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Interview with Geleck Palsang and Jetsun Pema on Amala

Aktualisiert: 11. Dez. 2022

Interview Conducted by Eda Elif Tibet, 20 September 2022.

Why did you make this film, what has been the aim? Since living in exile, Tibetans have faced tremendous challenges and one of the biggest and the most important at the onset has been around ensuring Tibetan children in exile not just receive education, but also be able to connect with other Tibetan children and being able to uphold our culture. With the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Jetsun Pema established the first Tibetan Children’s Village school. Since then, she worked tirelessly throughout her life in the field of education, establishing many more schools, vocational centers, and a college. Around 50,000 students, many of whom are orphans or destitute children have already graduated from her schools. I believe that through this film, I hope to not just document and share the exile story for our next generation but inspire many who are undergoing similar situation to build a better community and a society. What is Jetsun Pema’s wish and message to the world? Her life revolves around children and their education. She always emphasizes on the importance of giving children a holistic education, so that they live a purposeful life creating a positive impact on others. How important are the Tibetan Children’s Village Schools? what happened to the graduates today? Education plays a fundamental role in building any society or a nation. After coming into exile in 1959, His Holiness the Dalai Lama had given top priority to education and started establishing separate schools for Tibetan refugee children. Tibetan Children’s Village school is the biggest set of schools in exile and has played a critical role in not just providing modern education and making each of the students independent in life but has helped preserve ancient values and rich culture of Tibet.Many of the alumni today serve the Tibetan government in exile, while many others are teachers, doctors, engineers, nurses and serve the community in various capacities. Some have even gone on to start schools for destitute children as well as establishing nonprofits supporting various causes. What would you say about the transformative impact of compassion and education? Today’s education structure focuses on materialistic growth and the impact is clear in terms of problems we are dealing with across nations. There are examples of many leaders and individuals whose decisions have had a profound negative impact on humanity. The need for education together with compassion has never been more. Holistic education is teaching a child to not just grow up to be a financially independent adult but leveraging that same education for other’s benefit. Only then we can see a truly progressive society and world, where each individual cares for one another, and where leaders think beyond just accumulating power.

Director statement for the film: This film is not just Jetsun Pema’s story, but also the story of Tibet, the pain and hardship of occupation and exile, the care and love of our elders and the compassionate leadership and guidance of His Holiness. This is a story of more than fifty thousand children, mostly orphans and destitute, their struggles and successes which helps hold the spirit of Tibetans alive in homes away from home. This is also a very special film for me personally, as I spent my entire childhood in TCV witnessing the struggles and transformation. I witnessed their story, felt my story, and now had to share our collective stories. My goal is to document the story for our future generation so that they can get inspired.


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