Thank you for your inspiration: A Letter from our new Executive Director
Greetings dear friends of Jhamtse! I’d like to take this joyful writing opportunity to do 3 things:
1. Introduce myself (or reintroduce myself) with a THANK YOU
2. Share a profound message of gratitude from Gen Lobsang Phuntsok, our Founder
3. Share some wonderful updates from the Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community
1. My Introduction: Thank YOU
Thank you for providing me with the opportunity of a lifetime that has been decades in the making. As of today (October 15, 2018), I leave behind a highly rewarding and successful 33-year career in technology sales and business development to fully align with ‘Jhamtse’. For the past 13-years, in parallel with my technology sales career, I’ve also had the privilege of serving as President of Jhamtse International in a part-time volunteer capacity. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of collaborating with a truly remarkable group of people in both settings.
Today, inspired by your ongoing generosity and support, I am taking the next step in my “Jhamtse” Journey. I am both honored and thrilled to be stepping into the fulltime role of Executive Director of Jhamtse International. I look forward to furthering our collaboration in support of our shared mission: supporting the Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community and spreading love and compassion around the globe. Thank you for providing this source of inspiration for me and for our mission.
I’m positively humbled to reflect on the empowerment your generosity has made possible for the children of Jhamtse Gatsal, who are inspiring the spread of love and compassion at the Community and around the globe. Your achievements go far beyond the dreams you’ve made come true for the children and staff of Jhamtse Gatsal. At the highest and most profound level, you have broken a cycle of generational poverty, and you have replaced it with a cycle of generational uplifting energized by love and compassion
2. Lobsang’s Message
Gen Lobsang Phuntsok, the founder of Jhamtse International and Jhamtse Gatsal, recently expressed a similar appreciation. At our Celebration Event this September, live in Massachusetts and simulcast around the world, we featured a live video interview with Gen Lobsang. During the live interview, Gen Lobsang was asked, “Where does your personal strength come from to do this work?” He responded:
“Your support, your inspiration, your love is my energy, it’s our energy. Love is contagious, and love is powerful. So many people around the world inspire us with their love. It’s you and people like you that provide the energy we need to do this work.”
So please always know that while people around the world are inspired by Jhamtse Gatsal, the entire Jhamtse Gatsal community is equally inspired by all of YOU. Your empowerment of this cycle of love and inspiration will have profound impacts for generations to come. During our conversation with Gen Lobsang on September 23rd he highlighted this impact:
“When you help these children, you are not just helping one child. We have to remember: we cannot underestimate the power of love and compassion. When you help one child, when you help Jamtse Gatsal, you are not just helping one child, you are changing all future generations of that child and you are breaking the generational cycle of poverty.
If you help one child, like a Tashi, you change future generations of Tashi, and someday Tashi will change her family, her children…it’s not just helping one Tashi. From now on, our children will become compassion warriors, agents of change, and they will carry on this mission of love and compassion going forward.”
3. Jhamtse Updates
You have made our mission possible, and you have helped us move our mission forward. For example, I’d like to update you on Jhamtse Gatsal’s first graduate, Maling, who has become an inspiring role model for these future “compassion warriors”. Maling is working on her Master's in Social Work. During her school break, she volunteered at the Kuntse Lhaksam Hostel in Dhudungar Village, Tawang, a short drive from Jhamtse Gatsal. 37 children from other villages live at the Hostel so they can go to school in Dhudungar. These young children suffer from extreme poverty and lack access to food and proper hygiene. Despite these challenges, Maling reports: "I am feeling really happy that I got this opportunity to work with these kids, even though their situation is quite depressing. I am realizing why I came to this world. I am feeling really happy from my life. I got the reason why I came to this village.”
This is just one story, one example of the generational uplifting you’ve made possible. While Maling carries ‘Jhamtse’ forward many more Jhamtse Gatsal children are also blossoming and working to become “compassion warriors”. This past summer, fourteen young adults representing Jhamtse Gatsal’s first graduating class (our 2018 “agents of change”) moved on to continue their educational journey at some of India’s best colleges and institutes of higher learning. This remarkable group of ‘Jhamtse’ change agents will help to rekindle the human spirit within the communities where they now reside. Many also plan to return to the villages around Jhamtse Gatsal to further advance this generational uplifting even closer to home. Because of your love and support, the Jhamtse mission has come to life as we nurture our children to continue to thrive and grow.
The growth we seek is two-fold, or as Lobsang explained in his recent interview, “We aspire to the combined fundamental elements of internal and external growth”:
Internal growth is core to the mission of Jhamtse Gatsal. This is where the seeds of compassion blossom, as reflected in the stories shared above. Beyond the Jhamtse Gatsal campus, Lobsang also envisions seeds of compassion blossoming in all of us. In Lobsang’s words, “Love and compassion have no boundaries. We can all sincerely cultivate love and compassion. We can all first build a garden of love and compassion within ourselves. We can then share that with our families, friends, neighbors and communities.” This is the essence of Jhamtse’s global mission.
External growth is what makes our internal growth possible, as we work to make the Community sustainable for generations to come. Through your continued generosity, we will be able to support both operational and infrastructure growth at Jhamtse Gatsal in alignment with our guiding principles of love and compassion.
Our shared ‘Jhamtse’ journey, which began with our 2006 opening of Jhamtse Gatsal, has already had a profound impact around the world. We offer our deepest gratitude for what you have empowered, and we hope that you will help us continue the global expansion of our two-fold (internal and external growth) mission. Together we can bring true happiness to the world. We are truly honored to be on this journey with you.
With deep admiration and appreciation,
PS – Please enjoy this interview with Gen Lobsang la from India. The interview was a part of our September Celebration of YOU! event in Acton, MA.