Project location: Dharamsala, India
Funding: £32,242
Year / duration: 2006 / 2 Years
Partner: Tibet Relief Fund

In 1950, Tibet was invaded and occupied by the People’s Liberation Army of China. Since this time, Tibetans have been denied basic human rights and their culture, language and natural resources have been eroded irrevocably.

The Tibet Relief Fund was the first charity founded following the Dalai Lama’s flight from Tibet to support Tibetans living inside Tibet, and those in exile. TRAID funds enabled the Tibet Relief Fund to extend a school in Dharamsala, India, for Tibetan refugees.

The Tibetan Transit School provides basic education for newly arrived refugees including vital vocational skills like carpentry, plumbing and masonry to enable them to secure employment in a new country.

TRAID funds rebuilt the school kitchen and helped improve common toilets, store rooms and classrooms. It was expected that the school would provide for around 300 refugees, however, the high influx of displaced people was more than double this. The school also provides medical and psychological support to refugees after enduring huge difficulties both in Tibet, and after crossing the Himalayas into India.

Project work also took place in Nepal when the Tibet Relief Fund partnered with Trek Aid to bring skilled volunteers – doctors, health workers, teachers, architects and builders – together with refugees. They worked on projects in four Tibetan camp settlements delivering small scale improvements to infrastructure, medical services and care for older people.

Today, the Tibetan Transit School is a vital resource for newly arrived Tibetan refugees providing food, accommodation, care and education for up to 700 refugees at any time.