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7 february 2012 002Brussels: - In 2009, Dennis Barbion and his wife Marijke Reynaert from Belgium started a shoe project for the Tibetan refugees in Dharamshala on their own initiative. That year they gave a new pair of shoes to 80 Tibetans. In 2010, this project was continued as an independent venture of the Belgian NGO "Tibetaanse-Vlaamse Vriendenkring" (Tibetan Flemish Circle of Friends). With the fundraising, the Belgian couple was able to give a new pair of good quality shoes to 426 Tibetan refugees!

During their stay in Dharamshala in April 2011, Dennis and Marijke got many ideas and suggestions for new projects for the Tibetans at other places in India, in the Tibetan settlements. After their trip to India in Spring 2011, they set up a fundraiser for the construction of a mortuary for the Dhonden Old People's Home (OPH) in Chauntra, a Tibetan Elder's Home near Bir, and a waterfilter project for the Tibetan settlement in Mainpat.

When a new pair of shoes was donated to all the elderly people at the Dhonden OPH in April 2011, the director and staff of the home and the responsible of the Tibetan settlement office there, told that they wanted to build a small mortuary, a separate building where a dead body can be kept for some time after someone passed away. Until then there was no separate place to keep the body so it was kept in the room for minimum three days, depending on the procedure and the availability of wood for the cremation. As the Elder's Home nor the Tibetan settlement in Chauntra had finances for the construction of this mortuary (including excavation, structure, slab work, roofing and electricity), Dennis and Marijke decided to help and to start fundraising.

At the end of December 2011 the fundraising for this mortuary project was finished and the money was sent to the Dhonden OPH. The works have already started and the first pictures on our online photoalbum on Picasa: https://picasaweb.google.com/dbtibetprojects.

There are quite a lot of Tibetan settlements across India. The living conditions there are very difficult and there's poverty as well, without much relief. Some villages are better than others but life is hard in all the settlements, with lots of needs unmet.

Mainpat is in Central India and it's one the poorest Tibetan villages in whole of India. Mainpat was the first Tibetan settlement that was established by the government of India in 1962 to rehabilitate 1,400 Tibetan refugees who came to India in the aftermath of the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959. Mainpat is very remote, the nearest town is Ambikapur and is situated at 50 km from Mainpat. The condition of the road is very bad; it takes about one hour and a half or two hours by car.

Mainpat consists of seven camps and the settlement faces numerous problems from the annual heavy rainfall. Monsoon remains for almost four to five months. Mainpat suffers from inescapable rain water problems, and above all the rain water they use is not pure. Therefore we set up this waterfilter project. The fundraising is for the purchase of a waterfilter for each family in Mainpat that doesn't have a waterfilter yet and for the local Old People's Home, to overcome diseases like malaria and other illnesses that people suffer from because of the dirty rain water.

The water storage of one waterfilter is 15 litres. The price of one waterfilter is 50 euro (70 US Dollars), but all donations are welcome. All the waterfilters will be bought and installed on the spot in the Summer of 2012.

We have a special bank account for all the donations. If you are interested, we would be grateful for any amount transferred to the account number BE25 9795 9253 2282, to the name Barbion Dennis & Reynaert Marijke (the BIC-code is ARSPBE22). Please mention "waterfilter project 2012".
All the money raised goes entirely (until the last cent) and directly to the purchase of the waterfilters for the families in Mainpat. Unfortunately we cannot deliver a tax certificate.

If you give a donation, please let us know your e-mail address so that we can keep you informed about the further planning and development of our projects: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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