Higher education for Tibetans: A journey of hope

In Dhorpatan Tibetan settlement, Sonam Yangchen’s family grows potatoes on a small plot of land they have leased and tends to the five ponies they use for porterage in the roadless mountains.

Sonam Yangchen is one of our newest scholars, from the 80 4 80 fund we started to make the dream of a college education possible for more young Tibetan refugees. She said, “Otherwise, I would be back in the fields helping my parents in the mountains. But with AHF scholarship, now I am in college and able to study.” After getting her degree in social work, Sonam wants to serve the Tibetan community.

I was recently in Pokhara to meet with her and the other new scholars at the community hall in Tashiling. It was a wonderful moment for me to see 11 young Tibetans beginning their hopeful journey out of the camps.

Otherwise, I would be back in the fields helping my parents in the mountains. But with AHF scholarship, now I am in college and able to study. – Sonam Yangchen

Sonam Sangpo la is the very dedicated local coordinator for the students. He said, “Since this fund started, we have had over 50 graduates, and every year there are 11 more. This is very exciting for all of us, since education is our only hope for Tibetans in Nepal. The selection is based on merit and need, so every determined youth in the camps knows they have support to study.” And, if they work hard, a degree—their ticket to a better future.