The Charleston Tibetan Society is associated with and/or supports several projects throughout the world that strive to bring shelter, education, and relief to both the international Tibetan community and the "human" community at large. These projects endeavor to preserve Tibetan culture and contribute to the overall wellbeing of humanity.
A portion of your membership dollars goes directly to supporting these various charitable projects. In addition to membership fees, you can specify optional funds directly to the individual projects. For more details, please visit our membership page.
Current CTS projects include:
Radiant Mind Retreat Center
The original inspiration for a retreat center came from our resident teacher, Geshe Dakpa Topgyal. After years of sustained growth and stability at Charleston Tibetan Society, he saw that a facility was needed for our ongoing retreat schedule in order to provide a positive and peaceful place to pursue inner understanding and development.
In 2005, CTS purchased 28 acres of highly suitable land located in a quiet rural area of upper Dorchester County, about half-way between Charleston and Columbia, and close to both I-26 and I-95. The property is mostly wooded and includes a pond, an open field and a serenely beautiful Carolina bay, a geological feature unique to the southeastern US.
The traditional Tibetan entry gate, completed in 2008 and pictured above leads to an alley of live oak trees. The gate stands at the front of the property and welcomes all who pass through it to an experience of inner contemplation and learning in a peaceful and compassionate environment.
RMRC is intended to fulfill many diverse needs for members and friends of the Charleston Tibetan Society (Charleston) and the South Carolina Dharma Group (Columbia). It is a sanctuary for those who need time away from their busy and often stressful lives to focus on their own inner world. It provides a supportive environment for retreats, meetings and teachings focused on topics such as, but not limited to, peace, meditation, and the Dharma.
Charleston Tibetan Society is blessed with this wonderful facility for these pursuits. Individual improvement is a necessary precursor for personal happiness and for a more peaceful, compassionate and just world. With the world facing extraordinary problems, a facility such as the Radiant Mind Retreat Center offers a place to seek the wisdom and understanding needed to find answers.
Tibetan Refugee Camp Three's Nursery School Project
After dedicating the new temple at Drepung Loseling Monastery in January 2008, the Dalai Lama gave a speech to some 70,000 people gathered from all over the world, including 2 of our members. In this speech, the Dalai Lama strongly emphasized to the Tibetan community the need to do something for the benefit of Tibetan elders - those who left Tibet in the 1960's who are now old, weak, and fragile - and for the benefit of the young children within the community who need early childhood education in a healthy and loving environment.
The Mundgod Tibetan refugee settlement in South India was established between 1969 and 1970. The settlement of 15,000 Tibetans is divided into 9 camps. There is a Tibetan Middle/High School funded through the Indian government and the Tibetan Government in Exile that serves the older children in the nine camps, but currently only one camp provides some form of day care and early childhood education for the younger children.
Due to the lack of bathroom facilities, the children must go out into the fields where they get muddy during the monsoon season, and there have been encounters with snakes, scorpions, and other insects, even rabid animals. The camp leaders have made an effort to provide necessary facilities, but due to lack of funds, have been unable to accomplish this task.
There is a serious need for early childhood education within all of the 9 camps. This education would help provide the necessary foundation for their higher education.
The early childhood education facility that exists in Camp #3 lacks appropriate space for the children and does not have any bathroom facilities. Through our financial contributions, the Tibetan community will have the needed funds to build bathroom facilities and add on to the existing building in order to provide a healthy environment for the children. Our efforts can provide encouragement for the Tibetan community to work towards early childhood education in every camp.
We welcome any contributions to the Nursery School fund.