Pennies for Partnerships Results To Date of Benefits To Recepients

Hello and Tashi Delek

I am writing today to provide you with the results of the current to date review of the Pennies for Partnerships Outreach.

Recently I have had the opportunity to cross paths with some of the recipients of the outreach be it Tibetan organic farmers or the Indian Villagers. I can only say when crossing paths with them it is a very joyous occasion. The smiles on their faces is something I can never capture for you not in a photo or to even be able to describe it to you. What I can tell you is there is a warmth of friendship and a sense of knowing someone cares that comes not only from the look in their eyes or smile on their faces but in the jesters of joyful hellos, tashi deleks, and namastes they offer.   Yesterday I encountered a group of Indian women and children of familiar faces who are those who live in the tents and collect plastic for a small income. They were all piled into a shared jeep which costs them 10 rupees each way and the jeep was packed on top and inside with the bags of their days gatherings of plastic. When they spotted me riding by on my bike (I was speeding by and did not see them at first)  they started leaning out the jeep and yelling and waving with HUGE smiles on their face “Namaste” Aunti Namaste”. I wish I would have had my camera. I felt so blessed to have this connection with them and know that your gifts brought such joy to their lives. In the delivery we always tell them that International Friends Care about them and are the ones who have sent them this gift of rice; I am only the messenger.

Therefore, I want to give you the review of this years outreach in hopes it too will allow you to see the impact your generosity and pennies are making in the lives of others.

Pennies for Partnerships REVIEW Since January 2011

To date 195 bags of 25 kg each (55 pounds) of rice have been delivered. This totals 4875 kg or 10,725 lbs of rice (5.3 Tons). This is estimated to have reached 1170 people as there are approximately 6 people per household. The communities we serve with distribution of rice remain with the environmental focus. Those communities who recycle plastic tend to be some of the poorest communities in India and often resort to begging to meet their basic needs.  In my research I have discovered they are able to make approximately 60 rupees a day and they work 6 days a week excluding holidays (and in India there are many Holy days in the Hindu religion). Therefore in my estimation they live on approximately $1.00 a day. These are the communities noted in the hunger index who are of concern for severe hunger and malnutrition. The subsidy the India government provides only offers them approximately 2 weeks of rice; therefore we gift them an additional 2-3 week supply of rice also benefitting them with the savings of approximately 2 weeks of pay and a more healthy and nutritious supply of organic rice.

The Tibetan Organic Farmers who tend to be some of the poorest yet the hardest working in the Tibetan community and are facing extreme poverty have also benefited from the Pennies for Partnerships procurement of rice at a fair market price. In keeping with moral ethics of Fair Trade we pay directly to the Tibetan Organic Farmers a 50% increase over what they receive from the distributors. Pennies for Partnerships removes the middle man therefore offering a direct benefit to the farmers. To date there are 9 Tibetan Organic Farmers who have benefited with a higher profit on their annual yield of rice procured by Pennies for Partnerships. Additionally we have purchased some rice from the Tibetan Organic Farmers Demonstration Office and Organic Research and Training Center. The following is the breakdown in rupees so you can see the financial benefit offered to the farmers.

  1. Average cost farmers receive when sold to distributors in India who then sell to markets =  15 rupees per 1 kg (2.2 pounds) (depending on exchange rate Approx: $ .32 – $ .29)
  2. Rice purchased directly from Tibetan Organic farmers by Pennies for Partnerships Farmers receive =  22.5 rupees per 1 kg (2.2 pounds) (Approx: $ . 48 – $ .44 )

A Few EXAMPLES of recent benefit to Tibetan Organic Farmers and their income:

One Farmer sold us 500 kg (1,100 lbs) which he/she normally would have received from distributors at rs15 = rs7500 ($166.67) with the Pennies for Partnerships purchase paying rs22.5 = rs 11,250 ($250.00) he/she received an increase in profit of rs3750 ($83.33).

Another farmer sold us 475 kg (1,045 lbs) and he/she would have received from distributors at rs15 = rs7125 ($158.33) with the PfP purchase he/she received an increase in income of at rs22.5 = rs10,687.5 ($237.5) an increase in rs3562.5 ($79.17).

These are only two examples of the way in which the Farmers receive a Fair Market price from Pennies for Partnerships in an effort to assist them with economic support and development while the slow process to establish a fair market distribution for organics in India is underway.

Additionally, the farmers who have resorted to selling their entire crop to the distributors at times live on that one year harvest. An example is a woman farmer who lost her entire crop this year due to monsoon and she had 300 kg of rice remaining from last year. She sold her entire surplus for rs15per kg and will now only have rs4500 ($100) to live on for the entire year until the next harvest season. We hope in our efforts to develop the program to offer assistance to those farmers most in need with financial support to build greenhouses as an alternative method for off season and secure farming as monsoon and climate change have caused serious devastation to the farmers.

Pennies for Partnerships mission is to do our part as a global partner in addressing the call to action to meet  the United Nations Millennium Goals. The areas PfP address are Ending Poverty and Hunger, Environmental Sustainability through Global Partnership. For more information pertaining to the UN Millennium Goals and to the reports of how far we still have to go by 2015 visit the website.

Some of the ideas we have are to develop funding through Tourism on donation, Volunteer Tourism, Grants for Greenhouses, and continued social networking. Your continued support for the project in ways of donation for a bag of rice $15.00 or assistance in spreading and sharing the link to our project through your social networks is greatly appreciated.

