Gaden Relief Projects

Helping Tibetans preserve their unique culture.


Zadoh Committee Meeting Vancouver
December 7, 2003

Present: Evan Zaleschuk, Deborah Simpson, Marianne Rev, Helen Weiss.
(Apologies to Bridget MacKenzie who was not on my list and may not have been aware of the meeting)

1. Meeting with Cynthia Hunt

On Dec. 2nd, we had a quickly called meeting with Cynthia who was passing through Vancouver. (Deborah, Sharon Gretzinger, Marianne were able to attend.) She showed a DVD of her work (20 years and continuing) in the Ladakhi region of India. To teach good hygiene and nutrition – essential foundations of good health – she has developed culturally sensitive and 'literacy level appropriate' educational materials in the form of interesting story books for children of all ages. She is making this desktop published material available to us, if we have someone familiar with the software. The villages come up with some of the projects and make a 3 year commitment to participate. She teaches ladakhi assistants the necessary health/hygiene/nutritional info (from their own village) and trains them to teach the children, effectively. The assistant works and remains committed to his/her own village. The regional gov't supports the projects, providing 3/4 of the funding. The DVD (very informative) was produced as a trailer for an upcoming documentary film, being produced by another group. Cynthia said we would have to contact the group to get it.


  • Deborah will contact Brian Harris (one of Cynthia's local supporters) and Maggie of Seva to get the name/address of the producers of the DVD, to see if we can buy it. Cynthia left us 3 booklets. Deborah will find out if Seva or TRAS has the whole set.
  • Evan will scan one of the story books and send it to Rinpoche for review, and ask if Zadoh can make a contribution to Cynthia's project.
  • Evan will try to meet with 3 visiting monks from Zadoh area, with a translator, to see if they are interested in health education and to see if they have info on the education system in the region.


Anne Carswell from Jinpa has previously provided material on the 6 mo. first aid course and 3 mo. midwifery course. Should we support these educational projects ie training young people from Zadoh region? Marianne has heard vicariously from one of the doctors who worked in Yushu with Rokpa in Oct 2003 that there are significant concerns of the midwifery course being much briefer and superficial than indicated.


  • Marianne(MD with obstetrical experience) will draft a letter to Anne to enquire on the details of the course curriculum, extent of practical training, etc. and send the draft to those at this meeting to edit.
  • Deb will e-mail Isaac (Rokpa MD) on his experience with JINPA (strengths and weaknesses).

3. Planning the "BIG 4" (Rokpa, Tras, Seva, Zadoh) Meeting

Date: Thurs eve Jan 29th, 2004.

Location: Tentatively at Marianne's – 3256 Fleming St, Vancouver, but will ask invitees if they know a more appropriate space, e.g. boardroom, for 15-20 people.

Who to invite:

  • TRAS – 2-3 board members/program directors – Deb will get names from Graham
  • SEVA – Maggie – Deb will invite
  • ROKPA – Marianne will contact Isaac, Adrienne, Ron, Carmen, Jennifer, Candace
  • Zadoh – Vancouver via e-mail

Focus: "Building Healthy Communities Together"

Suggested agenda:

  • Needs assessments, to date and future
  • Women's and children's health
  • Working with Jinpa
  • Health education (nutrition, hygiene, sanitation)
  • Poverty/income generation
  • Plus suggestions to come from Rinpoche and other invitees

4. Mobility Aids (walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, canes)

Evan received and is storing 2 used walkers and 2 wheelchairs for next Tibet trip. Deb is trying to connect with a program at Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver which donates older but functional mobility aids to developing countries. Marianne has contact with Shayna, a physiotherapist who stores and sends equipment to Latin America. Does she have equipment we could send to Tibet?

5. Mongolia Project

Under the auspices of Gaden Relief Projects. Matthew Richards is heading it up. First project is building a well near a monestary.

6. 2004 Trip to Zadoh/Jamseng

Dates: July 15 to end of August. Apart from MDs Rinpoche would like to have a dentist and a public health nurse with midwifery experience to accompany him.


  • Look for interested professionals. Marianne will make contact with midwifery colleagues + Midwifery Association of BC

[Minutes prepared by Marianne Rev; edited by Conrad Richter]