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Lions Roar : May 2010
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2010 65 behalf of tibet, this makes them feel less isolated. it helps them remember at this very dark time that they are not forgotten.” it’s likewise critical that governments are informed about the situation in tibet and presenting reports to them is a corner- stone of ict’s work. in the united states, it looks to members of congress to express concern about political prisoners and to support dialogue between china and the dalai Lama. ict also works with the state department on these issues. mary beth markey, ict’s vice president of international advo- cacy, explains how they work with parliaments and governments to make the case for why funding is needed to help tibetans in specific ways. if ict is successful, the government releases a no- tification saying they have funds earmarked to meet a particular need. private aid organizations can then bid for the money and the government chooses the organization it feels is best equipped to make a positive impact. the money goes toward a broad range of programs, says mar- key. “it goes toward emergency humanitarian assistance and to refugees who have just crossed the himalayas. it also provides medical assistance to tibetan communities, child–mother wel- fare programs, scholarship programs for tibetans to study in the West, and small development assistance programs inside tibet to help tibetans stay in the saddle a little longer. “of all the things we do,” says markey, “for me the most satis- fying is when we’re able to secure programmatic support, wheth- er for inside tibet or for the exile community in india and Nepal. it’s satisfying to witness the direct effect it has on tibetans.” “tibet,” says Richard blum, “is an important lesson to all of us as to how we ought to care about those who are less fortunate. his ho- liness the dalai Lama said, ‘our religion is simple to understand; it’s all about compassion and kindness.’ so if you take that as a theme, you can go wherever you want with it. there are a million good places to go. i do have an interest in working in other parts of the world. but my heart has been, and always will be, in the himalayas. “tibet is a way of thinking—a way of living that’s important well beyond its geographical or cultural boundaries. it’s a part of the world where people’s lives, like their environment, are very fragile. they need all the support and encouragement they can get. Whether you want to help through our foundation or an- other good cause, please do it.” ♦ Left: The Dalai Lama at the International Campaign for Tibet’s twentieth anniversary gala in October 2007. Below: Mary Beth Markey, the ICT’s vice president of advocacy, with a student at the Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamsala, India. photobySonAMZokSAng/iCtphotocouRtesyoFiNteRNatioNaLcampaigNFoRtibet