Tibetan children are at a disadvantage in many parts of Tibet (China), Nepal, and India. In someplaces there are no schools, and even when schools are available the educational quality is frequently inadequate. Children of families on the Tibetan plateau in the Kham province face a variety of particularly daunting challenges: due to a combination of nomadic lifestyle and low population density, there is no established infrastructure for schools. To travel from their homes (typically by foot or horseback) to a population center large enough to support a school could take days or longer, and widespread poverty limits the viability of this option.
To address this need a number of tent schools have been developed, under the leadership of a Tibetan nun. The structure is canvas and the supplies are minimal, and they can be erected in remote locations to provide children with the skills they need to succeed into adulthood. The curriculum is driven by practical need, and includes reading and writing (in Tibetan, Chinese, and English), as well as some vocational training. Because the schools are easily erected and maintained, it allows children to pursue an education while allowing them to stay close to their families. Additionally, the tent schools support and educate regional orphans. Their education includes their own heritage and tradition, while also helping them to fit into the contemporary world. In a place like the Kham Province in the highlands of Sezchuan province (historical Eastern Tibet) nomads still travel tending to their yak herds. Under the leadership of one woman a number of tent schools have developed. The structure is canvas and the supplies are minimal, yet they are given the opportunity to learn and prepare for adulthood.
Padma Charitable Foundation has supported the development of these schools.
In April of 2015 the Gorhka Earthquake and its aftershocks killed more than 9,000 people, and left further hundreds of thousands in need of shelter, medical aid, and basic infrastructural support. Entire villages have been destroyed, and although coverage of the aftermath by Western media is waning, the destruction of food stores and seed stocks in conjunction with the timing of the earthquake early in the 2015 planting season are increasing the scale of depravation in the months after the disaster. Padma Charitable Foundation is committed to providing resources in support of the relief efforts currently underway in Nepal, and also encourage donations to other reputable charities working towards the same goal.