Tibet Foundation

Tibet Foundation Winter 2018 Appeal

Support for the Elderly in Tibet and India

Dec 8, 2018

 

Tibet Foundation Winter 2018 Appeal
 
Dear Reader,
 
As we enter the Christmas season, we often look forward to the time spent with family and friends, and for the opportunity to reflect upon another year.
 
For many, however, the harsh winter can be a time of suffering and loneliness. 
 
It is during this time that the elderly are the most vulnerable - particularly those without the support network of friends and family, and those living in inadequate housing and poverty. 
 
During our monitoring visits this year to Tibetans living in exile across India and in Tibet, it has become apparent that the elderly in both regions are living in increasingly polarised communities. 
 
The lifestyle of Tibetans is rapidly changing. In the exile communities, younger Tibetans are leaving villages and settlements in search of work. The same is often true in Tibet, whereby cities such as Chengdu attract more of the younger generation. 
 
This leaves some of the most vulnerable members of the community behind – the elderly. 
 
Traditionally, in Tibet, elderly people’s homes were unheard of. Normally, younger members of the family looked after their elders. However, today, as more and more young people choose to move to towns and cities, the elderly are left behind in the villages without any support.
 
Tibet Foundation has supported the old people’s home in Sershul as well as many more in other areas in the prefecture since 1996. This has provided much-needed support for the social changes in communities high on the Tibetan Plateau. This part of the world has a harsh winter climate, and temperatures in Sershul can drop to -45°C, resulting in a higher risk of life-threatening illness in the elderly.
 
The other drastic change in the Tibetan community is its rapidly ageing population. One in every five Tibetans in India and Nepal is aged 65 years and over. This has huge implications on resources and support networks. The residents in the four homes we visited in India this year are very grateful for the care they receive, but their quality of life could be improved. Shortage of trained nursing and care staff, most likely due to lack of funds, is noticeable. The building of the care home in Dhondupling Tibetan settlement is in a dilapidated condition and is unsafe. 
 
This is why we are asking for your support this winter to donate to our Winter Appeal, which will be used to improve the lives of elderly Tibetans living both in exile and in Tibet itself. This money will be used to directly support the care homes of Sershul in Eastern Tibet, and Dhondupling in India. As a small charity, we can ensure that 100% of donations from this appeal will go to the projects in Sershul and Dhondupling, to buy food and medicine for the elderly this winter.
 
Help the elderly today by donating to Tibet Foundation by clicking on the link below:
 
If you are a UK taxpayer, please click on "Boost your donation by 25% with Gift Aid" after making a donation. This will allow Tibet Foundation to receive an extra £2.5 on every £10 that you donate, at no cost to you.
 
Thank you for your ongoing support. We are determined to support those who need help the most, and use each donation to the maximum effect.
 
May this Christmas be a special time of peace and joy for you and your family.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dhondup Samten
Executive Director