Help Tashi and the Monk: Huma Challenge

photo of Tawang Monastery

World Expeditions has partnered with the Jhamtse organizations to present an exciting opportunity for a Himalayan adventure trip that benefits Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community: The Huma Challenge.


Help raise funds for Jhamtse Gatsal and join a journey that includes:

  • Adventure Touring – Visit a unique and stunning part of the Himalayas, including a trip to the largest old Tibetan monastery in South Asia and a day trek with incredible views towards Bhutan.
  • Wildlife Safari – Visit Nameri National Park to spot elephants, tiger, leopard, barking deer, and exotic birdlife.
  • Community Project – Spend time within Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community, and work alongside members of the Community. Meet the teachers, caregivers, children, and Lobsang Phuntsok, the former monk who founded and directs Jhamtse Gatsal.

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Tashi Drolma and the Dentist

The magic of Jhamtse Gatsal, the Garden of Love and Compassion, is transforming the Tashi of “Tashi and the Monk,” into an affectionate, playful, responsive and responsible member of the Jhamtse family.

Tashi and friends bonded quickly with Dr. Frank Repanich, a dentist from Bellingham, Washington, and his dental hygienist, Carmen Witte, during the two weeks in June that they spent at Jhamtse Gatsal providing care for the children and staff. Tashi had recently lost her two front baby teeth, and alternately hid the gaping hole in her mouth, or smiled broadly.

Some of the children had never had their teeth cleaned. Some had suffered with toothaches for a long time. Dental care plans were made for everyone, teeth were cleaned, and 85 exams were performed. On the first day, 11 extractions were done.

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Tashi hopes Dr. Frank and Carmen Madam will plan to visit Jhamtse Gatsal again soon!

Oldest Students’ Amazing Achievement

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The oldest class of 15 students worked hard with their teachers to prepare for the first Government Exams to be taken by Jhamtse Gatsal students—a test not only for the students but for the entire philosophy and school program of Jhamtse Gatsal. Could extremely disadvantaged children perform well in standardized tests when their education was based not on the memorization of facts that is still typical in Indian schools, but on nurturing loving and compassionate problem-solvers, skilled in tasks of daily living in challenging rural Himalayan conditions?

In the first extrinsic evaluation of Lobsang’s bold experiment, of the 20 students who passed the exam, out of a total of 140 who took it, 14 were from Jhamtse Gatsal. The top 10 scores were attained by students from the Garden of Love and Compassion.

Earthen Building Campaign for Jhamtse Gatsal

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I’m so happy to read that Jhamtse Gatsal is broadening its experiential learning program. I love when perfect segues present themselves and I don’t have to come up with conceptual contortions to bring the conversation around to what I want to talk about; usually me and what I’m up to.

At the moment I’m gearing up to bring a big experiential learning project to the community.

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85 Hugs and Immeasurable Things Like Love

Amma the Teacher

I arrived at Jhamtse Gatsal a bit nervous and not sure what to expect, but when I left a year and a half later, I felt as if I was leaving my home and my family.

What makes Jhamtse Gatsal so special? Is it the eighty-five hugs that you receive every day? Is it the all-embracing environment where children are taught to love and care for each other in a way that becomes second nature to them? Is it the warmth and friendliness of the staff that accepts you unconditionally? It’s hard to say! What I can say is that the specialness of Jhamtse Gatsal comes from those immeasurable things like love, acceptance, and caring, which we often take for granted, that flow so consciously and naturally here.

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Gift of a Truck

Jhamtse Gatsal Community members gather to see the new donated truck.

We have just learned that an anonymous donor in Switzerland has contributed $33,000 to Jhamtse Gatsal. This is just the amount needed to purchase a large cargo truck that has been needed for some time. Jhamtse Gatsal is very remote, and often bulk foods, consumable goods, supplies and building materials are unavailable or of poor quality. The local cost is from two to five times as much as good quality items purchased in the plains, about an 18 hour drive away, across a Himalayan pass that is nearly 14,000 feet high. By having their own truck, Jhamtse Gatsal can assure the quality of what is purchased, and obtain what is needed when it is needed. The entire community is looking forward to the arrival of the new truck.

Jhamtse Gatsal Receives Corpus (Endowment) Fund

Lobsang Phuntsok, Founder and Director of Jhamtse Gatsal. Founder and Spiritual Director of Jhamtse International

Jhamtse Gatsal has just received the first installment (one-half) of a Corpus Fund awarded by the government of Arunachal Pradesh, the state where the community is located. The total amount of the award is 10,000,000 Indian Rupees (equal to $165,378 on the date of the award), which will become available to Jhamtse Gatsal in two installments this year. The income from this endowment can be used very flexibly, for both capital needs and operating expenses, including salaries.

Jhamtse International congratulates Gen Lobsang on this award, which gives a good foundation for the long-term support of Jhamtse Gatsal. Jhamtse International and other supporting organizations are also working toward development of a strong endowment for Jhamtse Gatsal.

Jhamtse Gatsal Now Registered Non-Profit in India

Welcome to Jhamtse Gatsal

Jhamtse Gatsal has finally been granted registration as a non-profit organization in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Chief Secretary Planning, Ramesh Negi, was instrumental in facilitating the registration. This formal recognition of Jhamtse Gatsal enables the community to receive grants from the Government of India. It also enables Gen Lobsang to begin the process of obtaining a tax exemption certificate which will allow Jhamtse Gatsal to offer tax-deductible receipts to Indian contributors.

New Website as Beautiful as the Children

image of kids holding a welcome banner

Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community has a new website that does justice to the transformation of children’s lives in their “Garden of Love and Compassion.”

JhamtseGatsal.org

This comprehensive site has numerous photos of the children showing their daily lives. You will feel the joyful enthusiasm that envelops everyone in the community, extending love and compassion to all beings.

You will find information about every aspect of the Community, including how to become involved by sponsoring a child, volunteering at Jhamtse Gatsal, or by a financial contribution. There are links to videos, and to the News Blog where the children, staff members and volunteers tell stories about their experiences at Jhamtse Gatsal.