Gaden Relief Projects

Helping Tibetans preserve their unique culture.

Minutes

Zadoh Teleconference
May 5, 2003

Attending: Zasep Rinpoche, Conrad Richter (Gaden Relief), Rob Standfield (Gaden Choling), Sharon Gretzinger (Gaden for the West), Evan Zaleschuk (Zadoh Committee), Ken Stones (Zadoh)

Preamble

a) Rinpoche spoke to his niece in Tibet last night she said there is no SARS in TAR or Qinghai province [where Zadoh is located]

b) No travel to Zadoh or Yushu

c) Dr Ledar at the Tibetan hospital says doctors can't take time off in case of SARS problems.

d) Chinese have cancelled all travel until the end of May

e) Agenda affirmed as written and some items added

1. Insurance and when to postpone, update on what has to be done so as not to jeopardize the insurance claim.

a) There would be a penalty for cancelling of $600 per person so $1200 for Ken and Robbie (don't know about Candace at this time) which the insurance would cover if there was a travel ban at the intended time of travel. Conrad surmises that SARS will still be a problem in July so insurance could cover this amount.

b) Health Canada is currently saying defer travel plans.

c) We have to make a decision to postpone for the sake of everyone. *agreed by everyone [to postpone]

d) Rinpoche has cancelled his ticket with no penalty as he had not paid yet.

e) Conrad and Ken will stay in touch with Sherri the travel agent re collecting on the insurance for the ticket cost loss.

2. Tentative dates for 2004

a) Rinpoche would like to go in 2004 if it is safe.

b) 1st week in July is best, weather is good, easy to travel on the roads, people are gathering.

c) June is not good, harvesting herbs so a lot of people are in the mountains.

d) Ken would like to go for a month next year, if possible.

3. Message to donors, what tack to take for fundraising now

a) Matt King will do a Gaden Relief Newsletter

b) This will contain: clear descriptions of what we are doing in Zadoh

  • a message that the trip this year is postponed
  • a message from Rinpoche
  • a message from Evan
  • all re continuing to raise funds for the three projects in Zadoh,
c) We need funds for Jamseng Health Care Centre and Tashi Lhapung Monastery

d) Rinpoche has collected funds for sponsoring individuals

e) Jamseng Health Care Centre needs funds for:
  • Building a shelter where people can stay while attending JHCC
  • Building a wash room with running water and toilet facilities
  • Getting water to the centre including: digging a trench, purchasing and laying pipes, purchasing and putting in pumps, purchasing and putting in solar panels, providing batteries for solar power storage.

f) We need a budget from the committee re these needs

g) Rinpoche will call his brother and ask him to get the committee together to write up a budget and send it to Rinpoche.

h) Tashi Lhapug Monastery needs funds for:

  • Restoring temple damage from earth quake.
  • Building School of Philosophical Studies have purchased through loaned money a truck full of cement five trucks full of timber
i) Rinpoche will find out how much they borrowed for the above purchases

j) How we will raise the funds we need.
  • Through the newsletter
  • Ask each centre to fund raise with the help of the newsletter and various projects such as Centre dinner, dance, silent auction
  • Projects such as Mala of Rinpoche's sold on ebay (see article by Evan in newsletter)
  • Approach local groups for sponsorship ie Ken and Evan will look into Rotary clubs in White Rock as Candace did in Duncan.
k) How to handle donations to Rinpoche's Travel Fund? Sharon will announce the postponement of this years trip and say that we will hold donations until next year, if anyone wants their money back it will be returned upon request.

