Despite financial obstacles, TBF/VIA scholarship recipient Alice (Yeshi Drolma) is obtaining an MA in Tibetan History from Tibet University, so that she can bring a positive change back to her community.
Yeshe Drolma, an ETP graduate and scholarship recipient, is from a remote and impoverished region of Qinghai Province. In these regions, many nomads are facing difficulties transitioning to the Chinese consumer and global culture that is surrounding them. Traditionally these populations are subsistence nomads, yet due to many government policies, large amounts of nomads have been forced to get rid of their herds and relocate into the cities. City life is difficult for the ex-nomads in a variety of ways. Illiteracy and lack of Chinese skills make living very challenging, let alone the lack of employment options. Being relocated decreases the average income and keeps the families in desperate need of government subsidies, which can never be relied upon. Many youth are trying to excel in school like Yeshe Drolma, hoping that through education they can earn a living and also help others in their community survive this painful transition. Yeshe shares her story about pursuing a Master’s degree in Lhasa below:
“There are five people in my family – my younger brother is in high school, and my dad is very sick, so my family’s income depends only on the outside jobs that my mother and sister are able to do to earn some money. My family is living in a remote place where the economic power is very weak. There’s even no road and electricity there. Most people in my hometown are not educated, and this really limits their thoughts to change their lives and conditions. My father sent me to school, and it brought some change in my family. Education is so important for me that it really breaks the wall of my limited thoughts and lets me see more possibilities in life. It made my life much wider. I hope that I can go further in study and can see more possibilities, and eventually change the situation of my family and other people in my hometown, both financially and internally. I am sure that education is the only way to make progress in both myself and my hometown, both in our thoughts and in external conditions. Nowadays, Tibetan people who are living in remote places are forced to come to cities, and this makes our lives more difficult, because we lack the skills and abilities to live in cities. The only way we can make our lives better is to be educated.
To be a teacher somewhere in a Tibetan area has been my biggest dream, and I really hope that I can give some real help to my students. This means everything to me. I am also planning to build a school for those Tibetan young people who are not educated in Qinghai area, and hoping that this will help them to learn living skills and abilities that they need. “