Tong-Len Charitable Trust - Compassion in Action: charity based in dharamsala supporting displaced communities in Himachal Pradesh, India. Compassion in Action

Hewlett-Packard Donates Computers to the Hostel - December 2011

Inauguration of the Tong-Len Centre by His Holiness The Dalai Lama - 19 November 2011

Memorial to Michael Blakey - 18 November 2011

Hostel for the younger children is completed - 17 November 2011

Holiness The Dalai Lama to inaugurate the new hostel buildings in November

Tragedy in Charan - September 2011

Purchase of school bus - August 2011

New hostel building is completed - July 2011

Small children from the nursery tent visit Nobulingkha for picnic - June 2011

Tent school children picnic at Tapovan temple - May 2011

World Health Day in Charan - 7 April 2011

Message from the Directors of Tong-Len - April 2011

Hostel children continue to succeed - April 2011

Improved sanitation in Charan - April 2011

Solar lighting comes to Charan - March 2011

Design for Second Hostel Building - February 2011

The Dalai Lama Trust to fund an additional hostel - January 2011

Hostel Children visit temples in the Dharamsala region and write up their experience - January 2011


Hewlett-Packard Donates Computers to the Hostel - December 2011

Hewlett-Packard donates computers to the hostel

The multinational electronics company, Hewlett- Packard, has generously donated ten desktop and two laptop computers for use by the hostel children, thanks to the efforts of Cristina, a previous employee of the company and a long-time supporter of Tong-Len, bringing the total available to 14. The computers arrived shortly after the inauguration and have now been successfully installed in the dedicated computer room in the new hostel for the older children. The children are excited about the opportunities that the computers provide them with as a resource for learning and leisure as well as for communicating with their sponsors. The children who study IT as a special subject are particularly fortunate.



Inauguration of the Tong-Len Centre by His Holiness The Dalai Lama - 19 November 2011

Inauguration of the new hostels by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

On the 19th November His Holiness the Dalai Lama honoured Tong-Len by inaugurating the hostel buildings. His Holiness expressed deep concern over the increasing gap between rich and poor in Indian society. He said that every human being, whether rich or poor, has the desire and the right to lead a dignified and happy life. 'All human beings are the same in the context of their birth and death. The difference between them on the basis of nationality, religion and cast is a secondary issue'. He said that both rich and poor should understand their responsibilities to lessen the disimilarity within society. Rich people should offer better facilities of education and health for the poor, and people living in the slums should appreciate that the wealth of the rich has not come from the sky but has been earned by hard work and that this should be a motivating factor for them. In his speech, the chief Indian guest, Mr Shanta Kumar, Member of the Indian Parliament and former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, acknowledged the important work being carried out by Tong-Len and offered a donation of 10 Lakh rupees from his member of parliament fund. Jamyang, founder and Director of Tong-Len Charitable Trust gave an overview of Tong-Len's work and talked about his vision for the future. Anna Owen, the Director of Tong-Len UK, the partner charity responsible for funding the construction of the larger hostel for 64 school-age children and for co-ordinating the child sponsorship programme, gave the vote of thanks. As well as thanking His Holiness and Mr Shanta Kumar for their presence and kind words, Anna thanked the Dalai Lama Trust for funding the hostel for the younger chidren. She expressed her enormous appreciation to the many supporters from around the world who have so generously contributed to Tong-Len's work.


Memorial to Michael Blakey - 18 November 2011

Memorial to Michael Blakey

On the 18th November, a memorial to Michael Blakey was held in the new hostel. This was attended by Paul Blakey, Michael's father, and his friend Tony Bate, the Tong-Len family, including all the hostel children, Tong-Len UK trustees, Mary Hayman, a member of Michael's church in Swansea and the creator of the memorial window, previous volunteers, and representatives from the Charan communities. Paul, Jamyang, Anna, Mary, Pinki, Rinku. Nisha, and Kasmiri Lal, Pinki's father and the leader of the Charan settlements, all gave moving tributes to Michael's life and work. Anna read a message from Michael's mother and other family who were unable to be present at this time. Mary brought messages from the church and Michael's friends in Swansea. This was a most moving occasion with many of those who loved Michael in tears as they recalled their memories of this wonderful young man and his enormous contribution to Tong-Len.

