Update on Seng Girls, Qinghai Province – August 2018

An update on New Day’s achievements and those of your donatons to the SGVTS home and the girls who are starting to graduate

by New Day members Jane and Dan Chavasse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can read Jane and Dan’s full update that includes details on the achievements of each of the New Day sponsored girls here: update for new day seng july 2018 latest

For the third year running Dockpo and the Dance Troupe will return to Hong Kong for a flash visit on October 10th. The ISF school in Pok Fu Lam have very kindly agreed to putting on a full Theatre performance with paid tickets in their new Auditorium. It’s a big theatre and we want it packed to the rafters so please mark your diaries!

Hello New Day members and friends, we thought you would be interested to see how the girls that so many of you met back in 2016 and again last year are progressing. We can also report on how some of the investments our community has made continue to positively impact the home up on the plateau. You will remember that Dan and I had the amazing opportunity to visit the home in 2014.We along with Chris and Liza keep regular contact with the local management team and Dockpo recently visited Hong Kong to update us on the latest developments for the girls and the local context. We thought you would like to see some of this detail. We really hope it shows you and anyone with whom you would like to share this, just how much your contributions via New Day have had a material difference to the lives of so many girls.

New Day has supported the Sengchemdrukmo Girls Vocational Training School (SGVTS) for Tibetan girls on the Tibetan Plateau since 2008.  SGVTS provides residential care and schooling in the local curriculum and English to 130 girls who have escaped orphanage or domestic bondage.  

New Day has provided significant capital for the school over the years. Some of the infrastructure we provided has been superseded due to the local government construction of a Museum on the grounds of the School. While this is frustrating our impact is everywhere .New dormitories paid for by New Day are now heated by us as well. The truck we funded is always quoted as “ the most important tool we have to provide for the children in our remote location”. It brings the vital fresh produce and winter stores as well as people transport. The girls now have a functioning shower/laundry block, co-funded but jolted into action by our hot water system and our advocacy for hygiene to improve health outcomes. Laundry can be done in the shower block instead of at a cold standpipe in the playground. Clothes now dry in a boiler room instead of outside where it would take over a week and may freeze! The staffroom is also in this block and this warm space has improved staff retention. The dormitories are heated at night and the portable radiators heat the classrooms by day. Health and study are both significantly improved by all reports.

With limited prospects on the plateau, SGVTS is constantly looking for ways to get the girls to bigger Chinese centers where they can continue their education and find viable job prospects. The home cannot support the girls beyond the age of 18 so it is vital they find a sustainable living after they leave.  There are around 27 SGVTS girls currently studying in international and high achieving local schools in various cities in China. As part of this thinking, Dockpo took advantage of a natural love of dance that the girls possess and started a Chinese Opera Troupe . This was the trigger for twelve girls to be admitted into a specialist performing arts school in the provincial capital of Xining in 2014.

In 2014 the Xining school awarded 12 places to the most promising girls. New Day provided the funding for the school fees and local accommodation for the girls. We also provided funds for a General Manager,Shawo ,to help with our communications and project manage some of the initiatives funded by us and provide some mentorship to the Xining based girls. However, the girls have now been able to take over these tasks and Shawo is transitioning out of his role. Dari Dorma and Yangjian Lhamo both benefitted from New Day sponsorship for some basic accounting skills. This combined with Yeshe Tsomo’s English skills and our sponsorship of additional English tutoring means that they have now achieved their goal of self management.

The original cohort of girls that New Day sponsored in Xining graduated this year. We had thought that they would move to employment in Dance or Tourism at this stage. However, having sat the Chinese Certificate for Senior School, their grades were so impressive that ten gained entry into University. Of the two who failed, one will retake her exams in a year’s time and is working locally part time to fund her year up to that point. Another has moved to Chengdu and is now a music teaching assistant. The University is in Xining and this higher qualification will give the girls access to better paid employment after three more years of study.

There are still seven girls sponsored by New Day at the Xining School and we are hopeful that five more will be given places by September if they pass the entrance exam taken back at the home. New Day will make a new Grant this year to support the seven existing places and up to twelve girls to go through this valuable journey. Separate funding will be sourced elsewhere to assist with the University places as New Day wants to focus on the proven track of the school and to open up more opportunities for more girls. We are working with Dockpo to help him plan. New Day also remains open to any specific needs back on the plateau. We will be looking at doing some separate one off fund raising events to support the University girls for those who may be interested.

Dockpo wanted to thank New Day members for their continued support and to emphasise that the Xining school opportunity for the girls has offered much more than academic advancement. It has dramatically affected his ability to get identity papers for his wards in SGVTS, it has taught the girls life skills they could not have attained up on the plateau and it has helped them see the outside world so they can make informed choices on their way forward

As Golog continues to grow as a tourism center there are good signs that the Museum in the grounds of SGVTS will open next year, the town will have its pavements back so that the café which the school owns will open and tours of the Region will increase due to the new airport. All of these developments should provide a solid employment base for the girls who want to stay and the higher educated ones who want to return as guides and translators.

If you want to know anymore about this lovely group or the possibility of visiting the School please contact Jane Chavasse at janenailor@gmail.com