Choedon is a Tibetan weaver who lives in Shigatse, Tibet, near Lhasa. At the age of 25, Choedon began working out of her home with six other women to create quality hand-woven scarves. Despite being illiterate, Choedon was able to take that six-person initial operation and turn it into a thriving business and training facility. Through her efforts, over 3,000 people have been trained in scarf and rug-making and in producing approximately 30 other high-end products. Currently, she employs 360 people (mostly women) and her scarves and other products are sold all around Tibet and China. With some training and a small capital investment, Choedon and other Tibetans are empowered to create more sustainable Tibetan communities on the plateau where their culture and values may continue to thrive. She attended our business workshop.
Lobsang has been well known among Tibetan NGO communities in eastern Kham for his ability to mobilize communities, government, and resources to implement relevant, thoughtful projects. Like many others, Gonpo had to close his NGO during part of policy change and become a government cadre. Lobsang established a cooperative in his village to harvest, dry, package, and supply wild-grown mushrooms in his village, on the Eastern Tibetan Plateau. As a result, villagers have predictable income at a negotiated rate by cutting outside middlemen. Revenue stays within local communities to benefit about 30 households of low-skilled and low-paid workers that often have a history of being exploited. TVP has provided $20,000 loan for this effort.
Dhondup is a Tibetan farmer who received a government subsidy and NGO support to build 30 greenhouses. He has registered a business as a cooperative business (near Xining, Qinghai Tibetan plateau) where he leases greenhouses to different families and purchases vegetables back for distribution. Dhondup is trying to establish a vegetable distribution network with a premium price for real organic vegetables. Challenges due to poor food safety issues in China have created public trust issues within the “organic food” industry. TVP provided $10,000 to purchase vegetable delivery truck.
1. Become a mentor for a Tibetan social entrepreneur.
2. Travel to Tibet to visit a project site.
3. Become part of the collaborative network
4. Make a general donation to show your support.