The Tibetan Social Service (TSS) is a non-profit organization aimed at providing free services to the Tibetan community, with its main office at TIPA Road in Mc Leod Ganj, Dharamsala, India. TSS was founded by Mr. Chime Youngdung on 1st October 2012. The first anniversary and the first annual meeting of Tibetan Social Service took place on 19th October, 2013, at Hotel Tibet in Mc Leod Ganj, with the TSS Staff Members, the International Board Members of TSS and the TSS Coordinators from different places in India, Austria, USA, Belgium, Germany, Ecuador and Vietnam.
In the morning there was an Opening Ceremony, in the afternoon the TSS Staff and TSS Coordinators discussed the new projects. Afterwards, the financial report of the first year was read and there was an exchange of ideas for fundraising.
On 20th October 2013, the TSS Staff and TSS Coordinators from different countries did an excursion to the Norbulingka Institute of Tibetan Culture, the buddhist tantric Gyuto monastery and a Hindi ashram, as an introduction to the Tibetan and Indian culture.
During the meeting, the TSS Staff and TSS Coordinators from the different countries discussed six new TSS projects and voted on them to set priorities. The project that got the most votes was the “Winter Vacations for Tibetan Orphan Children”. During two months holiday (January-February), most children go home to visit their families and relatives, but some children, orphans and those whose parents are in Tibet, are left with nowhere to go. TSS is going to develop a program for those children so that they also can have a supervised educational and enjoyable holiday trip.
A new initiative by TSS is the visit of Venerable Mogru Tenpa, Member of the Tibetan Parliament, to Mainpat Tibetan Settlement. He’s going to stay there for two months, from the end of October till the end of December, to give buddhist teachings in the seven Camps in this Settlement.
TSS Director Chime Youngdung: “Mogru Tenpa is a high qualified Tibetan monk and he accepted the demand of TSS to provide buddhist teachings in Mainpat for which we are very grateful. This Settlement is very poor and remote, there is no internet, so the almost 1,000 inhabitants don’t have access to buddhist teachings. Venerable Mogru Tenpa is going to travel to one of the Camps each day, to meet the people and share his knowledge about buddhism.”
The Opening Ceremony started at 11.00 o’clock at Hotel Tibet. All the participants received the first annual report with an overview of the activities in the first year. Among them were members of the Tibetan Parliament, Venerable Mogru Tenpa and Dawa Phunkyi, the Presidents of the Tibetan Freedom Movement, the Ngari Association, the National Democratic Party of Tibet and the Local Assemblee, and representatives of the Tibetan Women’s Association, Gu Chu Sum and the Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association.
At first, the Chief Guest Mr. Penpa Tsering lighted a butter lamp, followed by the singing of the Tibetan National Anthem. Afterwards, there was one minute of mourning for the martyrs who sacrificed their life for the Tibetan cause. After the tea and delsi, TSS Director Chime Youngdung gave a speech in Tibetan in which he emphasized that every Tibetan has the responsibility to strive for the Tibetan cause, to preserve the rich culture and traditions, and the Tibetan identity. TSS Associate Director and TSS Coordinator of the TSS Belgium Chapter Mr. Dennis Barbion read the speech by the Director in English.
TSS Director Mr. Chime Youngdung: “We have founded Tibetan Social Service to help finding sponsors for poor Tibetans, and to assist the uneducated and needy people by rendering all kind of services that we can possibly provide. We also aim to develop a sense of responsibility in the privileged Tibetans to help the less privileged fellow Tibetans and to set an example for the younger generation. With these aims and objectives, we have accomplished the following projects in the first year:
– We provided our service to fill IC forms for over 600 people;
– We provided our service to fill ADDAR CARD forms for over 300 people;
– We provided a letter writing service for those who are less educated in English;
– We provided a translation service for recently arrived Tibetans in Indian hospitals and offices.”
– We provided assistance and help with the water filter project in Mainpat Tibetan Settlement, organized by the Tibetan-Flemish Circle of Friends based in Belgium;
– We started a new TSS chapter in Belgium in November 2012;
The Chief Guest at the Opening Ceremony was the Honourable Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament Mr. Penpa Tsering. He expressed his interest and gratitude to the Tibetan Social Service. He als gave some suggestions and advice, like appointing a few nurses in Delhi for illiterate and poor people , to have a good understanding with the other NGO’s so that there is no duplication of the works, and to give trainings to Tibetans so that they are less dependent on others in the future. Mr. Penpa Tsering wished the TSS good luck and success.
The Special Guest was Mr. Wilfried Pfeffer from Germany, the Director of the Tibet Kailash Haus in Freiburg.He also gave a speech. He mentioned the importance of social projects for the Tibetan people.
Mr. Tsering Thundup, President of Tibet Charity, gave an interesting talk about social work in general, the aims and projects set up by Tibet Charity and general advice for TSS.
TSS has almost 70 members in total now. A chapter in Belgium was established on November 21, 2012, and at this moment there are 27 members in Belgium. There are now plans to open a new chapter in Delhi and in Byllakuppe.
Memberships are open to any Tibetan and non-Tibetan. The membership fee for India, Nepal and Bhutan is 300 INR for three years, for Europe 15 euro for three years, and for the USA 20 USD for three years.
You can download the full report of the annual meeting here: https://db.tt/eQnMLjxF
Text and photos by TSS Director Chime Youngdung and Dennis Barbion, TSS Associate Director and Coordinator of TSS Belgium Chapter