Louisiana Himalaya Association “LHA” was created to
form a cultural and social service bridge between the Tibetan Refugees
in Northern India and the people elsewhere that have so much to
learn from their wisdom. LHA has been working with the Tibetan Refugees
in India since 1997.
The organization had its beginnings in one tiny room in a Tibetan
monastery in Dharamsala, India. Soon more volunteers and supporters
joined in and in 2000 the program moved into the first LHA building
that housed a small computer classroom, an English language class,
a medical supply room and a craft shop. One of the staff members
organized volunteers to teach English and computer skills while
the other staffed the craft shop and the leprosy assistance project.
Along the Way
By 2002 the small building could no longer support the level of
activity. With the help of some generous supporters, an annex building
was opened with eight new computers and two new full-time Tibetan
staff positions. After continued growth, in 2004 LHA moved into
its current location, owned by the Tibetan Handicraft Coop. This
move was perfect in many ways, it gave LHA the space it needed to
expand and all rent paid went directly back into the Tibetan Community.
The Tibetan handcraft COOP is a group of over 300 Tibetan families.
Until recently, the building has been excellent for expanding the
provided services and for accommodating the growing number of volunteers
looking to assist, as well as the growing number of Tibetans seeking
One of the main goals of the founders of LHA back in 1997 was
to create an organization that would one day be totally self-sufficienct
and sustainable . In 2005, in a move towards total self sufficiency
and sustainability, the Tibetan staff members of LHA established
Lha Charitable Trust! Their own non-profit social service organization
officially recognized by the government of India. Moving much closer
to that goal with the establishment of Lha Charitable Trust, our
Tibetan friends now had their own Board of Directors consisting
solely of members of the Tibetan community; the staff members had
learned to run the organization and make all their own business
decisions. The Lha staff identified and developed services for the
tourist population. These services they provide generate enough
funds for the organization to successfully and self-sufficiently
operate (except for building rent ). They started off by offering
tourists an array of services including Tibetan language classes,
Tibetan cooking classes, Yoga, massage and translating services
.They raised enough money to pay their seven full-time salaries,
utilities, phone and any other necessary repairs or maintenance,
while still offering all classes and services Free of charge to
hundreds of Tibetan refugees each month.The only dependency issue
facing our Tibetan friends of Lha Charitable Trust at this point
was the $10,000 annual building rent.
Through the ongoing fundraising activities of the LHA team in
Louisiana, and all our generous doners from around the globe, enough
funds continued to be raised to pay that annual building rent with
extra funds generted to focus on other needed projects throughout
The Big Leap
In 2007, the opportunity for our Tibetan friends of Lha Charitable
Trust to move into Full Self Sufficienct and Sustainability, presented
itself. A newly built 4- story building was offered to the organization.
It was most accommodating, and with the Help of the Louisiana Himalaya
Association, achievable and quickly acquired. The building is nestled
in the Himalaya Mountains alongside the home and Temple of His Holiness
the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. Our Tibetan friends say that when
things happen so perfectly it is an auspicious sign showing that
we are moving in the right direction!
Lha Charitable Trust now has its new home!
The New Building assures that the social services being provided
will continue long into the future "Sustainability" and
that our Tibetan Friends of LHA Charitable Trust are no longer dependent
on outside sources to get the bills paid " Self Sufficiency".
The building is providing much more than was originally expected!
The organization will be able to manage both locations. The bottom
two floors of the New Building offer just enough room for the organization
to expand its service programs. The two top floors are being used
for accomodating Volunteers and University Student Groups that would
otherwise be paying rent at Hotels. This rental income is enough
to pay the rent on the original service building owned by the Tibetan
Handcraft Coop, thus assuring that the Tibetan Families of the Coop
will also continue to receive their income.
In an incredible Happy Home Feeling Environment, the organization
has grown to provide these following services:
- Over 300 Tibetans attend Free Classes daily and many more receive
- 14 Language classes - English, Chinese, French, Spanish and
Tibetan are all taught
- 3 computer classes are held Daily on Computors donated by the
Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- As Volunteers Instructors are available courses are also offeded
in Photography, Massage and Yoga
- The Donation Drop off Center collects and distributes large
amounts of Clothing and Medical supplies.
- Two Public Libraries
- A Community News Paper
- Medical, Eye Care, Environment and Health Education Programs
are regularly undertaken.
- In this past year alone, 357 volunteers from 39 different
countries served through the volunteer coordination program.
These volunteers provide their skills and time throughout the
Tibetan Community on one hand while on the other have a very personal
growing experience. This Connection promotes Awareness of the
Tibetan Situation and offers the volunteer the learning opportunity
of a lifetime. These volunteers leave with Knowledge of the Tibetan
Struggle and Wisdom gained from the Tibetan People that will be
of incredible Benefit to themselves and the Communiites they go
Big plans for the bottom floor of the New Building are in
the works to address Food/Health needs - A Community