Keeping connected in Miao

Miao Choephelling, a Tibetan settlement established in Arunachal Pradesh in 1962, is in one of the most isolated parts of India—not only geographically, but technologically. Life in the remote jungle community is challenging, and the lack of structural and economic support has meant that these 3,000 Tibetans went for years without any access to the internet—or even knowing what a computer could be used for.

In 2011, the American Himalayan Foundation helped establish the Choephelling Cyber Café. The Café has become an important, and educational, gathering place for the settlement. No longer do people have to travel over 70 kilometers to log on to the internet, print photos and application forms, or purchase train tickets.

Five years on, The Choephelling Cyber Café now has high-speed internet, and continues to positively impact the people of Miao Choephelling settlement-providing technical support and employment opportunities to young adults, who otherwise would have to leave their community. But more than that, the Café offers a window onto the rest of the world.