Since opening in July of 2012 the Rogpa Children's Library has been creating various programs for children in Dharamsala. It is a place for local children to learn about culture, art, peace and the environment. Through interactive learning and special programs, children will be inspired to express their thought in this creative and supportive learning environment. We hope that this space will provide Tibetan children with a rich opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of their background and cultural identity.
- There are very few books written in the Tibetan language in the Dharamsala refugee village, moreover this small number of books are not interesting for children.
- Books are difficult to buy or borrow and are usually written in English or Hindi; in this current situation it is not easy for children to find their identity as a Tibetan. We want to provide a variety of interesting Tibetan books for the children.
- One of our most important projects at the Children’s Library is the publishing of Tibetan children’s books. We collaborate with local illustrators and writers to write an informative but interesting book for the Tibetan youth.
- We distribute the books throughout local schools in the area but also to smaller rural places so that others have a chance to read in their native language. We have hopes to publish 2 books per year.
- The library is a place where people can learn on their own, but also receive intellectual and spiritual guidance as well as furthering children’s knowledge of Tibetans cultural achievements, their experience and wisdom.
- This will ensure the next generations have the opportunities to enhance Tibetans current predicament. Tangible or intangible cultural assets of preceding generations can be delivered to the next generation through the library and as a result they can sustain their continuity between generations.
Rogpa Children Library will also support and nourish them to grow up healthy and to be the future of Tibet. Rogpa hopes Tibetan children can create opportunities on the basis of a profound understanding in their cultural identity and what makes it unique.
Information for Volunteers
The Children’s Library is in need of volunteers that have skills in various areas:
- During the winter break (around December to February) is when we have our winter program and this is when we need the most volunteers.
- We have numerous different activities during this time so skills in specific areas are much needed. Some areas that we may need help in include: art, computers, exercise, reading, and theatre.
- The Children’s Library is working on translating English books to Tibetan so that Tibetan children have the opportunity to read books in their native language. A person who has the skills to translate from English to Tibetan and vice versa would be greatly appreciated.
- For the book publishing project, we are in need of illustrators for the children’s books, but also a researcher so that we can properly write about traditional and cultural aspects of Tibetan life.
- Availability and times for volunteering at the Children’s Library may vary depending on the time of the year.
The library should be a place of creation, discovery, exploration and fun. With expertise in various areas from volunteers we are able to create an atmosphere that is new and exciting for the children to learn.
This year (2013) we collaborated with the Himalayan Butoh School of Dharamsala to design a modern Japanese dance program as a way to help our students increase their expressiveness, confidence and awareness of their bodies and minds through dance. We are thankful to Mr. Lee, teacher of the Himalayan Butoh School, and his students for their participation in this exciting new program. In a similar effort, Dust Gio, senior student of the Butoh School, designed a four week program, "Dance with Books" for children attending Rogpa's winter session. This program aimed to give children an expanded opportunity to explore their bodies and express their feelings through reading and movement. We look forward to collaborating further with our friends at the Himalayan Butoh School and with our other local organizations to expand our community network in order to continuously create cultural events and educational programs for our children and the rest of the Tibetan community.