As a member of TCIA and the director of Pennies for Partnerships (PfP), it is with much enthusiasm I announce the development of PfP now as an active initiative within the Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas (TCIA), a nonprofit organization, located in Fayetteville. Over the years I have had the opportunity to be involved with members of this organization, be it professors from the University of Arkansas who gave me insight to the Tibetan plight or members of the community I have engaged with in different ways. As well, I attended the first of their meetings but was shortly relocated to New Orleans, so I am thrilled to back connected with TCIA and be working together on important initiatives to assist the Tibetan community and preserve Tibetan culture.
Just a little history for you:
Professor Sidney Burris and Ven Geshe Thupten Dorjee are two professors I was blessed to have during my BSW degree at University of Arkansas. The two of them are amazing professors and I took classes on Nonviolence, Tibetan Buddhist Culture, and was involved with the first TEXT: Tibetans in Exile Today project (an oral history project). My first trip to India was with the TEXT project led by Geshe Dorjee and Dr. Burris.
Many of you were a part of the initial Pennies for Partnerships project where you donated jars full of pennies, and aluminum cans for recycling in order to help generate funds for one of the very important initiatives of TCIA called Tutors for Tibetans (originally titled Tibetan Children’s Heritage Fund). The first ever PfP fund raiser generated the initial support to start a pilot program which has now been in effect since 2008 and serves children in the Tibetan settlement of Mundgod. It is a tutoring project that is now expanding to another location within the same area. It is the hope of Professor Burris and Geshe Dorjee that some day the tutoring program will be made available to all children in the settlements.
In addition, Professor Burris and Geshe Dorjee were instrumental in bringing the Dalai Lama to the University of Arkansas in May 2011. TCIA offered a great deal of support and involvement for this incredible event. It is with much appreciation and gratitude to have such an amazing group of people support the continued efforts of Pennies for Partnerships. Here is the website address where you can find out more about the TCIA.
Also I would like to explain how this opportunity works. With the official nonprofit status all donations can be made online and will be tax deductible. As the two of us are pushing forward to make this happen there will be development of links on each of our websites, for now though if you or anyone you know is interested in making a contribution to the Pennies for Partnerships project please just go to the donations link and make your donation but YOU MUST DESIGNATE IN THE COMMENT BOX the donation is for the “Pennies for Partnerships” (PfP) farmers project or use my name or the word “RICE”!
As the details are furthered I will post again in the future.
As of now I have been in contact with the Organic Farmers Research and Training Division and they have explained there have been many complications for the farmers this year and they are very grateful for the support to the organic farmers. A schedule is in place for October to make the largest supportive purchase yet for the organic rice which will be distributed to the local Indian Villages where hunger is an issue. Also development for an organic market in
the Tibetan settlement is being discussed and how PfP can assist with this economic development plan for the Tibetan Organic Farmers.
Please if you are interested in supporting the growth of the Pennies for Partnerships project in support of the organic farming initiative you can go directly to the TCIA donate page and make your contribution for PfP (please note in comment box). Also you can give to this initiative by sharing this information with others. An additional way you can show support is, if you know of any groups or organizations interested in a service project I am happy to provide details and information of how to get involved. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to TCIA for taking PfP under their philanthropic initiatives and thank you to you all for your years of continued support.