Aid for Tibetans – Summer Newsletter

Rigul Trust Newsletter no. 5 Summer 2010

100% of all donations received will go to fund activities in the field

100% of expenses met by volunteers

The objectives written into the Charity Commission Governing Document are:

“The relief of poverty and financial hardship, the advancement of education, the advancement of religion, the relief of sickness, the preservation and protection of good health, in particular but not exclusively in Rigul, Kham, Tibet as the trustees may decide”

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for all the support that you are giving for Ringu Tulku’s projects through Rigul Trust.

The diversity of support includes donations, helping with advice, websites, blogs, translations, fund raising, graphic design, accountancy, hand crafted goods, DVD/CDs and photographic copies of art work for sale and so many other ways. So many people are contributing from so many countries – UK: Eire: New Mexico: USA: Finland: Germany: Holland: France: Spain: Portugal: Belgium: Australia: India and Nepal.

Earthquake in Yushu, Tibet, China.

Since our last newsletter we have received the tragic news of the earthquake that happened in Yushu, on the Tibetan plateau, China on April the 14th this year.

There was little reportage in the media and the earthquake news was overshadowed by the volcanic ash episode that started the very next day, on April the 15th. The earthquake was 7.1 on the Richter scale and caused widespread devastation and damage in Yushu, an area on the high Tibetan plateau, mainly populated by Tibetans.

Within four days of this news we, at Rigul Trust, had set up an Emergency Earthquake Appeal. Ringu Tulku is overseeing every stage of this appeal. Two khenpos and several monks from Ringu Tulku’s monastery in Rigul, Tibet are now in Yushu, helping with their own hands. They have been sent 15,000 euros direct to use in Yushu. These monks will report back to Ringu Tulku with an assessment of the needs of the people in Yushu and have photographic evidence too. We are preparing the next transfer of funds of £15,000.

Rigul itself wasn’t affected by the earthquake although they felt the tremors.

The information that we have gleaned, from a variety of sources, gives a picture of utter devastation with over two thousand five hundred people dead, many, many thousands injured and some people still not accounted for. In one area it was reported that over 80% of the buildings were destroyed. So very many people are now homeless, in near freezing temperatures they are living in tents and having to contend with high winds, dust storms, snow storms, lack of food, clean water and diseases setting in.

The remoteness and the rugged terrain of the area is proving a difficulty for the rescue operations as the Yushu infrastructure has collapsed with some roads and passes blocked. Many rescue workers have had to turn back because of the high altitude and suffering from a lack of oxygen.

Lama Chodrak (on left in photo), from Kagyumonlam, has kindly agreed that we can view his photos that he took on his visit to the Yushu earthquake area last month.

In his email he said:

During 20 May to 28 May 2010, I went to visit Yushu, Qinghai where affected by the earthquake earlier. As you might already know, this earthquake hit the place very badly, thousands people was dead, injured and become homeless now staying in tents in very cold, dusty and unpleasant weather and a few of my cousins were also among the deceased. I am glad that I am able to visit there to give the survivors some support and said some prayers.

Here is a link to some of the pictures that I have taken there:

Please say some prayers and reach out your helping hands to them if possible.

With Many Best Wishes,

Lama Chodrak.


We welcome all the help that you can give to the survivors in Yushu, Tibet rebuild their shattered lives.

The Rigul Trust Earthquake Appeal is ongoing, we are in this for the long haul.

So never feel that help and donations for these people has come to an end and please feel free to continue giving and donating.

For donating see details at the end of this newsletter please.

Rigul, Kham, Tibet

We are committed to supporting the school and health clinic every year.

Khenpo Sheng Gen visited Rigul a few months ago and has sent us his report:

We have had the good fortune to be able to send funds for the Health Clinic, Dr Chuga, Karma Tsisha his assistant, Ani Choden, the nurse and the running costs of the clinic as well as enough funds for 2 hot meals a day for well over 60 children at the school, the salaries of 5 teachers and three cooks in Rigul, Kham, Tibet.

We are deeply indebted to Khenpo Sheng Gen for his assistance with getting the funds to Rigul under difficult and challenging circumstances.

Here is a comprehensive report about the health clinic and school from Khenpo Sheng Gen translated by Xiong Chenlan.

Based on the information from Sheng Gen, the current information of the Health Clinic is as following: The up-to-date running cost is including the doctor and staff’s salary and the spending of buying the medicine. The paid salary for half year is RMB 9,000 for Dr. Chuga, RMB 4,200 for Ani and RMB 3,600 for Kama. And the spending amount of RMB 17,500 is buying the medicine from the county of De Ge, Cheng Du and Gan Zi for the half year requirement in Health Clinic. The current status of the health clinic is many patients, nonprofit and poor condition. There are 25 patients per day, totalized 15,750 patients in one year, from all the county closed to Rigul, who go to the health clinic for help. And free for the poor, free for the Living Buddha from the temple, and charged the cost for the person whose economic condition is not so bad. However, the clinic must buy the medicine twice in one year from the county of De Ge, Cheng Du and Gan Zi, where is nearly one thousand kilometer distance, without any transportation tool. And up to date,there is no any house for sickrooms. So the patients from the village nearby, either heavy sick or not, have to go back by walk or carriage. So the clinic served people hardly with very limited fund and poor condition. The clinic’s perceived future needs are one truck and building the house for sickroom, which is estimated RMB 100,000 as cost.

