Chungba High School Fund
Making high school a reality for rural Tibetan students
With a population of about 50,000 Tibetans, Litang County still today has no high school. Once the Chungba Middle School was fully operating, Machik began to look ahead to creating a pathway to high school for the students who would graduate in 2008. Having just spent years securing permissions, raising funds, ensuring construction dates were met, and so on, it was another challenge to seek support for the next phase of the students’ educational journey. In June 2011, the first class of Chungba Middle School students successfully graduated from grade 9. While parents, students, teachers and the entire Machik would prefer high school students continue to live near their families, there were, and continue to be, no options locally. It became necessary to seek high school options elsewhere, and so, Machk launched the newly minted Chungba High School (CHS) campaign. After much searching and convincing, the Machik team and the local teachers were able to find spots in high schools in neighboring counties of Batang, Minyak, Dartsedo, Ngawa and even far away as Rebgong in Amdo.
Machik was successfully able to secure enough funding for their first year of high school beginning in September that year. The ongoing Machik Lindsay Dinner held annually in Lindsay ON, Canada, and organized and hosted by Machik Canada, became a key and vital support for the CHS. It is with their initial and going support that others also learned about this next step for the students. CHS makes secondary education possible for Tibetan youth from nomadic and farming communities in Chungba, Tibet. Supporting the next generation of Tibetans through these critical years of schooling is vital to expanding their future potential. As the first generation with a formal education, determined Tibetan youth deserve every opportunity to realize their future dreams and hopes. These students and their families continue to face unique challenges in seeking secondary education outside of their county. Students are faced with spending most of the year far away from their loved ones and increasing the financial hardship for their families with limited disposable incomes at home. Nonetheless, for as long as possible, Machik remained committed to supporting these dedicated young people to pursue a brighter future by supporting their access to school at a vital time in their schooling years. Today, the parents, teachers and students work together to ensure students from varying income levels continue to have access to a high school education. A culture of Tibetan-language based bilingual education has been embraced in this rural Tibetan community, a necessary foundation for a stronger future for this rural Tibetan community of farmers and pastoralists. Thanks to everyone who supported these motivated students.