Paul brought some of Michael's ashes which will be laid to rest in the especially constructed memorial stupa by Mary, Michael;s mother when she visits with other family members early next year.

The dedication ceremony concluded with Paul unveling the large memorial plaque in the main entrance to the hostel opposite the memorial window. The words on the plaque chosen by Michael's family and Jamyang were read out by Paul.

In memory of Michael Blakey
27.2.83 - 26.11.06
May all our children grow in wisdom through knowledge
May their love for learning and compassion for others deepen with their years
May they strive to share their learning and serve to build a harmonious community

Hostel for the younger children is completed - 17 November 2011

small hostel

The hostel building for 26 of the younger children (primarily between the ages of 3 and 6) funded by the Dalai Lama Trust is now ready for occupation. Ten small children from Charan have already been selected and will move into the building prior to its inauguration by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 19th November. Once they have settled in they can be joined by a further 16 youngsters. The children will live in a family group with our housemother and assistant care staff.

Ten school-age children will join the 40 others in the larger hostel at the same time. Once sponsors have been found to cover their school and accommodation costs, this hostel will be able to welcome more children from the slum settlements of Charan who are anxiously waiting their chances of attending full-time education.




His Holiness The Dalai Lama to inaugurate the new hostel buildings in November

His Holiness the Dalai Lama to open the new hostel buildings in November

His Holiness The Dalai Lama has graciously consented to inaugurate the two new hostel buildings in November. The larger hostel building is now home to the 40 children already in the sponsorship programme. They are being joined by another 10 children in the next few weeks for whom we need sponsors for their education and living costs. Tong-Len would like to extend this number further but this is dependent upon finding more sponsors. The smaller hostel building, which is almost ready for occupation, will be able to accommodate about 25 pre-school children from the slum camps. It is hoped that the first ten of these will be in residence by the time of the inauguration. As mentioned in the February news item, Tong-Len is indebted to the Dalai Lama trust for the construction and first year running costs of the pre-school hostel. Both hostels have been constructed on the land purchased through the Michael Blakey Memorial Fund.





Tragedy in Charan  - September 2011

Tragedy in Charan

Monsoon rain and winds brought down the 11,000 volt power cable that supplies the government hospital. The cable fell in to a pool of water within Charan where a group of children were playing. One little boy, Gopi, the 10-year old brother of Vijay in the hostel, was killed instantly and a number of other children received burns. His mother went to his aid and was also received a shock but she fortunately has survived.


Purchase of school bus  - August 2011

School bus purchased

Thanks to the generosity of one of our French supporters a school bus has been purchased. This will be used to transport the children from the hostel to their school and will enable the children to have outings and field trips.


New hostel building is completed  - July 2011

New hostel building is completed

The new hostel building, built on the land purchased through the Michael Blakey Memorial Fund, which will be home to 64 children whilst attending school was completed on schedule in July. The photograph shows the children already in the sponsorship programme in front of the splendid new building at Sarah, near Dharamsala, which was designed by Ceridwen Owen and Ryan Strating of Core Collective, Tasmania, who gave their time and expertise freely. The children are enjoying the space and freedom of their new home. More children will be joining them as soon as possible. We urgently need sponsors to cover the educational and living costs of the new children. Contact mail for further information.

  New hostel building showing the Himalayan setting

Small children from the nursery tent visit Nobulingkha for picnic  - June 2011

small children from the nursery tent visit Nobulingkha for picnic

20 children from the nursery tent were taken on a special picnic to Nobulingkha Centre for Tibetan Arts. They had a wonderful day with games, play and songs.


Tent school children picnic at Tapovan temple  - May 2011

Tent school children picnic at Tapovan temple

30 of the afternoon tent school children had a picnic at Tapovan temple with teaches Shankar and Meena. All the children really enjoyed their day.


World Health Day in Charan  - 7 April 2011

Tent school children picnic at Tapovan temple

To celebrate World Health Day, Tong-Len organised a special medical clinic in Charan Khad. Government doctors were in attendance and the Government provided free medicines for this event.


