Amongst the Foundation’s main objectives is helping disadvantaged groups at a national and international level, taking into account the capacities and resources available and prioritizing areas where this help would be most effective.
In its social and development aid, the Foundation follows the following principles:
The Foundation has started its activities in development aid projects in disadvantaged populations in villages near its center of Geyje Norling, near the city of Tawang, located in the State of Arunachal Pradesh in India. This state is located in the northeast of India in the eastern foothills of the Himalayas, which for centuries belonged to Tibet. At the beginning of the last century, during the British colonial era, it became a border area and at later date part of India.
Our center in India is a monastery built centuries ago and recently renovated. It has been carrying out relevant charitable work with the people of the area. For this work the State of Arunachal Pradesh has officially appointed it as a Welfare Society. The help given to nearby towns covers different areas: health care, education and material help with food and basic needs (glasses, walking sticks …). The monks in our center offer dedication and commitment, and provide greater security to the application of funds.
This area was considered the most appropriate to begin our work due to the fact that the Monastery has carried out charitable activities here for decades and that the monks are from the area and know the needs of the population.
This state is one of the poorest in India, with a very high illiteracy rate. Therefore any action there has a big impact.
Most of the population works in subsistence farming , especially of a migratory or itinerant nature. The terrain is very mountainous, at the foothills of the Himalayas, and the configuration of the population is of a high number of tribes and villages. Added to this is the relatively recent arrival of new populations from nearby problematic areas, such as the Chakma, originally from nearby Bangladesh, from where they were forced to emigrate due to the construction of a dam and due to different political conflicts that affected them. The average income of a Chakma family is around € 30 in a month, well below the poverty line
In a some parts of the area there is no electricity, proper roads or running water. Having to get water from wells and rivers, they frequently suffer from diseases. Hospitals are few, far and difficult for village people to access. The schools are usually located in cities far from the towns and are often inaccessible to the populations of the villages. Regarding religions, the inhabitants practice Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, animism …
Education is critical to the development of individuals and societies. In underdeveloped countries, any educational action increases local development and reduces the global problem of uncontrolled and unbalanced growth. It also reduces poverty and malnutrition, increases health and decreases the need to migrate or to become a refugee. This helps sustainability and global stability.
In addition, when girls are incorporated into schools, the problems of early and non-consensual marriages and the high number of children who cannot be supported are reduced.
In the cities of Arunachal Pradesh there is a certain base of schools and colleges for primary education and to a lesser extent for secondary education. Just over half are state-owned and the rest are private.
The low school enrollment is mainly due to the following reasons:
Personnel available in situ for the management and execution of the projects: they are monks who are knowledgeable about the place, they have no family obligations, they are motivated and available to help, and they are trustworthy due to their status as monks with vows of austerity. They maintain close communication with the monks who manage the Foundation in Spain. They also have qualified support people in the area.
Global management of projects from the Foundation (this will be audited and accredited from its first year of operation)
In-depth knowledge of the area of action by the trustees / directors of the Foundation
Punctual support for verification and help from the Center of the Foundation in Madrid
All donations for a project are applied in full to their destination. The personal and living expenses of the directors of the Foundation, the management and maintenance expenses of the two centers, travel and stays are covered by the contributions of people for the teachings and practices they receive , and not by project donations. The facilities in the Madrid center are owned by the Foundation, as they form part of the founding capital, which means that operating costs are low. The Geyje Norling center in India belongs to the monks.
Projects covered by crowdfunding are not covered by any other donation source. The traceability of the origin and application of funds in each project is recorded.
The focus is on the schooling of girls and boys from families in precarious situations in the area of villages and refugees within the mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh. The Foundation has chosen this area of India for its initial projects for the following reasons:
Our initial projects target populations in need close to our centers in India to
We each have a responsibility to think about humanity and the good of the world because it affects our own future. We weren’t born on this planet at this time to create problems but to bring about some benefit.
– HH the XIV Dalai Lama.