Tibetans and Mongolians preserve their unique cultures.
October 6, 2006
Present: Venerable Zasep Rinpoche, Evan Zaleschuk, Matthew Richards,
Conrad Richter (Chair)
Preliminary Report on 2006 Expedition to Tibet and Mongolia
Evan and Diane Carter visited Zadoh in August. Rinpoche and John
Huizinga visited Mongolia in September. Rinpoche to provide a
full report later this fall.
2. Financial Summary
Gaden Relief spent a total of USD $47,820 on the 2006 trip to
Zadoh, Tibet, with Evan and Zasep Rinpoche.
We gave USD $19,450 for the food money for 32 monks at Tashi
Lhapug monastery. Each monk gets 200 yuan per month for their
food. This money is for next two years until August 2008.
We gave USD $4,000 for Tashi Lhapug monastery to build a kitchen,
store house and yak dunk storage house. Total money for Tashi
Lhapug monastery was USD $23,450.
We gave Jamseng Health Care centre USD $15,970 for running expenses
untill 2008. They need some more money to build a well and stupa,
We gave USD $8,400 to Zuru Monastery. Rinpoche did not say this
is the last donation. It is not proper protocol to do this according
Tibetan tradition. When you don't want give, then you just don't
give -- that is all.
Rinpoche bought back the $180 that we planned to deliver to Dechen
Nunnery because the abbot was away on pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash.
We did not take any money for Mongolia this time. John Huizinga
will give us the bills for the solar energy equipment and along
with a full report with photos etc. when he returns to Canada
which will be very soon.
about 100 monks at Tashi Lhapug currently, 32 of which are young
monks studying debate and logic. These 32 young monks require
about 200 yuan/month for living expenses. This is 76,800 yuan
per year, or about 9600 USD per year. We are committed to supporting
these monks. Rinpoche left enough money for two years' support.
a flow test on a nearby river was done. As well the elevation
of the terrain around the river was estimated. These data are
required in order to assess the feasibility of installing a small
hydroelectric generator to provide power for the monastery. Evan
is to consult with John Huizinga on what the data reveal about
our translator Chotso Dolma, and Rinpoche addressed the problem
of waste and debris on the grounds of the monastery, most of which
is left by visitors. The problem is that there are many visitors
to monastery, especially nomads who are not accustommed to thinking
about garbage and sanitation. The grounds were cleaned up. A monk,
Ven. Thupten Gephel, who returned from Sera Monastery in India,
was appointed to be in charge of cleaning up the grounds regularly.
The monk will do a weekly go around the grounds with some of the
younger monks. The monastery does not currently have a toilet
or washing facility, and it does not have a well. Plans to install
these were discussed with the monastery officials.
area with waterfall and springs and flowers (such as potentillas)
will be fenced in in order to prevent pilgrims from spoiling the
area. A fence will cost about USD $1000. This is a project that
we may fund in 2007.
Six thangkas funded by GRP arrived from Nepal. The monks are
very happy with them.
We are committed
to building a kitchen for the monastery next year. We have already
given money for the kitchen, a storehouse and a "yak dunk
house" (where yak meat is dried and stored without wood or
gas or electricity). USD $4000 was left for the construction for
For most people living in the area of Tashi Lhapug it is too
far to get medical help from Jamseng or Zadoh City. Rinpoche believes
a small clinic should be built at the monastery in the near future.
Lama Lochok is a wonderful doctor at Tashi Lhapug and there are
three other lamas who know Tibetan medicine well. Tashi Lhapug
has plenty of land for a clinic and you don't need a permit for
a small building. Lama Lochok's house is a de facto clinic now
and people from the area come all the time. He is a very important
lama and is head of the school. He does so much, but he is suffering
without having space and time for himself. Building a small clinic
will give him some privacy.
bought three pill making machines, a grinder, oven and a pill
roller. These were negotiated and paid for while we there. The
cost was 5,000 yuan. Dr. Sharmar gave us his resignation and said
he would stay on until we found a new doctor, which Jamda and
Dr. Leder managed to hire a new doctor while we were there, Dr.
Palden Gara, who comes from the Jamseng area. He will transition
from Dr. Shamar in Nov/Dec. The young woman, Kalsang Palmo, who
was there part time, was hired full time at her request and then
quit shortly at the insistence of her father.
and Evan both saw patients and Rinpoche gave out Tylenol and the
remainder was left for the clinic. Diane's
role in Zadoh was midwifery and she did a great job and we are
very thankful for that.
hospital and grounds were well maintained and freshly painted.
We erected a prayer flag pole and put up prayer flags so the locals
could have something to circumambulate and prostrate to, as well
with the idea of putting up a solid stupa in the near future.
A spot for a well was chosen with the instructions to dig it out
and build one.next summer.
