Socks with a "soul"

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Sikkim is in the remote northern reaches of India, against the border with Tibet. Lama Paljor, a Tibetan monk, has taken up the cause of educating the children of Tibetan refugees who live in tiny villages on the Indian side of the border. The Tibetan men – and many women – work at road building for the Indian Army – backbreaking work, done by hand. They are able to get work at most a few days a month and the pay is minimal. Lama Paljor built a hostel in the nearest little town for the children of the Tibetan refugees and now has opened a school to give a decent education to them and to the local children.

It makes sense for the hostel children to eat at the school, rather than walking back and forth at lunch time. The local children had to walk home for lunch. The lunch the mothers could provide for the local children was meagre in the extreme; the children were not getting enough nutrition to be able to concentrate; they were often late back to school because of the distances and missed part of the afternoon classes; their mothers could not work because they had to be at home to feed their children. TRAS agreed to fund this lunch program, and the children are now better fed, the school results are better, the children are healthier and the mothers of the local children are able to do other work. Lama Paljor is hoping to come up with a long-term solution which includes building a greenhouse so that fresh veggies will be available year round. 

Tibetan Socks supports this program in partnership with TRAS (Trans-Himalayan Aid Society. TRAS is a small not-for-profit society based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It started supporting Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal in 1962, and has continued to help them and their Indian and Nepalese village neighbours. TRAS has supported a wide range of projects, building schools, clinics and housing, supporting agriculture, forestry and traditional handicrafts. Their aim is to improve the lives of Himalayan children and youth through education, vocational training and good health.