From its humble beginning 54 years ago, Tibetan Children's Village has today become a thriving, integrated educational community for destitute Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet every year. It has established branches in India extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in South, with over 16,726 children under its care.
Fifty four years is not a short period in anyone's life and certainly not in the life of TCV. Tibetan Children's Village realizes the enormous responsibility it bears for the destiny of our Tibetan children and for the goodwill of the thousands of its donors and friends around the world who have sustained it through all these years.
Today, we are proud to see young people from our villages serving the Tibetan community in different capacities and, at the same time, accept that there are a few children who have not fared so well. In this respect, extensive efforts are being made to further improve the lives of our children, bearing in mind the lessons and shortcomings we have experienced in the past. Though much has been achieved, we still have a long way to go in fulfilling our aims and objectives of providing the children under our care with the necessary resources and the opportunities to develop their abilities to the fullest. As has been highlighted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his message on our 35th Anniversary; "the future direction of our programme will be in the field of further education in specialised studies to meet the human resource needs of the community during our period in exile and more importantly when the time comes for us to go back to our homeland..." We shall endeavour further to improve the quality of our children's education and their cultural and social upbringing without necessarily sacrificing the simplicity of our exile life-style.
All our achievements would not have been possible without the constant blessing and inspiration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as well as the unwavering support and understanding from the people and the Government of India. And of course, we would not have been able to do so much for our children without the continued financial help of so many good friends around the world, especially the SOS Kinderdorf International, the backbone of our financial support. Not the least, we must pay gratitude and remembrance to the many, many mothers, co-workers and teachers, both past and present, who have given so much of their life and hard work simply for the joy of seeing the children secure a meaningful life. We know our road is not at the end and that there is still much to be done, for as His Holiness has stated, "The children are the seeds of future Tibet." I appeal to everyone - to our sponsors, donor agencies and my fellow colleagues- to continue to be at our side during this difficult period in our history and assist us in educating and caring for the Tibetan children in exile.