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Written by Dec 16, 2005 00:12
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Dickey Orphanage in Lhasa

The following is true experience of my friend, Sijia. I helped with translation. You may either contact her or me( or Dazhen for further information. There are many photos in the original doc but I don’t know how to upload them.

Bless is to give than take! Let’s make a better world!

Dickey Orphanage, Lhasa, Tibet
By: Sijia
17 October 2005

Dickey Orphanage, Lhasa, Tibet
Director: Dazhen
Mobile: 13989010358
Tel: 0891-6862710
Address: Xueyu (Snow Land) Xingfu (Happiness) Tea House(Opposite to Lhasa Middle School, Linkuo Road N, Lhasa (850000)

Located in the suburb of Lhasa, Dickey Orphanage is a private one run by Dazhen, a Tibet woman. She opened a teahouse with the money earned from selling tobacco. As there were many begging children to her teahouse, she wanted to open an orphanage. Originally a dozen children were adopted then many more came. At the moment, there are nearly 80 children in the orphanage. The income from the teahouse is far from enough to support the orphanage so the poor financial situation is improved by social support.

Redan, son of Dazhen, came back from India after completing education in India and teaches English in Dickey. Also, he helps his mother with routine administration. (In Dickey many children’s English is almost the same as their mandarin Chinese.)

In Tibet, it is nothing uncommon that young people speak English better than mandarin Chinese.

Living condition here is simple. A yard is made up of two rows of bungalows with bunks in it.

Dickey was comparatively good when there were only 30 to 40 children but with 70 to 80 children it becomes crowded. However, we can feel the passionate and sincere love from Mother Dazhen.

In cold winter Mother Dazhen will move to the orphanage and live with the young kids. The youngest one is only 2 years old.

It is a pity I did not meet Mother Dazhen for she went to hospital with a child, who had an operation.

She stayed in the hospital later when I went to the teahouse.

Ceremonious Farewell
Every child caressed your face with both hands so carefully and, looking into your eyes they said “Goodbye” so unwillingly.
My face was caressed by several dozens small hands…
My friends said, that moment could not be expressed by words. Shocked!

Dickey Orphanage is supported by the society. To be exact, it is supported by the society alone. Foreigners in Tibet donate from time to time;
Travel agencies will introduce caring Western tourists to Dickey;
A PLA hospital provides medical care to all the orphans, free of charge.
All the orphans are accepted by schools.

It is said that the government allows Dickey to buy land and concerned data are as follows:
Set up in 2002, there are 81 orphans in Dickey, ranging from 1.5 to 14 year old.  There are six dormitories.

On average, a monthly expense is 16,000 yuan with 200 yuan for each child, including:
1900 yuan/month for house rent, 800 yuan for water and electricity, salary for three workers is 900 yuan, 300 yuan each. And the teacher’s salary is 400 to 500 yuan.
Dickey is Happiness in Tibetan language.

Xingfu (Happiness) Teahouse is just opposite to Lhasa Middle School on Linkuo Road. Very easy to find. It is a simple but genuine Tibetan Teahouse.
Tea: 0.3yuan/cup
Tibetan noodle: 2yuan
Curry rice: 6 yuan

A daily income is 700 to 800 yuan with a profit of 200 to 300 yuan. The income is mainly used for the orphanage besides the basic expenditure of Dazhen’s family. And the financial gap is filled by social donation.

I also got some indirect knowledge of Dickey Orphanage. Among orphanages in Lhasa, Dickey is a successful but with much hardship. Dazhen enjoys a good reputation and her love for children is genuine!

Clothes are abundantly donated and are not a problem at the moment.
As to food, it much depends on finance. According to Dongdong, the food is not nutritious enough so we bought beef and other nurture worth several hundred yuan.
Later I realized we forgot candies! The kids’favorite!
Money is most needed in the orphanage as there is no fixed fund for routine expenditure.

Some good-intentioned people told me, Dickey? Dickey has enough money already—many people donate to them.

Generally, people like these seldom go to orphanage or are interested in commonweal. Their limited love cannot overweight their worry of being cheated or their friends being cheated. Actually there are many such people.
Dazhen and her family are pious Buddhists.

In Huoji’s post he mentioned that a poor Tibetan family donated hundred thousand yuan to some monastery.

Most Tibetans are Buddhists. They are kind and take money lightly.

It is said some people donate the money to orphanage or other charity organizations instead of the monasteries. The four orphanages in Lhasa which I know about are all non-governmental one. There is no orphanage run by the government in Lhasa.

Another orphanage in Duilong in the suburb of Lhasa was run by a Tibetan woman, too. She has worked there for ten years. Some children have grown up and study in inland colleges. They regard the orphanage as their home indeed!

Dickey Orphanage still has a long long way to go!

You may contact me if you want to help introduce Dickey. I have their introductory CD. They need more care and assistance. Even if you star t a post, it is helping them.
As we come here, I would like to give thanks to the friends online whose clothes collected are now worn by the kids. Thank you!

You may:
1. To visit the kids in Lhasa and spend some time playing with them.
2. To buy some snacks for them. Don’t forget candies!
3. If you have some free time, you may be their teacher and tell them about the world beyond Lhasa.And you may learn Egnlish with the kids if there are foreign volunteers. The kids are good at English!
4. If you drive all the way to Tibet, you may donate some clothes or toys or books.
5. Tell people about this orphanage and if possible, try to find some financial aids and donations!
Or you may adopt a kid at 200 yuan per month. (This is my suggestion. To be decided yet.)

For further information, please contact: Sijia QQ:545108121

Thank you!

 More Lhasa Travel Reviews
1. Take My Breath Away! MIMIPHOON from SG Aug 22, 2005 11:08
2. Visiting the Sera Monastery ELCABRON Feb 16, 2005 05:02
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