"Education changes the lives of these children. It gives them the opportunity to be like other children in the modern world and to have a better life than their parents."
"I am Geshe Thupten Choeden, founder of Association Khetpa. In 1998 I went to South India from my village in the Himalayas to study at Sera Jey Buddhist Monastery and University. There I found a sponsor who helped me with food and clothing expenses. My parents didn´t have money to pay for these things. With time I found other sponsors to help bring children from my village to go to school in South India."
"Little by little, as I found sponsors, more and more children could come south to go to school. Today there are 51 Himalayan children and young people in our association"
"Khet is in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India. It is an isolated place far away from the world surrounded by wonderful mountains" says Gueshe Choeden. " There are four different and very beautiful seasons. The village is high up (2600 mts) and the air and the earth are clean and pure. In winter snow covers the landscape and during the monsoon it can rain for several days without stopping. In the high altitude rain forest many plants, wild flowers and edible fruits grow. The people in the village also cultivate vegetables and grain."
"Even today the great majority of the people in my village do not know how to read and write. Nonetheless, they are good and respectful people, Buddhists, with healthy customs and habits. "
"Although are surrounded by lush biodiversity, the land on the mountainside is rocky and difficult to cultivate. There is no mechanized farming. Planting, tending and harvesting crops are all done by hand. The villagers work every day, in the rain, snow or cold, from early in the morning til late at night. There are no cash crops. They only raise enough for themselves to eat and they eat the same food nearly every day. They have very little money to repair or replace tools or buy clothing. This is the situation in my village."
"In 2003 I came to Spain," continues Gueshe Choeden. "During my first 10 years here people gave me donations to cover the living expenses and school fees of the children and young people. But the project was growing and to continue I needed to reach out to a larger number of people. On 8 January 2013 Association Khetpa for Himalayan Children was inscribed in the National Registry of Associations in the Spanish Ministry of Interior (Registration Number 601610). In June 2015 the association was registered in India, in the state of Arunachal Pradesh as the Himalayan Lakhsam Cultural and Educational Charitable Society (Registration Number SR/ITS/536)."
Today we have 85 members, both individuals and companies, in Spain and Europe, whose monthly quotas cover the living expenses and school fees of our children and young people. All the administrative work of the association, except for part of the accounting, is done by volunteers who donate their time and talents to the project. Thanks to these volunteers, 90% of our income goes directly to the project in India.
In 2015 the Spanish Ministry of Interior declared Association Khetpa an "Asociación de Utilidad Pública"----"an association that works for the common good." In addition to recognizing the social and humanitarian value of our project, this designation allows our members and donors to deduct a portion of what they give from their income tax.