Abby in Tibet World

By Arielle Grinshpan on 21/05/2019

A few weeks ago, Abby Raeder reached out to GivingWay.

The photographer wanted to go on a trip to India and volunteer her photography skills at a nonprofit organization and did GivingWay have any recommendations on where she should go?

Did we ever! 😄

GivingWay suggested several possible nonprofits in the area Abby was traveling to and she selected Tibet World (TW), a nonprofit organization and Tibetan community centre in Dharamsala, India devoted to solving the urgent social and educational needs of Tibetan Refugees and bringing people together.

Abby said YES and was on her way as she’s been many times before to other places, but this time it was to the site of Tibet World, where the motto is:

“Our door is open to everyone. Our uniqueness is our warm, friendly environment for study, rest and meeting new people from around the world – all taking place under one roof,” – Tibet World

Whatever questions you may have about Tibet, its people and its culture, Tibet World wants to answer them.

“By bringing together people from various countries we can help educate, build skills and house over 230 Tibetan students. Our goal is to introduce Tibet to the world; and the world to Tibet!”

Honored to meet you, Tibet World! 😁

And Tibet World was happy to meet Abby.

Abby is a self-taught photographer who hails from Vermont and whose most recent endeavor is as “a founder and executive director of the Vermont Institute of Contemporary Arts.” You can read about and see photos of Abby’s gorgeous romps on her blog here.  

She’s a traveler who ADORES adventure: “Hardcore solo travel has refined me. I have traveled to some of the most remote places in the world to experience the feeling of exhilaration and detachment, all while unveiling my resilience in “out of the box” situations. In each locale I volunteered for a minimum of three months, teaching English, working on a silkworm farm and organizing women’s support groups, while herding cattle. Stepping into a different culture and learning from it, is what feeds me. Standing on the edge of a precipice and looking down, excites me.”

As venturing into Tibet World in Dharamsala and meeting Yeshi, the nonprofit’s founder, excited and fed Abby. Of visiting the NGO and meeting Yeshi, Abby said:

“On my third visit to Dharamshala, I was introduced to Tibet World…This NGO was started only 5 fives ago by the charismatic and enthusiastic Tibetan, Yeshi. He arrived in Dharamshala in the late 90’s, saw what was needed for his community and made it happen. What is even more admirable is his vision for where he wants this organization to go, more classes, more paid staff and a wider outreach. I have no doubt he will accomplish everything he envisions.”

Abby learned that Yeshi Lhundup started Tibet World Charitable Trust to solve the many challenges of Tibetan refugees: language barriers, loneliness and isolation from family and friends, disconnection and alienation from other cultures, lack of community support structures, unemployment and lack of educational opportunities.

The mission of TW is to provide a platform for promoting education, raising cultural awareness and imparting Tibetan values to the world by inspiring people to initiate compassion, harmony, and peace.

That would be quite an undertaking, but Tibet World is a success! Since opening, they’ve provided education to over 1,000 students, over 600 international volunteers from 44 countries have arrived to pitch in and hundreds of cultural events have been organized!

The centre is now a bustling hub with eight staff members, about 15 volunteers and 150 students studying there on a daily basis.

People like Abby are really drawing attention to these small and remarkable nonprofits like Tibet World. She volunteered her skills to take photos there – beautiful, colorful shots of what goes on at the nonprofit, some of which you see in this blog.

Yeshi was incredibly appreciative of Abby and all the photos she took; some of classes that were held and a cultural event he hosted. They mean that TW now has gorgeous, high quality images they can put on their website and GivingWay profile to highlight the wonderful work, people and events they have there! These photos will no doubt help to show other potential volunteers how wonderful the nonprofit is and entice them to volunteer there as well.

Truth be told, the connecting factor between lesser known nonprofits and more volunteers and greater success is volunteers like Abby.

GivingWay is incredibly inspired by her – a passionate, vibrant, life-loving woman who devotes her talents and time to highlighting beautiful people, places and things not everyone might notice. She brings awareness to them in a beautiful way, with her photos and words, as you can see in her site.

Why not pick a nonprofit yourself and offer your skills, your passion, your knowledge and put it towards a good cause? 😊 Help nonprofit organizations help others by highlighting them with your words, photos and any other talents you might have!

And one of the best parts about TW and many of the nonprofit organizations on GivingWay’s platform, is their openness and receptivity to seeing what volunteers can bring to the table: What are your skills? What are you good at? What are you passionate about? Let’s share that! is the motto for Yeshi and many other NGOs.

As Abby says: “[Yeshi] will find you a volunteer position at Tibet World, whatever your interest and talent may be.”

For those looking to get involved and help out, there are several ways you can support Tibet World:

By donating – They’re looking for funds, books, films, computers, cameras and more.

By volunteering They welcome people who can help them achieve Tibet World’s vision by contributing their skills and talents toward projects there.

By collaboration – Volunteers who can help in the capacity of: Teachers, Web designer/administrator and Language Lesson Plans.

Various Coordinator positions are available, including: Language, Yoga teacher, Project/Event, Editors and Writers, musicians and those with special skills for workshops.

Also, those who are knowledgeable about Computer literacy, Hand crafts, Cooking, Administrative Assistants and Photographers are needed!

 

Tibet World provides plenty of facilities, including the Tibet World Hostel, Community Library, Cafe and Hall. Among services offered at TW are International Language courses, in the languages of Tibetan, English, Chinese, German, and French. Students study these courses at least three hours per day.

Tibetan Cultural Folk Shows are held every Thursday; a program featuring local artists which also raises awareness, and preserves and shares Tibetan culture through music, dance and storytelling.

Local Cultural Walking Tours are also available. There are speakers that include Buddhist philosophers and politicians who speak on their personal stories, Buddhist history and more. Documentary screenings are every Saturday that focus on Tibet awareness and meditation and yoga are available to promote a healthy lifestyle and well-being.

 

As Abby says about Tibet World:

“The Dalai Lama (the spiritual leader of Tibet) is calling compassionate, young people to action. He believes young people are the ones that are needed to write the next chapter in Tibetan history. Yeshi, is leading the charge!” she ads.

 

What do YOU think of when you hear ‘Tibet’ or ‘Tibet World’?

A region in unrest? A mysterious community? A unique and peaceful culture?

After seeing Abby Raeder’s photos and reading her review about her experience at Tibet World, we have a whole new understanding and appreciation of the lesser known region and the NGO.

 

For more information and to apply to volunteer at Tibet World, click here: https://www.givingway.com/organization/tibet-world-charitable-trust-