Dharamshala — Tibetan Scholarship Program Alumni Association (TSPAA), in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and the Tibet Fund, New York, has launched its brand new website, while calling for return of the alumni to contribute to their community.
According to the TSPAA of out of over 410 TSP alumni till date, only 150 are serving the Tibetan community, with 85 at CTA and 65 in Tibetan schools they mentioned in a press statement. However, in the statement issued by TSPAA there are no details about the 260 TSP recipients who may have not returned to serve their community in exile.
According to TSPPA Public Relations Officer, Tenzin Jamyang, "Many [of 260] have returned but they went back after completion of their set terms of service."
Among the attendees for the event were guests from Embassy in New Delhi: Mr Matthew Asada, First Secretary for Exchanges and Education; Mr J.P. Das, Country Exchanges Advisor; and Ms Shailey Tucker, Alumni Affairs Coordinator.
His Holiness's message to the alumni was read out "Its very good both for the community and yourselves that you will be learning new ways and methods to address problems, a new way of thinking and doing things is important as we could learn from it; but, at the same time remember your cause, why you are being sent there; not to settle and work there but to return on completion of your education and serve the community and our cause. So, I congratulate you on your achievement and knowledge and pray that you return to serve our cause and people in whatever way you choose."
"My selection for the Tibetan Scholarship Program (TSP) gave me a rare opportunity. My legal education at Harvard Law School made profound impact in my life," " Dr Lobsang Sangay - TSP 1995. Sikyong (Political Leader), of the Central Tibetan Administration.
"As the democratically elected political leader, much of my keen desire in bringing change to the Tibetan society and transforming ideas into action come from my education. Therefore, I fully encourage Tibetans to participate in Tibetan Scholarship Program and become a strong advocate for Tibet and Tibetan people," he added.
The web site aims to maintain the Association's contact with all the alumni and to keep the Tibetan community well-informed about their works. It highlights how TSP alumni from different academic and occupational backgrounds are contributing back to the Tibetan community and the world at large. The site's main features include personal testimonies, events calendar, mentorship opportunities, and a special section on "TSP-Story."
"The Tibetan Scholarship Program which enables young Tibetans to pursue further studies in America is extremely useful in improving the capacity of the Tibetan exile community. I was one of the first to greatly benefit from this program way back 1988 when the program gave me a scholarship to study journalism at Columbia University from 1988 to 1989. The course I took at the Graduate School of Journalism greatly helped me to improve the quality and design of the Tibetan Bulletin which I edited for many years". Thupten Samphel - TSP 1988. Director, Tibet Policy Institute.
On being asked of the effective implementation of this programme and its outcome of encouraging future generations to apply for such skill building programs Mathew K, Asada said "The question is not of what they learn but what they get to bring back to their communities in Nepal, Bhutan or India. What happens is that they experience a vast new culture, form of education and thinking and on coming back to their community and working for its betterment they encourage others to avail of the same opportunities they were given; while giving back to the community at large."
The new web site was launched at a press conference in Dharamshala, India, by the chief guest, Mr Ngodup Tsering of Department of Education, Central Tibetan Administration.
TSP was founded for eligible Tibetan refugees residing in Bhutan, India, and Nepal obtain the chance to complete a two-year Master's Degree program in the United States and return back to serve their community in exile.