Washington: The Office of Tibet in collaboration with The Tibet Fund organised the 2022 Workshop on Secular Ethics and Youth Leadership at the Garrison Institute from August 11 to 14. The workshop could not be held for two years due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Over 80 students from 38 different universities and 15 high schools participated in the workshop despite the time constraints and short notice.
The workshop focussed on two main themes: secular ethics and youth engagement with the Tibetan cause. The workshop on secular ethics was facilitated by a two-member team: Emory University’s SEE Learning Program Coordinator Tsondue Samphel and Dr Tenzin Sonam. The workshop introduced the participants to the concepts of compassion and interdependence and the cultivation of inner well-being and resilience skills. The sessions were interspersed with activities including group projects and outdoor activities to provide more hands-on training for developing inner values and skills.
For the Tibetan youth’s engagement with the Tibetan cause, there were two invited speakers. Bhuchung K. Tsering, the interim president of the International Campaign for Tibet gave a presentation on how as Tibetan Americans the Tibet youth can engage more effectively and contribute to the Tibetan cause by taking a more active role in advocacy. Lobsang Nyandak, the president of The Tibet Fund, gave a presentation on the relevance and significance of the Dalai Lama Institution. The participants also engaged in group discussions and activities in both sessions to share their experiences and offer feedback.
Tsultrim Gyatso from the Office of Tibet spoke on Tibet Outreach in School/University and participants’ potential in reaching out to Chinese students in their schools. Representative Namgyal Choedup spoke on the topic of connecting CTA and Tibetan youngsters and exploring the ways in which Tibetan professionals could engage more effectively with the Tibetan cause.
Discussions were carried out during the sessions for future action plans. An evaluation session was also specifically designed to provide feedback from the participants to make future workshops more productive and engaging. Both the participants and parents put forth a unanimous request to have such annually at Garrison Institute.
-Report filed by OOT, Washington.