The current information of the school is as following: The up-to-date running cost for half year is including the teacher’s salary for the amount of RMB 29,400, the establishment of the playground and blanket for the amount of RMB 25,000, and the cooking for the amount of RMB 27,553. The current status of the school is that many students graduated, the material and condition is still very poor. Sheng Gen want to tell you and your charity that all the students and the people in Rigul really appreciate your help and good intention. There were already twenty students graduated from Rigul School, who now continue their study in Buddhism college. However, the school condition is still very poor. The attached pictures which show the current status of the school is for your reference. Now there are more students, 100 students, in school. So now the school lacks the tables, chairs, books, pens etc. And more students need more cooking. And from the attached pictures, you can see all the students and teacher have to have dining in the open air, because the classroom is very limited for one hundred students to teach and study, no room left can be provided for dining. And Rigul was just electrified in last year. The school also need to pay much fees for being electrified. So the school’s perceived future needs are more fund for buying the daily things such as the tables, chairs ,books and pens etc., for paying the electrified fees, for building the dining house. All of the above mentioned cost is estimated RMB 80,000.


Rigul Trust Financial Resume April 2009 to April 2010

Thank you so much to everyone who has been generous with their time and donations in supporting the trust over the last year. Through these wonderful efforts over £21,000 has been raised this year, and another £4,417 reclaimed in tax rebate.

Rigul, Kham, Tibet School & Clinic.

We have been able to send a total of £20,632 to the school and health clinic in Rigul. This has paid for the salaries of 5 teachers at the school, for 3 cooks and for hot meals twice a day for all the children there. The playground has now been cemented, and blankets provided for the dormitory. The school is growing in numbers, and currently serves a hundred children, so they are now asking for help with funds for more equipment. At the health clinic, we have paid for the salaries of Doctor Chuga, his assistant Karma Tsisha, and nurse Ani Choden, as well as running costs for the year. About 25 patients a day receive treatments , which are provided free of charge for the poor and for the monks. Khenpo Sheng Gen visited Rigul in 2009 and passes on the following message from all the people there: “we really appreciate your help and good intention.”

Ling Gesar School in Dehra Dun

We have been able to extend our help to a school in Dehra Dun, India, serving the settlement of Tibetans in exile aswell as the local Indian community. In September we sent out a second payment of £3,161 to complete the buildingof two new classrooms. These were finished within budget, and remaining funds were used for repairs around theschool following the monsoon season. Another £4,080 was sent out in December to pay for the salaries of the teachers for one year.

Himalayan medicinal plant project – Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan Medicine)

We have sent out a total of £2,794 to support the new project growing medicinal Himalayan plants at Ringu Tulku’s meditation centre in Sikkim. Rahima has been working hard to establish the garden, researching and experimenting with three main herbs initially – Ruta, Manu and Tikta. They have been asking for help with purchasing a cow to provide a free source of organic fertiliser.

Dharma publishing

Through the generosity of private sponsors, we have been able to fund a couple of publishing projects, with the twin benefits of spreading the dharma and of raising awareness and funds for Rigul Trust. CDs and DVDs of some of RinguTulku’s teachings are available, with 100% of the purchase price going to fund projects in the field. Work is also underway on printing a book of Ringu Tulku’s commentary on a Chenrezig sadhana.

Gift aid

Thanks to everyone who has completed a gift aid form. Through this scheme we were able to reclaim £4,417 in tax rebate from the previous financial year’s donations. If you are giving donations to the trust, either as a one‐off or as regular payments, do please take the time to fill out a gift aid form so that we can continue to claim this money back.

Albert and Fulmaya Harris, Friends of Rigul Trust, from Bodhicharya Edinburgh write:

Night Out at the Everest Restaurant, Edinburgh

Raising awareness and funds for the survivors of the Yushu, Tibet, China earthquake

In the wake of the under-reported events in Yushu, Fulmaya and I organised a fund-raising evening in a newly opened Nepalese restaurant in Edinburgh. When we realised the trauma being suffered in Yushu Prefecture with more than 2,000 deaths and in excess of 12,000 injured and the heart-rending photos of the resultant devastation we decided to raise funds to help under the auspices of the Rigul Trust.

With more than 60-attending the event, we managed to raise £751 with money still coming in. Many Nepalese turned up and we had singing and dancing from the community. We are glad we were able to offer people from our culturally diverse Edinburgh society the chance to express their compassion and to respond to the consequences of such a devastating earthquake which left so many homeless.

At an altitude of more than 4,000 metres, conditions are such that rescuers from lower lying areas in China are unable to cope with the conditions. Tibetans are now having to help themselves to a large degree and every contribution is appreciated.

Albert Harris

Please let us have any of your ideas for helping with Rigul Trust projects and how we can maximise the help that we are giving to the projects that we have.

Wishing you all the very best,

Margaret Richardson and the Rigul Trust Team.

Rigul Trust, 13 St Francis Avenue, Southampton, SO18 5QL. UK. Tel: +44(0)2380 462926

Website: email: [email protected]

UK charity registration no: 1124076

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