Pennies for Partnerships and Tibetan Organic Farmers Deliver to Basket Weaving Community:

Pennies for Partnerships and Tibetan Organic Farmers Deliver to Basket Weaving Community:

Tashi Delek and Hello! I am happy to say that the delivery to the Indian basket weaving community in a village within Mundgod was very successful. The team consisted of a Tibetan Organic Farmer who drove the jeep, the representative for Organic Farmers of Mundgod from the Dalai Lama’s office, Tempa, an Indian laborer, and me.

The project took some time as there was much research needed to identify the community most in need. In addition I visited the basket weaving community and walked around to survey the area and meet the people. There is a great deal of support coming from the Tibetan officials as there is a dire need to find outlets for the farmer’s products; in addition I was informed that the farmers are the very poorest in the Tibetan community. The leaders of the community and all the people are very appreciative for the purchase of the rice and they are supportive of helping Indian communities as India has given so much to the Tibetans in providing them a new place to establish their culture. The Indian community was also very appreciative as the surprises and smiles on their faces are worth a million.

One woman told the driver of the jeep that the gift of 1 bag of rice saves her from the worries of a month rationing. Because they never know when they might sell a basket they ration until the sale of a another, often limiting their food intake. The woman was very thin and the look on her face was that which made me think she was going to cry.

So by the end of the delivery we had determined a new term for this type of giving…”guerilla giving”. Although it has a different meaning the reason this term was coined was because of the need to drop as many as possible then drive off as the crowds gather and then return a little while later or drive to a different road. This eliminates getting mobbed as there is more need than is possible to distribute. Hence the term “guerilla giving” as a very strong force of energy is put into the distribution to connect with the individuals but quickly move so to mange as many deliveries as possible. It is a force of giving that is unique but requires a positive term…so “guerilla giving” has a very positive connotation.

Suggestions have been made from the church manager and the Indian politician to do distribution in conjunction with an existing organization. The complication with this is in India you never know if the total amount being contributed is actually arriving to the people. Hence our way, Pennies for Partnerships, and the opportunity to bring a surprise smile and see firsthand the people who receive the gift. It is amazing and the Tibetan representative in the end told me that he had never been involved in anything like this and really enjoyed it. Also the Indian laborer told the Tibetan man to tell me “it was very nice to be involved in such a good project”.

Interesting enough as the last bag was distributed the people had started to come out and ask for their home to be served. This is always the most difficult time as there is never enough to give to all who are I need. During this crucial time our jeep would not start. This forced us to slow down and really interact with the community. All the men, including children that were close came to help push us up the small incline.

The women and other children gathered around as they smiled and offered tea and anything to show their gratitude. We found a wonderful way to celebrate the experience by taking group photos.

From what I can tell lives are being touched in many different ways through this project which would not be possible without you the donors and your generosity. I have included many photos for you to see the experiences although it is impossible to have a photo of every home served. We delivered a total of 26 bags on February 16th.

May I also give to each of you my sincerest gratitude for reaching out and helping those who are poor and hungry. You have also enriched my life by providing me this amazing experience to touch those who are often forgotten and slip through the cracks of society; especially in a culture that still practices the discriminatory caste system. The gift of a 55 pound bag of rice which costs approximately $14.00 is the equivalent of an entire weeks wage for the average laborer as the Indian politician explained that the men are guaranteed 100 days of work a year, working 8 hour days, and receiving a total days wage of 150 rupees ( approximately $3.00 a day). Oh yeah and women get 100 days a year at 80 rupees (less than $2.00 a day). An interesting comment made by the Indian Politician of a higher caste stated “we don’t really have people who live on less than a dollar a day because we have very good programs to assist with the 100 days of work”. SO if you do the math the men make about $300 a year which is less than $1.00 a day and the women well you can see the discrimination and inequality in the policy which provides a lower wage. Even more appalling was the Indian politician’s statement “now the women have it really good”. Sometimes we find the culture is unique and different and although there must be respect there also is need for change. Thank you for your gifts provided through the Pennies for Partnerships Rice Distribution; you are changing lives!!!!


Pennies for Partnerships Receives Delivery and Prepares for Distribution


Tashi Delek and hello to you all.

Due to the nature of technology and the ability to go global Pennies for Partnerships is now offering easy access for donations using Paypal. To make donations online see button in leftside bar.

So we have received the delivery of 26 bags (55 pounds each) of organic rice and the research for the distribution is in the process. Things are a little more complicated here because at a Tibetan refugee settlement camp there are some necessary guidelines and permits for foreigners who choose to visit. Hence I have experienced some limited movement. I hope to have the bags of rice delivered to the nearest Indian community on Feb 15th which will be Feb 14th in the States so it is given with love from all of you.

After the distribution I will move to the next community further south. The Tibetan Organic Farmers are preparing for that order/delivery now. The rice will be provided by the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe and is the largest camp in India. At this time there is $144.00 for that purchase although there is more than $200.00 outstanding in commitments from donors that have yet to be received. I realize weather has prevented some of you from making it to the post but if you plan to donate it would be so awesome to receive your contribution as we will be able to serve so many more families.

To date we have served 52 families – 26 will receive in the next few days = 78 households. IN addition based on the records of donations yet to be received (including the recent $144.00 received) we should be able to serve an additional 24+ homes although there are 9 people who have yet to announce the dollar amount they plan to donate; therefore even more will be served based on receipt of your contributions.