Those who may be interested in doing outreach in your community for this holiday season could collect Penny Jars from friends, family and community to continue the ongoing theme of Pennies for Partnerships. If everyone gives a little it goes a long way. Currently one cent ( $ .01) equals 5 rupees.

To contribute see the Donation button on the left side bar or visit our official nonprofit website for the Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas.

Thank you for your continued interest and support to the Pennies for Partnerships Outreach. Your generosity and compassion is greatly appreciated by the many people whose lives you touch to alleviate hunger and poverty.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey (MSW)

Director – Pennies for Partnerships (TCIA Philanthropic initiative)


Pennies for Partnerships Pilot Tour

Hello and Tashi Delek!

Today was a great day as I had the wonderful opportunity of accompanying a family to the Tibetan settlement in Mundgod. The family expressed interest in my work when we met and I mentioned I was looking at ways to develop a tour in which people could visit the Tibetan community in hopes of bringing more international support and awareness to the Tibetan cause. So yesterday we took the bus 4 hours to the Tibetan community leaving behind the luxury of the beach and the western flare of accommodations for tourists.  Unfortunately,  most of our day yesterday was trying to figure out where they could stay since all foreigners are required to have a permit which takes at least 3 months to acquire if you are lucky. Also there is only one hotel available in a village which is not that close. This issue of accommodations proves to be a barrier in preventing some tourists from being able to visit the Tibetan community.

The first day we visited the screen printing shop where they make prayer flags and also the rice mill where the Tibetan organic farmers take the paddy to be milled. Then overcoming the issues of the previous day we started a fresh day together this morning and we ventured to the Loseling Monastery.

The first activity of the day found us  watching the monks in the their morning  debate. The family wandered freely to drift  in and among the monks as they diligently debated the Buddhist philosophy.

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There was some heated action in one  group of monks which drew our attention  to see what the commotion was. Then in  the end of the debate two monks showed  interest in having the photo opportunity  with two of the beautiful children.

Then as all the monks were departing to  find their way to the prayer hall two  Tibetan women in traditional dress graced  us with their presence also for a photo  opportunity.

Then we ventured on to the prayer hall.

There we found the monks chanting their beautiful prayers and the family was able to explore the area and take in the sounds and sights of the beautiful Loseling Prayer Hall.

We were joined by the wonderful Geshe Tsundue who has a smile that touches everyone who has an opportunity to encounter him.

We then went to Camp 3, where we indulged in 3 kinds of momos and Geshe offered a short Tibetan language class.  During lunch the youngest was so cute she took fruit to the Indian woman and her children who were begging and she sat and joined them for a banana.

Following lunch there was shopping and traditional dress was purchased for the young Tibetan activist.

Then the children  played with  the Tibetan  children in the  playground while  Geshe la so  kindly  blessed their  prayer flags they  purchased and  said his goodbye  offering his  generosity  with gifts to the family as a token of his appreciation.

There was a warm feeling all around as the guests were touched by Geshe’s generosity.

We then met with camp leaders to visit an organic farm where the guests offered their knowledge and ideas of organic farming while the children tried their luck at husking the paddy by hand.

Following we visited the Ganden Monastery where the family had the opportunity to see the large kitchens and preparations of food for thousands of monks.

After visiting the prayer hall we too said our goodbyes.

I am so thankful to this lovely family for their time and interest in the Tibetan  community and for offering me the opportunity to show them around. I believe they  too have now been deeply touched like many of us who have had the experience of  this wonderful and beautiful culture. It is experiences like this that Pennies for  Partnerships hopes to help establish support from the international community for  the Tibetan people.

The gift the family gave to Pennies for Partnerships was the opportunity to see if it is possible to do small minitours that will offer exposure and also bring ideas and support to the organic farmers. Now the next step is taking a farmhouse in the near Indian Village where we can house the guests in exchange for a donation to the Pennies for Partnerships project. I have located a farmhouse in a mango grove which is offered by an Indian man who is a philanthropist and is involved with the Tibetan Organic farmers. He is currently offering the house for free, additionally providing a watchman/cook. The house is within walking distance to the Tibetan settlement for those who wish to walk through the fields and groves. The Indian people of his village will also benefit as it will bring tips and donations for the watchman/cook and he will also offer a driver for a daily discounted rate. The longterm opportunity to start the hostel will also provide housing opportunities for volunteers and interns who wish to work on the Pennies for Partnerships project.

One step at a time in the direction of garnering support and awareness from the International community. At this time the farmhouse will need only a few things to get it prepared as it needs mattresses, bedsheets/blankets and a washing bucket . It is in my estimation it will cost approximately $100 to prepare the farmhouse for visitors. If you are interested in assisting with the preparations for the Pennies for Partnerships Hostel your gift will be greatly appreciated. You can donate through paypal or contact me directly through the comment field and I can provide you other options. Look for the donate button on the side bar or visit our main website for Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas

Thank you for your consideration. As well we are still building the funds for the next rice distribution and we are additionally looking into the way in which we can provide financial support or microloans for greenhouses as an alternative method to organic farming so that monsoon season does not completely devastate the farmers.

Sharing is Caring so if you have the time please feel free to share this link with others and remember your Penny Jars are the source of support to many who live on less than a dollar a day. For those in the International Community a penny in the USA currency is the smallest coin so if you too have a small cent that sits not being utilized please consider donating. The concept of Pennies for Partnerships is that a little goes a long way when many contribute a small amount it adds up to a substantial amount to assist those who have very little.

Thanks for keeping up with our developments and always…. a big thanks for your support to the Tibetan community in exile.

Kind regards,