4. Drug acquisitions

All acquisitions have been postponed, no purchases have been made. will re initiate in spring of 2004

5A. Informing Zadoh committee in Tibet

Rinpoche will call his brother in Tibet tonight

5B. what funding issues will Jamseng have if we postpone

a) We need salary for the Monk Doctor approximately $1,000 Can per year who stays at JHCC going back to the monastery only for pujas. Also salaries for the 4 people on the committee approximately $4,000. Also need medicine for JHCC

b) They [the Zadoh committee in Tibet] could borrow some from the bank until next year

c) Money cannot be sent to Yushu or Zadoh as the [bank] systems do not function there.

d) Rinpoche will get a list of the expenditures thus far on medicine which will let us know how much is needed for this year. Could be $4,000-5000

e) It looks like they can survive and we would pay back the loaned money approximately $9,000

6. May 21 meeting in Toronto -- still on?

a) Yes, both meetings, Rinpoche, Conrad, Candace, Robbie, Rob Stevens, Sharon will meet with Nonita Yap in Guelph.

7A. Mini-conference idea for November when Cynthia Hunt will be in Vancouver

a) Evan will look into the possibilities of this and including Seva and Rokpa as well.

b) We will all think about this and keep talking about it on the email Rinpoche thinks it is a good idea to have a conference in the fall Conrad is considering coming out for this if it is possible for him

c) Rinpoche spoke about the concern about using western medicine. He is not worried about it as we don't use much western medicine and what we do use helps by relieving suffering, if it relieves suffering for one day that is good. The idea is to help people. He doesn't think using western medicine for one month makes people dependant on it. People accept what is offered with gratitude. People with money get drugs from Chinese drug store.

d) Conrad reminded us that in 2001 the cost of medicine was a very small part of our expenditures which were mostly for the construction of JHCC and that we wouldn't have spent money for the drugs on the list.

e) It was also mentioned that we did not leave western medicine at JHCC what was not used by the doctor when he was there was given to a doctor in Yushu who is familiar with western medicine and he used theses drugs appropriately.

7B. Long and short terms goals of Zadoh projects.

a) It would be good to get together

b) Short term goals at this time re Jamseng Health Care Centre are: - to make the centre more effective in meeting the health care needs of the people of the community - to expand the services through both Tibetan and Chinese medicine

c) Long term goals at this time are to: - make the centre self sustaining through cottage industry which supports individuals and the centre ie tanka painting, carpet making or other ventures involving community members

d) Currently the committee needs to borrow a motorcycle to get to JHCC, we could support buying a jeep which could be used for committee transport to JHCC and as a taxi, could get a local person trained in mechanical repairs then they could repair the jeep and make money partly for the centre or ???????????

e) Re ethics of business - business is new to these nomadic people they have been self sufficient using little money so they are just waking up to the ways of business.

f) Could create a Guest House which locals could run display and sell any cultural crafts and all could support JHCC

8. What should we do about applying for funding through U.S. state department?

a) Long discussion about this. Need to know more

b) Sharon will call Brian and ask the following questions. I [Sharon] spoke to Brian and his answers follow the questions. Brian had one concern and that was that those offering these funds want Biographies of all Americans working on the projects to be funded and as there are no Americans working directly this could be a problem.
  • is the area of Zadoh covered by this funding offer? Ans: the people this is to benefit are the Tibetan ethnic group living in China
  • would they fund small project of around $2000? Ans: yes he thinks so
  • How will the money be channelled? Ans: He doesn't know.
c) Brian has the impression from his reading that the Chinese have been consulted about this funding and are in agreement.

d) He will email me the web sites he found most helpful and i will print the material for Rinpoche and email the rest of you the web sites here is the web site which is linked to the application page http://exchanges.state.gov/education/rfgps/may030b_rfgp.htm

e) Brian will be talking to a representative of the program tomorrow and will see if he can get the answers to questions 2 & 3 and will email them to me and i will forward them to you .

f) Rinpoche asked Evan and Conrad to look into a program called The Bridge which is said to give $$$'s to Tibet

g) Bill Wells will see if he can access any funds from Bill Gates and his Wife who are said to have a foundation that might help in Tibet.

good night to all time lapsed 1 hr 50 min

recorded by sharon gretzinger [edited by Conrad Richter]