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Compassion in Action
Volunteering in Kolkota
When Professor Jim Hagan’s students enroll in his Indian Sacred Art and Indian Philosophy classes, through Vermont’s Castleton State College, they have a treat in store for them. Their studies abroad include exotic places like Kolkata, Darjeeling and Sikkim.
However, it is in Kolkata where his group always has its most rewarding experience. Jim calls Compassion in Action an opportunity for his students to meet, enjoy and work with India’s neediest people — the children.
Carrying educational materials, lessons, art supplies and toiletries, Jim’s students make a big hit with the kids. And because the feedback from this volunteer experience is ever so positive, Jim returns each year with yet another new class that can count on Kolkata’s ETC kids being the highlight of their trip.
— Rosalie Giffoniello, Co-Founder
From its humble beginning forty nine years ago, Tibetan Children’s Village has today become a thriving, integrated educational community for destitute Tibetan children in exile. It has established branches in India extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in South, with over 16,726 children under its care.
Forty nine 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.
Kopan Monastery had its beginnings in the Solu-khumbu region of the Himalayan mountains. In 1971 Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the reincarnation of the Lawudo Lama, a yogi of the tiny hamlet of Lawudo, fulfilled the promise of the previous Lawudo Lama to start a monastic school for the local children. The school was called Mount Everest Center. Twenty five monks moved down from the mountain to Kopan in 1971 — prompted by the harsh climate at an altitude of 13,000 feet, which made study barely possible in winter.
Today Kopan is a thriving monastery of 360 monks, mainly from Nepal and Tibet, and a spiritual oasis for hundreds of visitors yearly from around the world. Nearby is Khachoe Ghakyil Ling Nunnery, home to 380 nuns.