Message from the Directors of Tong-Len  - April 2011

Tong-Len logo

Tong-Len Newsletter April 2011

Thank you for your interest in and support of the work of Tong-Len, and a special thank you to everyone who helped with our big fund raising push to enable us to take the new hostel building to 3 floors. The hostel is on target for completion June/July, at which time the children from both rented hostels will move into their new purpose-built home.  We hope they will soon be joined by a new intake of 24 children. These children will require sponsors to cover their school expenses, their out-of school personal needs, and their living costs within the hostel. The total annual cost of keeping a child at school including hostel accommodation is around £700 at the present rate of exchange but partial sponsorship can be as little as the price of a cup of coffee per week (£10 monthly). There is more information about how sponsorship works on the website.  If you would like to help in this way, or want more information, please contact .

We are very grateful to the Dalai Lama Trust for providing the funds to build a second smaller hostel on the Tong-Len land. This will provide accommodation for up to 25 of the younger children in the slum camp who need residential care. For some time we have been running a crèche in the office, staffed by ladies from the camp and overseen by our medical team, for the most undernourished of the pre-schoolers whose chances of survival were precarious. The 2nd hostel will allow this work to be extended to include night time care and the resident children will also be able to attend a local school. Construction work has begun, and we hope the building will be complete by the end of October.

Developments within the slum settlements at Charan during the last 6 months include solar lighting and the provision of more toilets. The tent schools have continued to be well attended, with an average of 75 children coming to the morning sessions and 45 to the afternoon sessions. The provision of a new blackboard and the newly painted desks has given the tent schools a brighter look.  The mobile health clinic has continued to provide a regular service to 6 slum camps. In addition to the regular general clinics, under 5s clinics and immunisation clinics, the medical team organised a specialist eye clinic and held family planning sessions.

With all good wishes and Tashi Delek

Anna and Jamyang



Hostel children continue to succeed  - April 2011

hostel children have great success in April 2011 examinations

All the 40 hostel children continue to have fantastic results as reflected in the recent examinations. Around 27 children received percentages above 90%. All children achieved above 60 %. Many of the children were top or near the top of their respective classes. Some of the children will be receiving scholarships through the school as a result of their examination performance.


Improved sanitation in Charan  - April 2011

5 additional toilets installed in Charan

Sanitation in Charan has been greatly improved through the introduction of an additional five toilets.


Solar lighting comes to Charan  - March 2011

solar lighting comes to Charan

Eight large solar lights, kindly donated by the White Tara organisation and Barefoot College (Rajasthan), were erected in Charan. These have been erected in the tent school and to illuminate the main passageways of the slum camp. The lights are of enormous benefit to all the residents as they facilitate safety of movement in the hours of darkness as well as allowing the Tong-Len tents to be used for evening activities.

The White Tara organisation is a small local charity led by a Taiwanese monk that teaches Tibetan art and culture to young people and raises funds to help those living in poverty.

Barefoot College is a non-government organisation that has been providing basic services and solutions to problems in Indian rural communities, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable.



Design for Second Hostel Building  - February 2011

design for second hostel building

The picture shows the architect's design for the second hostel to be built on the land purchased from the Michael Blakey Memorial Fund. As mentioned previously, this building will be funded by The Dalai Lama Trust as well as the first year's running costs and will house on the first two floors 26 of the younger children from the slum camps. The top floor will be used as an office/administrative space for the charity. It is anticipated that this second hostel will be ready for occupation by October this year.




The Dalai Lama Trust to fund an additional hostel  - January 2011

Dalai Lhama Trust supports construction of new hostel

As the hostel programme has proved to be such a remarkable and valuable step in changing the lives of the children and their families in the slum camp at Charan Khad, Tong-len decided to submit a proposal to the Dalai Lama Trust for funding towards the construction of a small second hostel to house another 26 of the younger children. Tong-len is grateful that approval has been given and it is hoped that construction work on this will commence shortly. The Dalai Lama Trust has also agreed to cover the running costs of this second hostel for the first year of operation.




Hostel Children visit temples in the Dharamsala region and write up their experience - January 2010

hostel children visit Dharamsala temples Jan 2011

Hostel children learned about Dharamshala and its important temples during the Christmas Holiday. The children were divided into four groups with each group visiting a different temple. After their trip the children wrote up their experiences in a report. To read their report click here.