Leaders of Tibet groups and projects have developed effective ways for westerners to support Tibet and the Tibetan struggle. Listed below are a few of the best ongoing campaigns and projects. These campaigns make a difference in the lives of Tibetans inside Tibet and in exile. They represent a spectrum of strategies and efforts of people who care about Tibet, and want to do something practical to help. On the weekend of March 9 - 11, 1996, many of the leaders of these campaigns gathered in Washington to push these initiatives forward, and broaden support for Tibet.  

1. Build a School  

Rural Tibet  

Most children in rural Tibet have no schools. 44% of Tibetans are illiterate in any language, and the majority of Tibetans cannot read and write Tibetan today. Under Chinese rule, much of Tibet's education funding is spent in China, leaving little for Tibetans in Tibet. Several groups in the U.S. are making a huge difference for hundreds of children. They are funding building of schools where there were none, expanding others, and providing funds for textbooks and basic health care. For more information and to send donations, contact:  
  • U.S. Tibetan Society for School & Culture

  • 4707 Connecticut Ave., NW, #201 
    Washington DC 20008 USA 
    tel: 202-686-1619  
  • Kawachen Project, Tibet Fund

  • 241 E. 32nd St. 
    New York, NY 10016 USA 
    tel: 212-213-5011. 

2. Give a Prisoner Hope  


A Chinese prison official in Lhasa recently said that he had received many letters of concern for Tibetans prisoners. Your letters get through. We know that this has made a tremendous difference improving conditions, preventing or lessening torture, and leading to an early release of some prisoners. Gendun Rinchen, a tour guide who was released after 7 months without being tortured, is living proof. Chinese officials received thousands of letters about him. Watch for urgent prisoner appeals in Tibetan support group newsletters, and contact Amnesty International to become part of an international China campaign.  
  • AIUSA Campaign Department

  • Washington Office 
    304 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE 
    Washington, DC 20003 tel: 202-544-0200 

3. Support a Nun in Exile  


Tibetan nuns are at the forefront of the demonstrations for Tibetan independence in Lhasa, and they face brutal torture and reprisals in prison. Once released, they are often banned from returning to their nunneries, and many end up fleeing to India for refuge. In India the nunneries are overcrowded and desperately need funds for books, clothes, and general support. Contact:  
  • Tibetan Nun's Project

  • P.O. Box 374 
    San Geronimo, CA 94963 USA 

4. Tell Congress What You think  


Congress has done a great deal for Tibet, and they need to hear from their constituents to keep supporting Tibet. Congress funds a Voice of America Tibetan - language broadcast which is now the most popular news source in Tibet; they provide annual assistance for Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal; and they also maintain a policy that Tibet is an occupied nation under foreign rule, and recognize the Dalai Lama as the rightful head of the country. Urge them to continue their support. Letters count! If you don't know your member of Congress, you can call 202-724-3121 or check this Congressional E-Mail Directory to see if your Congress person has e-mail. For more information, contact:   Write to President Clinton, through one of the following means:   Additionally, considering sending your opinions to the following:  

5. Vote with Your Wallet - Boycott Chinese Goods  


Boycotting Chinese goods is a simple and direct way for anyone to vote with their wallet. A growing boycott campaign is being led by the Students for a Free Tibet, the U.S. Tibet Committee, and the Milarepa Fund. For more information, contact:  

6. Travel Wisely  


China is trying to use tourism in Tibet to legitimize its rule there, and to showcase selected monasteries and sites to prove Tibetans are content. Moreover, most tourist dollars, particularly on group tours, go to Chinese pockets, and do little to help impoverished Tibetan communities. If you travel in a group, make sure the company uses Tibetan guides, and patronizes Tibetan businesses. Educate yourself about Tibet before you go, and contact and contribute to Tibetan organizations in the West. For more suggestions about how you can make your trip help Tibetans, and for a map and guide of Lhasa which explains what Chinese tour guides will try to hide, contact:  
(See also "Common Questions about Travel to Tibet".)  

7. Give as if Lives Depend on it. (They do.)   

North America  

Join and donate to both national and local organizations. Local support groups are doing important work such as informing local media, putting on events and talking with Congressional representatives. Everybody concerned or working for Tibet needs to make at least a small contribution to one or more groups. They include: 
  • International Campaign for Tibet (202-785-1515);

  • feedback  
  • Tibet Rights Campaign (206-547-1015) 
  • International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet (510-486-0588) 
  • Bay Area Friends of Tibet (510-548-1271) 
  • U.S. Tibet Committee (212-213-5011) 
  • Canada Tibet Committee (514-487-0665) 
  • Tibetan Community Assistance Project (212-514-7980) 
  • Tibet House (212-213-5592) 
  • Students for a Free Tibet (212-481-3569) 
  • See also PeaceNet's 

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