About Rogpa

[기사/contact] Free Care for Tibetan Babies

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2006.05.01 01:07

Free Care for Tibetan Babies
By Natalie Schleisman

Barefoot, I walked in onto padded floors.
Immediately I got down on my hands and knees and
stared in wonder around me.  At first it seemed
chaotic, there were toddlers everywhere, and it was
diaper-changing time. But as I slowly got my bearings
and started to play with these young souls I realized
there was method and structure to this place. Despite
the unpredictability of 25 toddlers running around the
open room, safety and organization were present. Rogpa
(Friends/Helpers) is the name of this newly founded
NGO. It is a free day care center for Tibetan single
parents or families in which both parents work. I was
impressed immediately by the number of staff members
and volunteers and by the pure joy that radiated from
each person in the room.

Rogpa Day Care Center started from the concern of a
couple, Korean Tenzin Pema and her Tibetan husband
Tenzin Jamyang.  In the winter of 2003 they were ㅤㅁㅕㅂot
satisfied with their life in Korea� and wanted to help
exiled Tibetans.  So they moved to McLeod Ganj and
opened a Korean restaurant. Not long after they
noticed a need for a place for young children to go
while their parents work. The workplace, especially
street stalls, is no place for a young child to be
while their parent is trying to make a living. The
idea was clear: to provide free day care to working
parents. But how would the young couple turn the idea
into reality?  The answer involved returning to Korea
in January 2005. There with Tenzin Pemaㅤㅁㅝㅌ knowledge of
how to organize a fundraiser she and her husband
walked 600 kilometers to raise awareness for the
Tibetan struggles. ㅤㅁㅔㅄhe annual Walk For Tibet brought
awareness to 6 million people�. The walk ended with a
Save Tibet Festival where the couple raised $3,000USD.
They were then able to rent the space needed to set up
a free day care center and create their NGO called
Rogpa.  They opened on September 1st 2005.

Currently Tenzin Pema has 3 full time staff members
and a few volunteers. The number of volunteers
fluctuates and the minimum time commitment for a
volunteer is 10 days.  There are two time slots
available for a volunteer, either from 9 to 12 in the
morning or from 1:30 to 5 in the evening.  The ideal
number of volunteers for 25 toddlers in the allotted
timeframe is 4. However, the Center can take as many
as 35-40 babies at one time, and the number of
volunteers would increase correspondingly. The babies
eat twice a day, at 11 and then again at 3 and have an
hour nap at 12 noon. There are a variety of structured
activities, including story-time and drawing, as well
as free play time. 

If you want to volunteer Rogpa is encouraging but
urges you to think about the time commitment. Rogpa
relies on volunteers to keep its aim of free day care
alive and cannot allow for false commitments. No
experience is necessary. If you would like to donate
money, clothing, or toys, Rogpa would be greatly
appreciative. However it is care not cash they are
after. Instead of receiving �1,000 rupees from one
person, they would rather receive 1 rupee from 1,000
people�. Their mission is that simple: to promote
widespread awareness and give with a pure heart. If
you would like to volunteer or donate please contact
rogpa2004@yahoo.com or call 09218947756. Rogpa is
located left off Jogiwara Road, past Dr. Yeshi
Dondenㅤㅁㅝㅌ clinic. Follow the path down, 2 sets of
stairs until you can go no further. Ask for the Baby
Care Center.

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Rogpa Charitable Trust.
C/o Nand Lal Mithanala Bhagsu Road, Mcleod ganj Dharamsala 176219 Distt. Kangra