Gaden Relief Projects

Helping Tibetans preserve their unique culture.


Building Healthy Communities Together
Special Zadoh Meeting with ROKPA, Seva and TRAS

Jan. 29, 2004

Present: Zasep Rinpoche, Ron (ROKPA), Maggie (Seva), Vedesh (TRAS), Isaac (ROKPA), Adriene, Deborah, Evan, Marianne, Martha, Noreen, Sharon, Jaime

Rinpoche's opening remarks

Thank you everyone for coming, I really appreciate your being here for this second meeting of the four groups who are working in the Yushu / Zadoh area. It is very good to meet together and know what each other are doing. I think in the future we could do something in Tibet together.

The Seva Eye Camp in 2001 was a success. My sister Didi was just in Tibet and people are still talking about the Eye Camp and they would like to have another Eye Camp.


1. Needs Assessments, To-date and Future

Long discussion on needs assessments

Isaac reported that an assessment was done and found many people to be suffering with: arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, gall bladder problems, ulcers, depression (described as heart pain) since the Chinese invasion.

Decision to draw up a new needs assessment with the focus being on maternal and child health. Zadoh committee will work on this and then pass it round to others for additions.
Rinpoche will ask Dr Leder all the questions on the assessment we come up with and will write down his answers so that we will have the information about the region that he has through his experience as a doctor in the region.

Suggestion that Tashi Tsering could do a survey of the needs of women and children in the area.

Akong Rinpoche says to go in "high profile" could jeopardize projects.
Decision to start a resource list and have everyone add to it. Isaac said he would do this.
2. Women's and Children's health

Many problems and little conclusive information, major concerns about infant mortality, maternal care pre and post natal as well as in relation to birth control and ongoing care of problematic menses and IUDs cause a lot of problems for women and there seems to be no solution to this available.
Ron Greenberg said that he will get us known reports re mortality and problems with women and children.

Videsh said that TRAS uses all local people to train and all project ideas come from the local community. She suggests that we find a local "women who knows" and ask her all the questions too and ask her what she would like to see happen for the health of women and children in her area.

Occupational therapy can be very helpful (handicap aids available in Vancouver and Victoria).

Handicapped children might not get seen by doctors as they can not get to the doctors. Often the only time they get outside is to see the Lama

3. Working with Jinpa

Agreed that we could get good information from Tashi Tsering of the Jinpa project and perhaps work with him and support his work as he travels all over the region. Ask Tashi Tsering what he thinks about people coming to teach various parts of his training program?

Evan volunteered to get in touch with Tashi and find out what programs they have that could dovetail with Zadoh project.

4. Health Education (Nutrition, Hygiene, Sanitation)

Literacy is low so education needs to be through images and spoken words not words on paper. Basic education is a current need.

Some midwife training is going on, some through Jinpa. Traditional birthing is done by women, no men allowed.

Forty students taking medical training; what the curriculum covers is not known.

Current hygiene practices do not include hand washing.

Local concern about truck drivers bringing diseases. Little information about sexually transmitted diseases.

5. Poverty/Income Generation

Train people in India or Nepal as it is easier to travel, cheaper, less culture shock and the language is easier to learn. Could train doctors and teachers. Danger always that whatever is done is taken over by the Chinese.

Jinpa has good ways of working in Tibet.

> In the Resource section: I had also suggested the book" Disabled Village > Children" as a standard text used in international aid projects. Tashi > may also be interested in translating parts of this. > > In the Jinpa section: were we going to ask Tashi Tsering what he thought > about people coming to teach various parts of his training program?

6. Resource Material

Where There Is No Doctor in Tibetan.

Tashi Tsering would like a copy of Where There are No Women Doctors! In English is fine; he could translate it. Who will do this?

Deborah suggested the book Disabled Village Children as a standard text used in international aid projects. Tashi may also be interested in translating parts of this.

Dirty Padma/Cynthia already translated into Tibetan and available for those who can't read.

Rinpoche suggests that we give out the books to families and have them read it and talk about it at night as this is culturally a family time.


Zadoh Health Care Centre has a monk-doctor who is at the centre full time and seeing many people.

Western doctors will do clinics when they are there (going this summer).

Rokpa works well as the people know Akong Rinpoche and ask him for help and he asks them to go back to their village and put a proposal together which they do.


Thank you Rinpoche for being at this meeting and giving us your guidance.

Thanks also to Ron, Maggie, Adrienne, Isaac and Videsh for coming to the meeting representing Rokpa, Seva and Tras, we appreciate your input and look forward to working with you in the future on some of these ideas.

Thanks to Sharon for doing up the minutes and Deborah for chairing.