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Tibet: Features Education and Society Interview with Tenzin Jamyang, Director of Rogpa Charitable Trust

Interview with Tenzin Jamyang, Director of Rogpa Charitable Trust

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21 june 2012 003Dharamshala: "I want to inspire people. I want people to see that nothing is impossible. " says Jamyang, the director of Rogpa Charitable Trust. In 2004, he and his wife had set up Rogpa by initially starting a free baby care centre for Tibetans in Mcleodganj. At first, they took in six babies who had both working parents.

Although he was not as "professionally" qualified, he made up for it through hard work and innovative ideas. And now, they have 35 babies and they have downsized once already, in order to provide better care rather than build up the numbers. Rogpa takes care of all the children's needs; they even maintain nutrition balance, fruit time, temple walks and so on.

"Rogpa Charitable Trust tries to make Tibetan people live better and then give back to the community. Money can't buy a mental Revolution. It can only buy power or ego", he says.

From its humble beginnings, Rogpa has expanded with the establishment of a vocational training institute for single mothers. The products they make are then sold at the Rogpa Shop and Cafe (on Jogiwara Road),which currently provides them with nearly 70% of funding. A second Rogpa Shop and Cafe was opened in Korea and is now completely run by volunteers. They're planning to open a library to interest and inspire children to read Tibetan books. Rogpa has also executed several fundraising projects, fests and festivals in India as well as Korea.

Jamyang smiles when I ask him about the roots of Rogpa. The idea goes back to his childhood, when he was ten years old. The whole problem for sponsorship for education had a very deep impact on him. "Why should only rich people sponsor. Why can't poor people sponsor?" He had asked himself then and the thought had stuck on. If everyone could put in a little effort, irrespective of their financial status, then everyone could contribute towards making the community a better place.

Jamyang is very deep rooted in his idea of community. Rogpa is not his, he says. He'd rather be assigned to the role of a volunteer instead of serving as the director but is waiting for matters to stabilize. He explains that Rogpa belongs to the community as a whole and is not his own. " I don't do charity here. When the [number of] charitable trusts increases in a community then the community has more problems. If the charitable trusts reduce, then it means that the problems have decreased."

" Its all about how you think. For me, Rogpa Charitable Trust is a revolution. But the Government does not register revolutioners. But I want revolution; in the Tibetan community. I want brain revolution tin the Tibetan mentality."

Jamyang surprises many when he speaks of his other passion: music. He is a disc jockey and he plays at Korea whenever he has the time. The director of a charity by day, a reggae loving, DJ by night, this man who wanted to inspire people has certainly done his part whether he realizes it or not.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 June 2012 12:58 )  


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