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The Humanitarian Aid and Development Wing

54 Rokpa in Tibetan means help. The motto for Rokpa is ‘Helping where help is needed.”

In 2008 Rokpa International offered TRC a long term loan to purchase a piece of land, now known as the Training Centre as Akong Tulku Rinpoche wanted us to establish a residential practical skills training centre for disadvantaged youths with a focus on young women.

To date we have renovated some of the buildings on the land and built accommodation for the caretaker and his family and also the Tirisano crèche for the local children.

Skills training in basic woodwork, sewing and ‘permaculture’ vegetable gardening have been undertaken over the past few years. There have been 2 attempts at running basic literacy classes for the local community.

93 The current ongoing formal activity is supporting ‘Tirisano’ crèche which runs each morning. This is currently used by 14 children from 1 – 6 years old and is run by 2 local women.

Skills training and work is about to begin with a wing of the Dept of the Environment “working for water”, which fells invasive trees in watercourses. This will hopefully benefit 10 unemployed local youths. We are hoping to find uses for the felled trees.

All local staff employed are gaining skills in housework, catering, building and gardening.

We support ongoing HIV/AIDS education, testing and counselling. Many in the valley have been assisted to get relevant identity documents. 6 families have been assisted to get state land for housing. Second hand clothes are sold at very low cost to operate a community fund for assistance with sickness, death, orphans and some education needs.

We hope in the future to develop more formal skills training in:

  • Permaculture - organic vegetable growing/processing
  • Woodwork, building skills (with a focus on eco-building)
  • Housekeeping and catering

We need committed volunteers to help set up and secure funding for more long-term community programmes. Email trc@vodamail.co.za if you can be of assistance.