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Aug 02
Mandala Projects, Netherlands
The Gesar Fund

Surmang Europe Foundation Becomes Gesar Fund

The “Gesar Fund” is a new name for the European foundation within the Shambhala Mandala that supports medical and educational projects in Tibetan areas. We recently broadened our activities beyond Surmang to Kham and Golok and extended them beyond just health care to include education.

We have offered our services to Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in choosing our projects in the area of health care and education in Kham and Golok. This is due to the connection of Sakyong Mipham and Khandro Tseyang with – and responsibility for – people in Kham and Golok.

In order to express our connection to the Shambhala mandala, we chose a new name for our foundation: Gesar Fund. This name reflects the Shambhala view of taking care of physical and social well being as part of creating enlightened society. We are pleased to announce two new projects for which we are fundraising.

“For many years, the Tibetan community in the Surmang area has been helped and supported by members of Shambhala and others living in Europe. This was done in collaboration with the Surmang Foundation based in China. These activities have now been grouped into the Gesar Fund, registered in the Netherlands. The Fund aspires to grow into a strong organization that can extend its activities beyond Surmang to include support for people in the regions of Kham and Golok. I very much welcome this development and I would like to encourage people of good heart to contribute generously to these projects that will be so meaningful to the Tibetans living there.”

– Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Education in Surmang

We are funding a small educational project in Surmang through the Konchok Foundation with the help of Khenpo Tsering. We currently offer a hundred young children an education that they otherwise would not be able to receive. We are planning to develop this project further by improving the material and physical conditions of the students at school.

Health Care in Kham

We also initiated an extensive health care project in Kham. Certain areas close to Yushu (Jekundo) are notorious for a high percentage of tuberculosis. It is mainly the monks in remote monasteries and the nomads who suffer from this, often without knowing. They infect others who occasionally go to the cities and spread the disease there. The people in the cities have the possibility of going to a clinic but for the nomads and monks there is no health care nearby.

Our project, carried out in cooperation with doctors of the Health Department of Chenduo County, consists of buying a vehicle with an X-ray machine and offer its use to the Health departments’ hospital that specializes in infectious diseases. Last month we joyfully and ceremoniously signed a contract (designed by our Sangha member and international lawyer Jason Newman and negotiated and translated into Chinese by Mr. Nyima Kunga, the son-in-law of Acharya Han de Wit) with this Department.

The key points of this contract are that four specialist doctors will go with this vehicle to all the remote townships in Chenduo County in order to test and treat the people for free. The Health Department will provide the doctors and medicines for free. The Gesar Fund will provide a small autobus with X-Ray machine and other means to test for tuberculosis. In that way the nomad population and the people in remote monasteries can be reached and freed from this disease. In addition, the doctors will provide education on how to prevent infecting others and about hygiene in general. The contract specifies that we will work together for a period of 5 years. We as well as our Tibetan doctors are very enthusiastic about the project and also about our working together in this way!

We very much hope the Shambhala sangha will also be inspired to support these two projects in these economically difficult times. For further information about the budgets for these two projects, please email our current president, Mr. Eric Elbers ([email protected]). Whoever feels inspired to contribute to our projects, please send your donation to:

The ING Bank
Account 4391534
Stichting Gesar Fund
Koppestokstraat 63
2014 AN Haarlem
The Netherlands

IBAN-code: NL31 PSTB 0004 3915 34
Swift/BIC-code: PSTBNL21

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3 responses to “ The Gesar Fund ”
  1. In the past year there have been many developments regarding the Surmang Monastery school. With help of local aid and money provided by the Gesar Fund the building has been completed and furnished. Local women provide the students with two meals per day, for which the Gesar Fund also provides the money.

    Surmang is located in a very poor area. People live in villages or are nomads. As public schools often are too far away, local childen hardly can have education. For the Surmang School there is a lot of enthousiasm. Originally we banked upon some 100 pupils. Currently we have 175 registered children!

    The school accepts all children without exception. Lessons mailny are provided by monks who hardly get paid for their work. Children are taught reading and writing in Tibetian, math and buddhism. If a english speaking sangha member passes, english lessons are provided as well. A schoolyear encompasses 10 months, 7 days a week of lessons.

    The meals are the most expensive: 1 dollar per child per day. Total costs or the meals are around 37.000 euro per year. The Gesar Fund decided to pay 10.000 euro for the coming schoolyear. That seems a lot but it is less than a third.

    So the Gesar Fund asks you to consider to donate a even a small amount: for only 7 euros you can garantuee a week of meals for a child!!!

  2. 2011: On behalf of the board of the Gesar Fund Nyima Kunga travelled this month to the Kham and Golok region in Tibet to verify if the Gesar Fund donations were well spend.

    Update 02-08-2011:

    During his last 2010 trip in Tibet Nyima Kunga visited Khanda, a small village nearby Yushu in the center of the 2010 earthquake disaster area. A majority of houses and public buildings were leverled to the ground.

    The Gesar Fund responded quickly with sending food and blankets to the village.

    Though rebuilding the houses has started the elementarty school building still not has been rebuilded. The government accordingly has plans to send the children to Yushu for education. However, this is not easy for the very young children.

    The Khanda population thus would like to see the school rebuilded.

    The Gesar fund would appreciate your donation very much, so that the school can be rebuilded and we can ensure that the population of Khanda has houses to live in before the winter season starts

  3. 2011: On behalf of the board of the Gesar Fund Nyima Kunga travelled this month to the Kham and Golok region in Tibet to verify if the Gesar Fund donations were well spend.

    Update 25-07-2011:
    In the Kham region everybody currently is working on the main neccessaty, building houses before the upcoming winter.

    This means the Gesar Fund healthcare projects are ‘on hold.’ However, the Fighting Poverty and the Education Projects are still running.

    The Poverty Project in Dönda

    At, 22 juli Nyima together with the local Gesar Fund organised a meeting with the locals in Dönda.

    Allready there was made an inventory of the families who need aid most.

    The Gesar Fund point of view was shared with the locals in the meeting: the Gesar Fund won’t just spend money on aid just like that. The locals should investigate how the can develop projects themselves which will improve their life standards. The Gesar Fund can support these projects with micro credits.

    The problem however is that the poorest often are in poor health or are fysically handicapped, often are illiterate and thus not have the skills to start a small business.

    Concluded is that for this category the best option is to start a ‘general store’ where all kinds of elementary supplies can be sold. The advantage is that supplies can be bought in bulk amount, and people won’t have to travel to cities anymore to buy their supplies. And it generates work of course.

    Update 18-07-2011
    As the april 2011 earthquake took place, the Gesar Fund was able to react very swiftly due to connection with the local people. Money was sent to buy tsampa and blankets.

    Due to the earthquake the Chines government sent all available docters to the the disaster area, which for the Gesar Fund had the consequence it had to postpone the Fighting TB project.

    As soon as we get a post from Myima, we will update this page!

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