COVID-19: WHY I SHAVED MY HEAD?

Tibetan Buddhists shave their heads when they enter their monasteries or nunneries to ordain. In some other cultures, people shave heads too – for instance, to mourn when close family members die. In my own case, an initiative to help charities replace income lost due to the coronavirus pandemic – The 2.6 Challenge – has led me to fundraise for Tibet Foundation by shaving my head for the first time ever!

A personal mission to raise vital funds to help the elderly Tibetan refugees.

(Tsering Passang, former Chairman and a current adviser to the Council of Tibetan Community in Britain, is the Director of Tibet Foundation.)

Tibetan Buddhists shave their heads when they enter their monasteries or nunneries to ordain. In some other cultures, people shave heads too – for instance, to mourn when close family members die. In my own case, an initiative to help charities replace income lost due to the coronavirus pandemic – The 2.6 Challenge – has led me to fundraise for Tibet Foundation by shaving my head for the first time ever!

As you know, COVID-19, which originated from Wuhan (China), has caused extreme disruption worldwide and has resulted in many thousands of people losing their lives. They include a small number of fellow Tibetans, including my good friend, Jamchoe-la, a respected member of the Tibetan community in the UK and a generous supporter of many good causes.

Our scientists and medical experts tell us that the virus, which primarily affects the elderly, is likely to remain with us for some time. Against this background, we remember our Tibetan refugee elders in India and Nepal. Already hugely vulnerable through old age and for economic and social reasons, they now find themselves increasingly imperilled by this killer disease. They need our practical support now more than ever before.

Tibet Foundation’s “Give Elders Dignity” campaign is providing essential aid for this section of the exile community, with a particular focus on care standards and safety in the old people’s homes we support. I am shaving my head for The 2.6 Challenge to raise funds for these elders and show solidarity with all who have lost loved ones in the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the small act of shaving my head for The 2.6 Challenge inspires you and others, I urge you consider sponsoring me, or making a donation to Tibet Foundation, through Virgin Money Giving This is also a genuine practice of compassion ahead of the Saka Dawa festival when we all engage in doing good deeds. 100% of your donation will go directly to the “Give Elders Dignity” appeal. An advantage of donating through Virgin Money Giving within the next 7 days is that we can receive additional funds from the central 2.6 Challenge pot administered by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

So, will you please consider making a donation today to make a real difference and help the vulnerable elderly Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal?

I’d like to thank all those who have already made a donation to the “Give Elders Dignity” appeal. Your support means a lot to me personally because, like you, I care about our elders who need our help during the twilight years of their lives.

Please donate today and share this message with your friends and network.

Please click here to make your donation: Virging Money Giving

Author: Tsering Passang (Tsamtruk)

Tsering Passang is passionate about Tibet and the Tibetan issue. He was born in a Tibetan refugee camp in western Nepal. An NGO professional with nearly 20 years of experience in international development charities, Tsering has led Tibetan Community UK from 2014 to 2016 as its Chairman. Amongst his pioneering initiatives as the Community Leader, Tsering spearheaded "Tibetans Helping Tibetans" initiative and within months, it resulted in securing the sponsorship of 30 Tibetan refugee children for their education in India from 25 UK-based Tibetan families. Prior to his current appointment as the Director of Tibet Foundation, Tsering served as Special Adviser to the Tibet Society, the world's oldest Tibet support group. He also worked for Tibet Relief Fund for over eight years, raising vital funds for Tibetan children’s education in India and Nepal. From 2001 to 2007, he worked for Tibet Foundation as Art & Culture Programme Manager. Tsering has conducted multiple field trips to India and Nepal over the past two decades. After returning from his 2008 personal trip to Mustang, Tsering saw a need to provide training to those Tibetan teachers working in rural areas. Within a year, with the support of western teaching professionals, Tsering initiated the vital training programme for the teachers. Over 50 Tibetan refugees and ethnic Tibetan teachers from Mustang, Manang, Dhorpatan, Pokhara and Kathmandu attended the trainings delivered in Mustang, Kathmandu and Pokhara. He developed partnerships with the local NGOs and schools in Nepal. From 2014 to 2016, Tsering served on the boards of Tibet Society and Tibet House Trust. He also served as the Chairman and a Trustee of the Tibetan Refugee Charitable Trust. Tsering continues his advocacy work on Tibet. He has attended and engaged with parliamentarians, special advisers and officials from the UK, UN, the US and EU. Tsering has also spoken at important public and closed forums – audience included governments representatives, policymakers, rights advocates, lawyers, journalists, NGO professionals, university students and researchers. In addition to his writings on the Tibetan affairs, published in the British, Nepalese and Tibetan media, Tsering was interviewed by the BBC, Sky News and Reuters. He is also frequently interviewed by the Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and Voice of Tibet. Tsering has conducted special interviews with leading Tibetan political figures - President of the Tibetan Government-in-exile (Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamsala) and His Holiness the Dalai Lama's former Special Envoy (Washington-based) and former Representative (London-based) for a Tibetan YouTube channel – LondonNey Production. Tsering’s personal blog: www.tsamtruk.com Tsering's latest initiative is the creation of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM) - an advocacy group with the object of highlighting the issues affecting the Tibetans, Uyghur Muslims as well as other peoples persecuted by the Chinese regime.

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