In this issue of Minnesota Itosu-Kai we are proud to introduce Tashi, a young Tibetan refugee boy at the Tibetan Homes School in Mussoorie, India. We, meaning all of us at the Dojo, have accepted the responsibility of sponsoring Tashi, ensuring that he will have food, shelter, clothing and medical care. The Tibetan Homes School is located in Mussoorie, India, in the foothills of the
Himalayan Mountains.  Tibetan Homes School was founded in 1962 to provide both schooling and a home for Tibetan refugee children - for more information on why these children are refugees please see other articles in this newsletter. The escape from Tibet has cost the lives of many Tibetan men, women and children - the children at the school are the survivors, or the children of survivors. This is a continuing struggle - in 2000, 148 new refugee children made it to the Tibetan Homes School. There are now over 1900 children at the school and conditions are very crowded, but no child is ever turned away. Extra beds are added to the dorms, and the children share and care for each other. There is one "Home Mother" and one "Home Father" for each 40 to 45 children. Their sponsors are more than a source of support - they are a source of comfort and friendship. To each sponsored child, it means that someone (in this case all of us at the Dojo) is thinking of them and cares enough to help care for them. In
addition to our monthly support, we send letters and photos - this emotional bond is vital.

So, how does this work?
  • It costs $35 each month to support Tashi - and we are responsible to send this amount each month

  • There is a glass jar on the desk of the Dojo - if you have change in your pocket, drop it in - if you want to put in more, put in more! If you only have a penny or a nickel, put it in! If one person skipped a can of pop each day and put the money in this jar, we would have most of our contribution.

  • Each month we will send our contribution to the Tibetan Homes School - if there is more than $35 we will send it all

  • Each student should write a paragraph about them selves to introduce themselves to Tashi - who you are, what you do, about karate, etc. We will put these in a letter to introduce ourselves to Tashi, along with some photos. Most of the children do not read English but the staff reads the letters to them, and the children treasure photos of their sponsors!

Who is Tashi? Tashi was born in 1992, and enjoys sports, games, and reading comic books.  An American representative of
Tibetan Homes School who has met Tashi says that he is a very energetic and outgoing young man who is perfect to be sponsored by a karate group. He has a brother and sister who are also at the Tibetan Home School. His mother and father are still in Tibet. He was sent by his parents to escape Chinese oppression. He was part of a group of children who were led on foot by adult guides through the the mountains and rivers which form Tibet's border. Most of their travel was at night due to fear of the Chinese troops. The group often lacked adequate food and water, but they made the journey safely, and Tashi is now at Tibetan Homes School, where he has made friends and is enrolled in school for the first time.