Siddhartha is a project run by our teachers in France. It began in the 1960's when Kyabje Kangyur Rinpoche, a great Tibetan master living in exile in Darjeeling, India, opened the doors of his monastery to orphans, the sick and the aged of the Tibetan refugee community in the Himalayan region.
After his decease in 1975, his children and members of the Association du Centre d’Etudes de Chanteloube (founded for the study and preservation of Tibetan culture and philosophy) created a special department, the purpose of which was to find funding to support individuals and groups in the Himalayan region who were living in hard or deprived conditions. Its chief aim has always been to provide shelter and education for the children of families in difficulty. This was how Siddhartha began.
Today more and more Tibetan parents are sending their children across the Himalayas to India, Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal, hoping that they might find the conditions in which to live according to their culture and traditions. For most of the population in these countries, life is hard. Families in difficulty usually turn to the monasteries in the hope that the monks can provide their children with decent living conditions and a good education in harmony with their ancient traditions.
Without our aid, the organisations created among the exiled Tibetan community that give shelter and care to children cannot hope to provide for all their needs, in the way of food, clothing and healthcare -all of which are in very short supply. For the monasteries especially, external help is the only way they can survive. In order to support them, we in Siddhartha collect funds to subsidise monasteries and schools sheltering children from India, Bhutan, Sikkim, and Nepal - as well as to give help to the sick, aged and families in need that are brought to our attention.
In order to subsidise its projects, Siddhartha has created a system of sponsorship and also is happy to receive occasional gifts. It is worth remembering that in the countries just mentioned, the necessities of life for a child can be provided for as little as 1.5 euros a day. The funds collected are sent to persons in charge of the institutions mentioned, who use the money directly to supply the needs of all the children taken together (food, clothing, bedding, medical care etc...). The children know where the sponsorship is coming from but we have found it preferable to avoid a system of one to one fostering. Sponsorship projects are allocated according to a scale of priorities dictated by actual need.
With your help, no matter how small, you can do something important to help improve the living conditions of our children, the sick and the aged, by providing the means for supplying food, clothing, healthcare and education. By regular sponsorship or by occasional gifts, you will be making a valued contribution to our work.
By sharing in Siddhartha’s work for children and families in need, you are helping to keep the cultural traditions of the Himalayan region alive -medicine, art and spiritual heritage.
Helping the Tibetan people means helping those who, following His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Nobel Peace Laureate, 1989), have chosen the path of non-violence.
In the UK we have the Kangyur Rinpoche Foundation which is a charity that provides funds for the Siddhartha project.