Preserving Culture, Promoting Health, Education,
& Environmental Protection on the Tibetan Plateau
“As far as your personal requirements are concerned, the ideal is to have fewer involvements, fewer obligations, and fewer affairs, business or whatever. However, so far as the interest of the larger community is concerned, you must have as many involvements as possible and as many activities as possible.” – The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom
Khyentse Rigdzin Hungkar Dorje is the Supreme Abbot of Thubten Chokhor Ling Monastery in Golok, Tibet. Click here for biographical information.
Qinghai Province is located in the northeastern part of the Tibet/Qinghai plateau at an average elevation of 9,800 feet. By area, Qinghai is the largest province in China with 720,000 square kilometers. The 2000 Chinese census recorded a total population of approximately 5.2 million. Tibetans constitute roughly 22% of Qinghai’s total population and are the largest minority in a province where minorities make up at least 43% of the total population. It is an area rich in natural mineral and forest resources and is characterized by vast grasslands covering high mountains and deep valleys. The average wage for a rural Tibetan in 2005 was $182.00 USD per year. The primary source of income is agriculture and animal husbandry both for household use and sales on the market. It is one of the poorest and most isolated areas within the People’s Republic of China.
Qinghai Province is divided into 6 States (Prefectures). The Golok region is one such Prefecture and is south of Qinghai’s vast, bright Lake Kokonor. Golok is 77,000 square kilometers in area with a population of about 160,000, over 150,000 of who are Tibetans. Golog is comprised of six counties and its political, economic and cultural center is the town of Dawu.
Golok is the source of the famous Yellow River. There are numerous rivers and great and small lakes. In this natural environment roam high altitude animals: snow lions, snow leopards, wild yaks, kiang, the Tibetan antelope, and graceful herds of deer. The principal livelihood of the nomadic population depends on their herds of yak and sheep.
The Blue Valley Foundation is accepting inquiries from skilled volunteers to help in three crucial areas. This is a rare opportunity to make a difference and share a stay in rural Tibet. If you have expertise in any of the following areas – please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details. Experience working in Himalayan areas is a plus. Pre-visit support and help with creative program development provided. Accommodations are available.
The three areas are: 1) Teaching English as a second language at the Mayul Technical School 2) Teaching basic computer usage for Mayul school students and working to develop staff computer skills. 3) Providing students and community members with an environmental education. Blue Valley is developing a teaching module to introduce the importance of recycling and the hazards of the present practice of burning plastics and dumping toxic waste. Good understanding of the environmental concerns facing the people of the Himalaya’s would be helpful. At present there are no recycling facilities in Qinghai Province. It is the intention of Blue Valley to work cooperatively in positive ways with local government and environmental groups to develop solutions to this rapidly growing problem.
Between 40 and 60% of Tibetan children do not attend school and in the Tibet Autonomous Region, less than 25% of Tibetan children graduate to secondary schools. With our first 8 graduating classes behind us, the attendance at the HKD Multi-Disciplinary Technical School (the Mayul School) has increased from 180 students in 2011 to over 400 at present. After graduation, students are able to transfer to Lanzhou Nationalities University. The school has expanded its program in Tibetan Medicine taught by two well trained traditional doctors. With ongoing ESL classes and courses in Tibetan, Mandarin, traditional art, and math, the Mayul School has gained popularity and fame throughout much of the Tibetan Plateau. >READ ABOUT BLUE VALLEY FOUNDATION EDUCATION PROJECTS AND HOW YOU CAN BECOME INVOLVED
The Blue Valley Foundation continues its fund raising efforts to help maintain the first traditional Community Health Care Clinic in Gande County. We continue our partnership with the Qinghai Gesar Foundation, which provides medicines and care for under-served Tibetan people, to help support the 35 room hospital opened in 2016 on 7 acres of donated land. The Rural Community Health Care Clinic and Outreach will serve thousands of people each year with a combination of traditional Tibetan Medicines and allopathic (Western) medicines and treatment. Traditional medicine will be our emphasis. >READ ABOUT BLUE VALLEY FOUNDATION HEALTH CARE PROJECTS AND HOW YOU CAN BECOME INVOLVED