Jhamtse International is the most satisfying and fulfilling nonprofit I have been involved with. Their work in supporting a school and village for the most at-risk children is brave, generous and path-setting. The Children's Village in remote Arunachal Pradesh, India, provides home, family, the best education and nutrition to children who would otherwise not have any of these things. The school is path-setting in that all involved predicate all that is done on the basis of love and compassion, and the children blossom in that environment. Everyone who has experienced this amazing place is marked for life by the experience.
Jhamtse International supports a school, home and childrens' community for the most at-risk children in the outermost reaches of a far northeastern state, Arunachal Pradesh, in India. Our school, Jhamtse Gatsal (Garden of Love and Compassion n Tibetan) is in India, but on the border of both Bhutan and Tibet (China). The state is primarily populated by the Monpa people, Tibetan heritage, speaking a dialect of Tibet. As a result, the whole state is contested as Chinese territory. The region is remote, very poor, and both nomadic and agrarian. Children often cannot go to school, even where there may be a state school (of questionable quality). The children we take into our community are either orphans, or parents are too poor to care for them, or at risk for many other reasons. There is inadequate food, no health care, and no chance to be children. These children would have a very short life expectancy, largely due to inadequate nutrition and preventable diseases. When they come to Jhamtse Gatsal, they get a family, home, more love and attention than one could imagine, three nutritious meals per day, health care and the best possible education in Tibetan, Hindi and English. The children blossom and excel, they become open, welcoming and caring. The love at Gatsal is palpable -- one never hears squabbling, the children don't argue or fight, the teachers and staff (and visitors) feel that they are part of something magical, a special ideal world. The children and the community are becoming a demonstration and learning center for the surrounding villages. The Dalai Lama was so impressed, when he visited, that he became a sponsor and made us pledge to keep up the work, saying "Good, good, you must keep and grow your efforts." We take responsibiltiy for the lives, education and welfare of the children and staff at Gatsal, where they will learn about community and how to be citizens of the world, and how to give back. We support their education from kindergarten through university, if they wish to go on. Jerry Zadow
I have participated in the very beginnings of Jhamtse International from its inception. As a former teacher and professor and now a psychologist I have been so heartened by the development of this project in all its aspects. The school in India is a marvel - it has provided for all the needs of its students and its curriculum with its inclusion of teaching on compassion is light years ahead of the curriculum in any US public school. The support structure and the inclusion of young people in this country is also a very positive aspect of its organization. Talented and visionary people have given their skills to the organization and it is run effectively with money going to the school and delivery of service to the children. The three girls I sponsor are absolutely thriving in every way and it is a delight to hear about their progress. I feel confident that this program will lead to the full development of these young people and the school program will become a model for the educational enterprise that leaves nothing out for the heart or the mind.
I joined Jhamtse many years ago as a participant in weekly Buddhist study meetings. Lobsang Phuntsok, our teacher, wanted to start a school educate the poorest, most deprived children in the area of northeast India from which he came. It was a long road but now Jhamtse Gatsal is bringing love, medical care and educating many children in the area as well as helping the adult community. The connection with the children is very deep, rich and personal. One can volunteer at the school and communicate with a blog which makes one's involvement immediate and personal. I have sponsored a child for several years and plan to visit the school in the next year or two. One can be involved in many ways; even though far away I assist with secretarial duties.