Exploring Collaboration with Tibetan Children's Village

In April, 2023, Dr. Krezmien, the Director of the Center for Youth Engagement (CYE), hosted the Mr. Sonam Sichoe, the new president of the Tibetan Children's Village (TCV) to discuss possible collaboration with the College of Education.  Mr. Sinchoe was welcomed by Kalyan Trivedi, the Vice Chancellor of UMass Amherst, and Thondup Tsering, the Student Success Coordinator at UMass, a former student at TCV and a former Fulbright Scholar at UMass.  (Pictured from Left: Krezmien, Trivedi, Sichoe).


Several meeting were held including one at CIE in Montague House with a group of doctoral candidates from both CIE and CYE.  In that meeting Mr Sichoe and Mr. Tsering presented an overview of the goals and activities of the TCV in maintaining the culture and integrity of the Tibetan community. They also shared the story of a Tibetan child who escaped Tibet in exile and found a home in the TCV.


The Tibetan Children's Village "has today become a thriving, integrated educational community for destitute Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet every year. It has established branches in India extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in South, with over 16,726 children under its care." They provide education, housing, mental health support, employment support, higher education, and care for the elderly for the Tibetan community. 


The purpose of the meetings was to explore potential collaboration to promote educational opportunities for Tibetan children’s refugees, with a particular focus on students with disabilities. Throughout the meetings, the discussion focused on the challenges faced by Tibetan children in accessing quality education, as well as the support that TCV has been providing.


A desire was expressed to explore further ways in which UMass and TCV can work together to support the growth and development of Tibetan refugees. [5-23]