I was at first advancing based on the honor system but a few weeks have passed and those dollars have still not come in so now I am only able to serve once the contributions are received. So I plead with you for your follow-up and thank you in advance for your wonderful and generous contributions. Also you all need to know 100% of your donations go towards the purchase of rice as I am personally covering the cost of all logistics such as transportation and labor expense (unless someone wants to contribute to logistics I am committed to 100% of your donations purchasing food to fight hunger).

Remember if you need the details of how to contribute please e-mail me directly at and I will send you the information in a private e-mail. Also for those who have sent notice they are interested in donating I need each of you to e-mail me at and tell me the amount you plan to contribute so I can be negotiating and preparing the deliveries from the Tibetan Organic Farmers. In conclusion it is so appreciated if you have corresponded and said you will contribute if you will please follow up. Your participation is critical in supporting the cause. Also if you know of others who might be interested please share this blog link to your e-mail contacts and facebook friends.

Much appreciation to you all,


For additional information about the history of the Tibetan Organic Farmers initiative please see the following link.

Pennies for Partnerships Meets With Organic Farmers

Pennies for Partnerships with Tibetan Organic Farmers                                                                                               February 8, 2011

Tashi Delek and hello. So many wonderful things are happening here in Indian and most importantly the project for Pennies for Partnerships is developing into a wonderful relationship with the Tibetan Organic Farmers. I had the second meeting yesterday which was really nice to visit the exhibit and meet more of the players involved. In addition one of the candidates who is running for Prime Minister Mr. Tashi Wangdu invited me for tea. We discussed the initiative of the partnership with the organic farmers and the objectives. We discussed the financial benefits to the organic farming community, the benefit to the poor Indian villages to address hunger and even more importantly the ability to forge good relations between the two communities. Bringing together the two communities is an important part of this as there is often dissent between the two as some poor Indian communities are envious of the Tibetan refugees support from the international communities. This allows them to see that the Tibetans also care for their wellbeing and that the international community cares for them both. We are all brothers and sisters of this world and we all deserve to be free from hunger in a world of plenty.

The next distribution is being prepared as the Tibetan organic farmers had only been packaging in 5 kg bags so they are preparing for our project the 25 kg (55 pound) bags which will be gifted to the poorest in the villages.

At this time I have placed an order for 26 bags based on receipt of contributions. There are additional contributions that have yet to be received but as it stands if all contributions are mailed in we will serve an additional 20 families although it will be more as there are some people who have yet to notify me of their amount of donation.

This will mean over a hundered families have been served through your wonderful gifts.

A little history on the Tibetan growers: There are approximately 160,000+ Tibetan refugees living in India. The settlement camp I am presently visiting is located in Karnataka State and in the 1960’s the Indian government agreed to provide 4000 acres of forestland, which at the time was nearly uninhabitable, to the Tibetan refugees. They worked diligently to cultivate the lands and make roads and now Karnataka State is the resident of the largest Tibetan colonies in exile. Over 60% of the Tibetan population in India subsists on agricultural occupations. In 2002 the Tibetan exile Government in India adopted an initiative for organic farming. There are currently 978 farmers cultivating on 4051 acres of land in 12 major agricultural settlements in India. In Mungod (where I am presently visiting) there are approximately 222 farmers from three camps and represents the largest number of farmers participating in the organic practices compared to the other Tibetan settlement camps.There is approximately 877 acres being organically cultivated and an additional 2177 acres expected to meet organic certification in the next few years. The organic products are registered and meet the guidelines since 2006 for organic certification through the Indian agency IMO Control Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore. The product is sold through the Federation of Tibetan Cooperative in India (FTCI) and the local Tibetan cooperative society. An area of need is distribution for market of the organic products and greater education of the environmental benefits and health benefits.

In conclusion the organic farmer’s project aims to create self sufficiency, more biodiversity, and harmonious nature for all sentient beings. Their efforts are to make the earth green and safe for future generations to come.

If you are interested in supporting the Tibetan Organic Farmers you can do so through the Pennies for Partnerships project by donating to the purchase of rice to be distributed to the hungry poor people of the Indian villages.

If interested please e-mail me at

Enjoy the photos and more will be posted after the next distribution is made. Much appreciation to the organic farmers cooperative for providing a healthier option of rice to be distributed to the Indian community at the same price previously purchased at the conventional Indian market. This new partnership is one I feel strongly about as there are many benefits to be considered. I too hope you will see the benefits for refugees, poor hungry people, bringing communities together, and the green initiative for our future generations.

Thank you for your kind and generous support of the project. e-mail me if you are interested in this project and feel free to spread the word. It only takes a little make a big difference in others lives.


New Partnership Forged with Organic Farmers

Hello everyone. I am contacting you to let you know I have forged a new partnership with the Tibetan Organic Farmers. This is a wonderful partnership so we can support the Tibetan refugees while at the same time provide healthy food to the poor Indian villages. The Tibetan Organic Farmers Association has agreed to assist us with this ongoing project and have agreed to sell us the 25 kg (55 pound) bags of rice for the same price as we would purchase from the Indian market.

I am thrilled to know they have large supplies of organic foods and will be able to support this project. I also hope to negotiate to have them supply the Lha community kitchen project if they have not already determined an agreement. The farmers are so happy and I will be meeting with them today to take photos that I can post.

We have at this time an additional funds to support a distribution to another 26 families which I will be coordinating today. This will make a total of 52 families to date that we will have served. Thank you to all for your kindness and generosity.

More photos and updates to come about the Organic Farmers and the village we will distribute to.


Kind regards,


Please email me or post comment if interested in supporting the Pennies for Partnerships food drive project.