The Chenrezig Fund



In 1949, Chinese Communist troops invaded the sovereign nation of Tibet. For over 58 years, the Tibetan people have suffered under this brutal occupation. As a result of the oppressive Chinese policies and actions, over one-sixth of the Tibetan population has died and hundreds of thousands of Tibetans have been taken as political prisoners. Tibetans have been denied basic human rights and freedoms and a massive influx of Han Chinese into Tibet has made the Tibetans a second-class minority in their own land.





In 1959, the Dalai Lama and many thousands of Tibetan refugees fled for their lives across the Himalayas to India, Nepal, and Bhutan. To this day, the oppressive policies of the Chinese Communists continue unabated and Tibetans continue to flee their homeland. Over 120,000 Tibetan refugees now live in India and neighboring countries, mostly in the 54 settlements established in the last four decades. Tibetan heritage and cultural identity in the Tibetan motherland has been all but completely obliterated under the rule of the Chinese. It is a matter of urgent humanitarian concern that special provisions be made outside Tibet for the survival of the cultural identity of the Tibetan people. It may well be that the future of the Tibetan people and their rich cultural heritage will depend as much on the Tibetans-in-exile as on those still living in Tibet.





It is especially important that the Tibetan children now living in exile be given the educational and economic opportunities necessary to sustain their cultural identity and unique heritage in the modern world. This is the third generation of Tibetan children living in exile. They are the future of Tibet. It is equally important to provide for the elderly Tibetan refugees. These elders carry within them the living cultural heritage of the Tibetan people. It is essential that they have adequate support to enable them to convey this heritage to the younger generations.