About the stupa, Rinpoche explained that patients will not naturally
go for walks for exercise. But if you build a stupa people will
naturally circumambulate it. Instead of watching TV and doing
nothing, patients will get healthy exercise in fresh air doing
prostrations and circumambulations. This helps to clear the mind,
and creates lots of merit and happiness. The Jamseng Committee
has already made arrangements to build the stupa next July when
stupa making lamas come from Riwoche Monastery in the T.A.R. We
have asked them to build a 24 foot stupa of Namgyalma Buddha for
long life and of Medicine Buddha for good health. The cost of
the stupa is 2,800 yuan. The Riwoche monks will bring everything.
gave USD $8,400 to Zuru. The receipt will be given to Evan next
It was decided
that we should end the sponsorship program for Zuru monastery
because Zuru is getting enough donations from the local people
because it is so close to town (Zadoh City).
visited the monastery for three days. We had planned to end our
support of Amarbayasgalant. The intention was to leave the last
of the money collected for the monastery but Rinpoche did not
leave any money because he was not sure if it would be used appropriately.
The monastery asked for money to build a kitchen and Rinpoche
suggested that this is possible but a proposal is required first.
The monastery is to submit plans and funding request.
and John Huizinga spent most of the time in Mongolia at Delgeruun
or in Ulan Bator securing supplies for Delgeruun. John was busy
installing the solar panels bought in Beijing. It was discovered
that electrical components from China and Russia are incompatible
and John needed extra time to resolve the differences. Rinpoche
left Mongolia at the end of September but John agreed to stay
an extra month in order to complete the solar panel project.
We did gave a laptop computer for Zava Rinpoche for use by him
and his monastery.
would like to build a kitchen in 2007.
8. Next Visits
expeditions to Zadoh and Mongolia will be in 2008.
B) Charity Application and Agency Agreements
with Tim Flood of Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue
Agency this summer. GRP's projects were discussed at length with
a focus on how money is used and on what our extent of control
is on how the money is used. In August a letter was received in
which the CRA listing the inadequacies of our application, citing
in particular problems with our current agency agreements and
how we spend and control money in Tibet, Mongolia and India. The
letter requests that we get new signed agreements for each of
the projects and that these new agreements must meet the CRA's
requirements outlined in the CRA's brochure for applicants running
foreign aid projects. The letter fixes a deadline to respond of
2. Agency Agreements
Given that Rinpoche did not get back from Mongolia until the
beginning of October we were not able to work on the new agency
ageements because Rinpoche is our primary contact with Zadoh and
Mongolia. It was agreed that we ask the CRA for an extension.
Conrad pointed out that the nature of our relationship to the
project aid recipients has to change. What was previously acceptible
is no longer acceptible. We cannot simply leave money on our visits;
there has to be a plan, interim reports, clear control by on us
on the use of the funds, and proper detailed final reports for
each project item that we fund, complete with receipts. Rinpoche
expressed concerns about the fact that our partners in Zadoh cannot
provide reports in English; Conrad suggested that it is okay as
long as we have the original in Tibetan and a summary or translation
out that the agency issue would be much easier if we had one partner
organization in Zadoh that distributes aid to all of our projects
there. This could be an informal committee or preferably a legal
entity that has a bank account, has some sort of status in Zadoh.
Rinpoche suggested that the Jamseng committee could serve that
role and it has a bank account. A committee could consist of the
current Jamseng committee members plus new member representatives
from Tashi Lhapug, Zuru and Gaywa. Because communication between
Canada and Tibet is getting much better now, it will be possible
to set up things up by phone any other means. It was decided that
this course of action, to set up Jamseng as a single point of
contact for all Zadoh projects would be pursued. Rinpoche is to
contact the Jamseng committee members and update them on the changes
and to get them to sign the new agency agreement when it is ready
For Mongolia and India, Conrad suggested that similar committees
be used to act as a single point of contact for the respective
projects. In the case of Mongolia, Conrad suggested that Gerlee
might be able to fill this role but Rinpoche said that Gerlee
has withdrawn from active volunteer work for personal reasons.
At this time it is not possible to have one committee to cover
both Amarbayasgalant and Delgeruun, so for now, separate agreements
will be needed for each. In the case of Amarbayasgalant, an agency
agreement is not needed yet because we do not have any active
projects with the monastery at the moment. So for now we only
need one for Delgeruun.
For India, the situation is unclear. Kim Gutschow is in India
since June and has not been heard from. There are 10 nunneries
in Zangskar and it will be necessary to set up a committee or
set up a local agency to act on our behalf. GRP tried to work
with the Ladakh Nuns Association previously but for a number of
reasons this organization does not seem to be able to act adequately
as our partner agency for the ten nunneries. Before Kim left for
India, we discussed several options for consolidating our support
stream to the nunneries, but the isolation and small size of the
nunneries will be a big challenge to setting up anything acceptible
to the CRA. If it is not possible to set anything up, it possible
that we will have put the nuns project on hold until something
suitable is set up.
to draft the new agreements for Jamseng and Delgeruun and forward
to the board for approval. Ultimately Rinpoche will arrange for
the agreements to be signed and returned to us so Conrad can submit
copies to the CRA.
[Minutes prepared by Conrad Richter with help from Evan and Rinpoche.]