Gaden Relief Projects

Helping Tibetans preserve their unique culture.


Mongolia Project Teleconference

December 5, 2003, 6:00-7:30 EST


Zasep Rinpoche, Conrad Richter (Chair), Martha Foster, Lisa Farnsworth, Evan Zaleschuk, Matthew Richards, Chuck Damov (Minutes)

[Numbers in parentheses indicate original agenda item numbers.]

1. Organizational Structure (#3)

CR: Conrad is the overall co-coordinator of Gaden Relief. Currently, Gaden relief is legally part of Gaden Choling. It is a registered Canadian charitable organization. Generally, GR is decentralized, but there are reporting requirements to Revenue Canada.

2. Project Details (#4)

A] Vision: Rinpoche:

Rinpoche would like to support Mongolia, keeping in mind our currently limited resources. Our goal is to help, specifically the Amarbayasgalant monastery, poor people in Ulaan Bataar, supporting Zava Damdin Rinpoche (Sarwa Tamden [Hayagriva] Rinpoche) and his monastery, in Delgertsogt North of Mandalgovi in the Gobi desert. And fund-raising for other projects when they arise.

Because Mongolia is democratic, we are free to get involved in dharma works as well as social works.

B] Project leader: Matthew Richards


3. Setup of Mongolia Project (#5)

A] Banking: done thru Gaden Relief.

B] Reporting] fiscal year end for Gaden Relief is June 30th; all dispersal of funds must be properly reported and forwarded to Conrad well before year end.

C] Contracts: with Mongolia contacts: GR has a one page contract to use with our foreign contacts.

D] Communication for Project members: teleconferencing and e-mail works well.

4. Specific Projects (#6)

A] AMARBAYASGALANT MONASTERY: Amarbayasgalant is approx. 6 hr. drive Northwest from Ulaan Bataar in Selenge Province near the Buryat-Siberian border. It has about 60 monks right now. Most of them are aged 7 to 20's.

1] Water well. This is important, because the monks have to walk a long way right now to get their drinking water. Rinpoche: it would be good to get a well, because the creek is not so clean, it is far away, 2 kms from the monastery. A well is cheaper and cleaner.

We should ask Mrs. Gerlee [Gerlbayasgalant] (Mongolian contact,) ("Amar Mur" is the Ulaan Bataar city centre and official Mongolian fund-raising arm for Amarbayasgalant Monastery) to investigate the feasibility and cost of a well for us. Ms. Gerlee is a former professor in Ulaan Bataar, who is now devoting most of her time to the Amar projects. Ms. Gerlee is the person we can try to do our contract with.

Amarbayasgalant has been rebuilt by Guru Dev Rinpoche and others. They do not need so much dharma items for the monastery. They need practical support for everyday living now. The boy monks are still sleeping on the floor, or in Yurts. It is cold in the winter.

2] Rinpoche: it is important that we ask Zava Damdin Rinpoche and Gerlee what they think they need. We should not just tell them what we want to do .MATTHEW WILL CONTACT GERLEE ABOUT THE WATER WELL

3] Another project is to have a Westerner teach English and Dharma to Mongolians, for say 3-6 months.

5] Rinpoche: it would be good to contact i.e. Dharma publishers, to see if they will donate dharma books for the Amar Mur city centre. (MATTHEW, contact Mahayana Sutra and Tantra press)

5. Volunteers (#7)

CR: generally all work has been done on a volunteer basis for Gaden Relief. Conrad believes this policy should continue. This includes people traveling to Tibet, India, etc.

However, no-one has gone on behalf of Gaden Relief for such a long period of time.

6. Fund-raising Options

Matthew & Rinpoche: Blue khatags and prayer wheels are specifically Mongolian items. These kinds of dharma items, and Dorje and bells, statues, posters, etc. are quite inexpensive. Also Mongolian clothes and other items. MATTHEW will send us a list of items.

7. Individual Participation

Conrad and Evan: administrative knowledge and support to Matthew and project members.

Martha: willing to fund-raise

Lisa: willing to fund-raise, and may have contacts w/ Mongolian studies dept. in University in Bloomington. Also Lisa wants to go to Mongolia, and possibly spring 2004?

Chuck: willing to fund-raise, and be a liaison with the Mongolian people in Vancouver. One Mongolian lady, Gana (Sp. ?) is possibly going to Mongolian in spring 2004. She has offered to take or bring back items for us. (CHUCK TO CONTACT)

Andrzej: willing to be involved in any capacity, according to his time.

Rinpoche is contemplating going to Mongolian for a few weeks in early July, 2004.


Recorded by Chuck Damov