIMATIC DIFFICULTIES
Unfortunately, for the last years, the summer monsoon coming from India has not been able to cross the Himalayan barrier. This has resulted in the rain, very abundant in the summer of 2010 in Pakistan and India, becoming more and more scarce in Central Tibet, at times appearing as brief but very intense storms. In fact, this year, two rivers located in the region that receives aid from the Association, and which were usually reliable sources of water, are practically dry.
The arid climate, which is now very dramatic, has subsequently caused an increasing loss of harvest for most
families, which in turn, lowers their modest economy that is derived mainly from agricultural activities. Thus, the technique adopted last year in Singma Village – drilling to a depth of about 60 meters to access a rich body of water, which now thanks to the digging and installation of a piping system feeds a tank with water for both irrigation and domestic uses – becomes more and more important. Until now, a major problem has been the high cost of running a pump to bring the water to the surface, although soon a new innovation should bring much needed change to the aided villages. The electricity pylons, that until now ran from the city of Shigatse to the next major town, without serving the villages they pass through, should very soon all be linked together. This will allow for the use of electricity to run the hydraulic pump with subsequent lower costs.
Thanks to funds received in 2009, a second irrigation tank is about to be built in Gangchen Village, and we hope to adopt as soon as possible the same technology in other villages where water is the primary necessity.
This important reforestation project is now well underway. Thanks to the aid collected this spring, thousands of new trees have been planted in order to protect the villages of the region.
The precious presence of trees, a very rare thing in such high altitudes, actually acts as protection from landslides and soil erosion from the already arid terrain, as well as from the wind and dust storms common on the plateau and from storms which can at times be very violent.
More than 20,000 trees have already been planted in the area and are served by a working irrigation system. However, many more trees are necessary!
The actual work of planting trees has been carried out by the inhabitants of the villages, who, apart from having the opportunity to enjoy paid work, have also experienced the joy of doing something truly important for their own lives.
The dedications for those who have donated trees, an invaluable gift for the local population, were brought to Tibet and read during prayer ceremonies in the monasteries.