August 17, 2016

What If It Were You? Today’s Refugees


Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to travel to South India for teachings in a monastery with the Dalai Lama. The teachings were primarily for Tibetan Buddhist monks, although there was a very slim minority foreigner crowd. When I arrived at the monastery, I was assigned an escort to translate and help me get around the area. She was a Tibetan refugee who had come to India as a child and was now a nursing student in New Delhi.

We had a lot of fun together, sharing cultures and jokes, circumambulating the monastery in the mornings. Later, I was heard from someone else that as a child, her mother had given her to a professional people trafficker and she had walked from Tibet to India at just 8 years old. She has only seen her mother one time since then, and her father never again.

I asked her about it and she sent me a video that was taken of her for a documentary when she was just 8 years old. She had just arrived to Dharmasala, where there is a large Tibetan resettlement.

You can watch the video here. Tsering is the child being interviewed at 6:53.

Here is a photo of the two of us together in Bangalore, at a spa! I am so happy that she fulfilled her dream of going to school. We still keep in touch and I hope to see her again one day.

Watching this short documentary on the Tibetan refugees really struck a chord, and I started watching Angelina Jolie’s videos of her trips for the UN to Syrian refugee camps, which were deeply, deeply moving. I learned that today, the average stay in a refugee camp is 20 years. That shocked me.

Here is a link to one of the Angelina/UN videos:

I also wanted to shine some sun on this very unique project in which Syrian refugees in Greece were paired with tourists who interviewed them. It’s very heartwarming.

The Island of All Together

Our children need our help. You can donate here to help the Syrian refugees through the reputable UN:

Thanks for listening.


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