Standing amidst the hustle and bustle of down town Dharamsala is a small cluster of buildings with a big purpose.
The compound is home to the headquarters of the Tibetan Children’s Village, an organisation that provides schooling to over 16,726 Tibetan child refugees across the globe.
It is a world way from the spacious streets of Mullumbimby, but last Saturday the distance became just a little shorter when 75 locals enjoyed a taste of Tibetan culture to raise funds for the exiled children.
Hosted by the WeMove dance studio, the event raised $1,770 for the children’s village.
It also raised awareness of the plight of those who have been forced to flee Tibet, through the screening of the award-winning documentary The Last Dalai Lama, which explores the life of the exiled Tibetan leader and his attempts free his country from Chinese rule.
‘The story behind the event is one of real community connection,’ WeMove’s co-founder Alona Rosenberg said.
‘When we heard about the idea it was a big “yes”.’
The studio was approached about the event by local woman Samaya Askill, whose husband Michael performs regularly alongside acclaimed Tibetan singer Tenzin Choegyal.
Mr Choegyal is a former student of the Tibetan Children’s Village and has been a strong advocate for the school, helping to raise funds and awareness through musical performances across the globe.
It was from this string of connections that the fundraiser was born.
It featured a taste of traditional Tibetan curry, a performance by Mr Choegyal and Michael Askill, followed by the screening of the film.
‘Michael and Tenzin have performed all around the world and have just come back from performing in Carnegie Hall in New York, so it was great for them to feel the support of our little community,’ Ms Rosenberg said.
‘We have a strong multicultural focus and interest at WeMove so it was great to be involved in supporting the Children’s Village.
‘It was a really heart filling event.’
For more information about the Tibetan Children’s Village or to donate visit https://tcv.org.in.