The Boards of the International Campaign for Tibet have decided to name the different Tibetan empowerment programs undertaken by our organization as the Lodi Gyari Tibetan Empowerment Program to honor his contribution and memory.
Mr. Gyari, the retired Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, senior official of the Central Tibetan Administration, and Executive Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, passed away on October 29, 2018 in San Francisco. Mr. Gyari had served as the Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Washington DC while simultaneously holding the position of the President of the International Campaign for Tibet. During his tenure, Mr. Gyari was able to make profound political, economic and social contributions to the Tibetan cause. Through building on the visits by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and undertaking effective follow up initiatives, Mr. Gyari was able to successfully institutionalize the Tibetan issue within the United States government.
He was an impassioned advocate for the Tibetan people and believed that they should be empowered to take the lead in the Tibetan movement. Accordingly, during his tenure, the different offices of the International Campaign for Tibet initiated several programs aimed at benefiting the Tibetan people. They include the Tibetan Youth Leadership Program; The Rowell Fund for Tibet; Tibet Lobby Day; Tibetan Parliamentarians Program in Europe; and humanitarian assistance to the Tibetans in exile.
These programs support the vision of the Dalai Lama in encouraging the Tibetan Diaspora towards democratization of their governance system and to make the Tibetan community self-reliant, empowered to make decisions affecting their life, now and in the future, and to safeguard their rights.
By dedicating these programs to the memory of Mr. Gyari, the International Campaign for Tibet is committing itself to continuing his work for the empowerment of the Tibetan people, in Tibet as well as in exile.
“Lodi Gyari has blazed the trail for Tibetans on the international scene, demonstrating a unique capacity to interact with leaders of democratic countries to embrace and support the vision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for a peaceful solution to the Tibetan crisis. While leading ICT for over two decades, Lodi Gyari has made the empowerment of Tibetan communities in exile an integral and strategic part of our work that continue to this day. We are therefore very proud to rename these program after him not only to honor this extraordinary legacy, but to keep it alive for the younger generations of Tibetans,” said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet.
The Lodi Gyari Tibetan Empowerment Programs consist of the following:
1. Tibetan Youth Leadership Program:
A week-long program in Washington, D.C. that provides a select group of engaged Tibetan American youngsters with a rich environment for understanding the American political process, exchanging information and ideas, and building a network of future leaders. Some participants of this program have subsequently been working in the United States Congress and Administration.
2. Tibet Lobby Day:
The annual Tibet Lobby Day is a powerful tool for empowering Tibetans living in the west. We bring together Tibetans and Tibet supporters to come and lobby members of Parliament and their staff to achieve set strategic objectives. These include urgent matters concerning political prisoners to passing of legislations affecting the Tibetan people. The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018 was one such initiative taken up during the Tibet Lobby Days in the past few years.
3. Rowell Fund for Tibet:
The Rowell Fund for Tibet, established by friends and family of Galen and Barbara Rowell, in cooperation with the International Campaign for Tibet, has for years supported Tibetans whose work can make a significant contribution in the fields of visual arts, the environment, media and women’s rights. The fund is managed by ICT and has impacted the lives of several hundred Tibetan artists and other professionals.
4. Tibetan Parliamentarians Program in Europe:
ICT Europe has a program to bring delegations of Tibetan Parliamentarians for a study tour of Europe. The delegation meets with Parliamentarians and other leaders, cultural visits and opportunity to share and discuss a wide range of issues relating Tibet.
5. Humanitarian Assistance to the Tibetan community:
ICT Germany has been undertaking a focused humanitarian assistance initiative with the Tibetan Children’s Village in India that includes funding for health and education of the Tibetan children, in order to safeguard Tibetan children’s right to education and health.
6. Political Prisoners Rehabilitation Program:
ICT has a Political Prisoners Rehabilitation Program that includes assisting former political prisoners in different ways. They include monetary support and assistance in rehabilitation. Currently, ICT Europe provides assistance to a select group of former political prisoners to empower them by facilitating them to become politically active, assist them to develop the necessary skills, in order for them to present their case to politicians, media and the public at large, and help them with publications or translations of their memoirs, experiences or visions.