Chungba Community Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Adult Learning
Building on the success of the Chungba Primary and Middle Schools, Machik is now working to establish a community center for social entrepreneurship and adult learning in the heart of Chungba.
Since the beginning, Machik’s Chungba Project has been about building a community-centered approach to education and sustainability. With the goal of providing young adults with learning and skills development opportunities, Machik has seeded a center for community social enterprise.
An old granary renovated and dedicated in memory of Tashi Gyaltsen Tsementsang, one of the founders of the Ruth Walter Chungba Primary School, "Taja House" will fulfill the promise of providing an integrative community-centered approach to education and sustainable livelihoods in this rural Tibetan township.
Programs in literacy (Tibetan, Chinese, English), employable vocations, and business skills will be offered to local community members without formal education. For the newly educated generation, Taja House will incubate new social businesses, as Machik has already done in successfully reviving the production of hand-crafted traditional incense, seeding a thriving Tibetan-owned motorcycle repair shop, and investing in local restaurant training.
Crossing generations, education levels, curriculums and activities, Taja House will become a living memorial to Taja, and yet another Machik model program for social innovation in Tibet.
Taja House will be a living memorial to Tashi Gyaltsen Tsementsang who dedicated his years of his life to building and managing the Chungba primary and middle schools, and who was beloved by all the students of Chungba as "Aba Taja." Under his watch, the Ruth Walter Chungba Primary School became an overnight success story in its first year of operation.
A truck driver by trade, Taja himself never had the opportunity to go to school. But he was a passionate advocate of education as the key to a brighter Tibetan future, and he imparted that to the students of Chungba at every turn.
As volunteers to the Chungba schools learned from 2002 to 2007, Taja opened his home to all manner of visiting teachers - from Tibetan epic storytellers to foreign midwifery trainers to language teachers. And Taja himself would often take his seat, cross-legged, to join in whatever class was on offer, in the spirit of learning and exploring something new every day of one's life.