I was born and raised in a small village in rural Tibet. My parents are farmers and I grew up collecting yak dung, herding livestock and helping my mother to weed our farm. I also rode horses and everyday, I would play with the other village children on the grassland and chase butterflies. I have to say that I had a great childhood, full of joy and affection from my family and the people around me. In my community, people know each other very well and when anyone needs help, everyone does their best to take care of each other.
At the same time, as with every girl in my community, I also have a story to tell that is not so agreeable. My mother told me many times that when she was pregnant with me, she prayed that she would give birth to a boy. So, as a baby girl, my arrival into this world was not so joyful for the family for I was their fourth daughter.
From a young age, I grew up watching my mother, my sisters and my aunts become accomplished housewives whose entire lives are devoted to performing household chores and serving their families. Girls in my community tend to believe that they are born inferior to boys. They are usually content to do housework and get married as their mothers have done. They rarely attend school.
These deep-rooted social stigmas combined with poor economic conditions are the primary barriers against women’s access to education in rural Tibet and in many places around the world. Even though my parents were not educated themselves, they believed that sending me to school would set me on a different path and they always reminded me of the importance of my education and its purpose. My parents instilled certain values in me: to show respect; to be caring and no matter what we do, to do it with the kindest intentions. There is a saying in Tibet, "It’s better to sing a song with a good heart than to say a prayer with a bad intention."
So, at an early age, I decided on the purpose of my education -- I wanted to help others. Maybe it is my parents’ influence; maybe the fact that observing my community caring for and helping each other has truly inspired me and maybe we are all naturally born to be kind and to help others if we can -- whatever the case, helping others has always been a part of my vision and motivation in life.
I have never stopped working to educate myself. I am now the first person from my community to graduate from university and I am currently earning my Masters Degree in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management.
I have boldly dared to challenge the social limitations of my community, calling upon my tenacity to navigate educational systems and believing in the power of my own choice.
Most importantly, I realised that I wanted to use all my knowledge and experiences to inspire and empower the women and girls in my community and across rural Tibet. I want to help them go further and to take advantage of all the available opportunities as I did. I want all women and girls to dare to use the creative power of their minds.
Rewardingly, I have managed to lead some development projects that benefit the families in my community. Examples include the provision of solar panels and solar torches for supplying electricity and the introduction of a literacy programme for local primary schools. One of the key tools I have used to forge my path is digital technology, for example, sharing my own stories on blogs and connecting with people all over the world through social media.
In May 2016, thanks to my dear friend Janice, I connected with Labdoo. What Labdoo does is incredibly inspiring. I learned that Labdoo has delivered thousands of laptops to numerous countries in the developing world thereby providing valuable support to their schools. This organisation enables those students to participate in 21st century technology, not only by enriching their studies but also in becoming a part of the digital revolution. I decided that it was imperative for me to collaborate with Labdoo and bring laptops to Gyalten Primary School which I myself, attended in rural Tibet.
When I was at Gyalten Primary School 20 years ago, we were not yet aware of the existence of laptops or computers. Surprisingly, even today, the students there have no access to computers nor any knowledge of the importance of technology in education. So I was convinced that it would be the greatest opportunity for me to approach Labdoo for some laptops. I started creating my first EdooVillage by uploading some photographs and an introduction to Gyalten Primary School.
On a scorching June afternoon at Central Park in downtown Manhattan, I had the pleasure of meeting six wonderful Labdoo volunteers from Spain and Japan. Hearing each of their stories, how they came together and how each of them is making a sizeable difference in the world, I was deeply touched. As every one of them so patiently listened to my story and generously shared his or her own, I knew right away that these were the kind of people with whom I would like to surround myself. Their positive energy, kindness and generosity were truly contagious.
So, we embarked on our first Labdoo collaboration with friendship at Central Park. From June to July this summer, I managed to deliver four laptops and one e-reader to Gyalten Primary School. Just seeing how much excitement, joy and curiosity was on the students’ faces was a humbling experience. I felt profoundly moved and an even stronger appreciation for what Labdoo does. Labdoo not only helps these children to augment their education through technology but in addition, Labdoo brings pure joy to these rural kids in my community and those all around the world.
I hope to continue doing simple yet powerful work together with everyone at Labdoo. Above all, I will remember the potency of Labdoo's mission to help people help others. I firmly believe that getting an education is a human right; moreover, every child deserves a quality education.
Date it was last updated: 02/01/18