DHARAMSALA, Mar 29: In a unique show of solidarity with the Tibetan people, a Belgian primary school hoisted the Tibetan national flag during an event held on Mar 17 to educate students about Tibet and its culture.
In the place of Belgian flag that usually flies outside the school gates, two Tibetan national flags were raised and will remain hoisted for 19 days.
Rewa(Tib: Hope), a non profit organization that aims to educate Tibetan children inside Tibet was invited by the Belgian school, Gavertje Vier in Belsele to give presentations about Tibet and its educational activities to three groups of fifty students each.
“These presentations have a dual purpose; to educate Belgian children about Tibet and to help raise funds for our educational projects in Tibet. Generally speaking, citizens of Belgium know very little about Tibet. While there are a handful of very active Tibet supporters, this is a small minority. Most people are not aware of the situation in Tibet and some don’t even know where it is. Rewa’s school initiatives aim to remedy this problem, several schools have now shown an interest in teaching their students more about Tibet and it is almost certain interest will spread in the future. Rewa looks forward to being invited to more and more schools,” Rewa said.
As part of its school initiatives, Rewa had earlier visited two Belgian secondary schools, Ecole Cardinal Mercier in Braine l’Alleud (more than 800 students) and Sint Joris in Kruibeke (750 students) to raise awareness about Tibet.
Through Rewa’s initiatives, Tenpa and Gyalgye School were opened in November, 2009 and October 2012 in Changtsa area of Amdo (now incorporated into Sichuan Province) to provide local youngsters and others with basic education. With financial help from Ecole Cardinal Mercier and the Rowell Fund, Rewa was also able to build a library at Gyalgye School.
In 2011, Rewa started a “winter classes” project in Denwa valley in Amdo so that the students continue to practice their lessons during the winter holidays and also for them to teach the younger ones in the area what they have learnt during the school year. From 30 students in 2011, when the project first started, the number of students attending the winter classes increased to 175 in 2013.