Ama Jetsun Pema la, respectfully and affectionately called ‘Amala’ by thousands of orphans, semi-orphans and underprivileged children like myself who had their physical and emotional needs met and fulfilled during those critical times in our refugee history, is no less than a figure to be worshipped, not least by me and my family. I have personally been an undeniable ward of TCV right from my early childhood until I started working back in TCV as a full-fledged staff member.
My brother who worked at the time and still works in TCV got me admitted into the school back in the early eighties because of [my poor family background/our struggling family situation]. This was a great relief for my caring parents who had three more children to look after. I was able to complete my entire education without having to pay for anything. I am a successful teacher and a father now.
Today, when I look back at my life, Amala and TCV have played a very significant role. When I got married, I knew that my life partner had also been brought up and supported by Amala and TCV until she was able to stand on her own feet. Now, our three children are receiving the same love and care from TCV.
Just like us, there are thousands of people all across the globe who were once affected, strengthened and educated by TCV. Behind this iconic institution stood our great Amala, assisted by so many devoted and committed staff members. And today, on this auspicious occasion of TCV’s 60th Anniversary, from many continents, thousands of alumni are sending messages of support and paying tribute to TCV and Amala in their own ways. Our beloved Amala occupies a very special place in everyone’s heart.
Tibetan Children’s Village School (TCV) began in 1960 with a small group of young children looked after by a few dedicated staff members under the kind blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his two sisters, and today it still fulfills the parental and educational needs of thousands of young children. To date, more than fifty thousand children have been educated by TCV, and today these children are contributing back to the society as a whole, and our Tibetan society, in a wide range of ways, according to their own capacity.
Today, TCV is celebrating this incredible 60th anniversary and it is a very proud moment for all members of TCV, and especially Ama Jetsun Pema la, and grateful acknowledgment for her unwavering support and leadership. For the welfare of the Tibetan children, early in the difficult and tumultuous days of exile, she took on the huge responsibility of carrying forward the noble legacy of her elder sister, the late Tsering Dolma la. Had it not been for Amala’s sound vision, common sense and strong leadership, together with the treasured help from sponsors and dedicated staff members, TCV would not have survived all these times and challenges, and would not be standing as gracefully as it is now, 60 years later.
Because of her selfless sacrifices and unwavering dedication to the education of our most vulnerable children, and to the welfare of the struggling people in our community in general, she has been consequently been showered with myriads of well-deserved awards from various countries and organizations. Among the many, two are the ‘Mother of Tibet’ award from our own Tibetan Parliament in Exile in 1995, and the ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India in 2018.
Last but not the least, I feel privileged here to express in these words the extensive love and gratitude we all feel towards our one and only Amala, TCV staff members, sponsors and well-wishers on this special occasion of the 60th anniversary of this great family.
Long-life to all and long live this treasured, beloved family.