Tibetan Refugees





‘”Everyone has the possibility to shape the future of humanity.”
His Holiness the XIV Dala Lama





2015 marks the 32 year anniversary of the Tibetan Refugee Health Care Project, providing volunteer health care and medical service to the Tibetan community living in exile in India.

How it all began: an excerpt by Dr. Marsha Woolf, Director

I am standing in the middle of a bitter cold courtyard outside one of the largest monasteries in a very remote region of Tibet. It is November 1983.

I have just come from the South of India, where I have been working with Tibetans in refugee settlement camps, treating them with Acupuncture and Natural Medicine. Since I stayed in India much longer than originally planned on this, my first trip to Asia (a vision quest that would last 14 months), I am dressed only in summer cottons, with no coat, and I am freezing.

I am also the only Westerner in sight (Chinese restrictions in that era having strictly forbidden the visits of foreigners). It is clear that my Russian Mongolian heritage shows on my face and is helping me out.

I am greeted instantly by a very old nun in lay clothes. She is wearing a dusty Tibetan jacket and traditional cap and holding prayer beads in her hand. She is one of the thousands of pilgrims who have traveled for days or weeks by foot to this sacred monastery–so many suffering from ailments, yet determined to make their spiritual pilgrimage. Our eyes meet. I see her pain, her years of dedication as a spiritual person, and how grounded she is. She sees my commitment to help and, without words, understands how far I have come to do this work. Time stops for a moment, and then we both explode with big smiles, recognizing each other’s true nature. Before even an ounce of treatment has been offered and received, we have already become old friends.



The Tibetan Refugee Health Care Project (TRHCP) is a non-political organization funded entirely by private donations. It was created in response to the dire and growing need for public health care for the Tibetan community-in-exile, living both in resettlement camps in India, and throughout the world, and to be a support for The Tibetan Government-in-exile, His Holiness The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Department of Health.

Its mission is to facilitate medical treatment of the Tibetan people as well as to educate them about disease prevention. One of the goals of the project is to encourage Tibetans to learn skills that enable them to help other Tibetans. This is done by training qualified Tibetans so that they may become practitioners, skilled laborers, and/or volunteers who go back to work in their communities.

Over 135,000 Tibetans live in 54 resettlement camps primarily in India. Although major strides have been made by The Tibetan Health Department-In- Exile, only a few small and simple hospitals exist. The various health problems are aggravated by economic constraints, overcrowding, poor nourishment, and lack of hygiene and sanitation in the refugee camps. These problems are further compounded by the fact that in the major resettlement camps, often, there may only be one available doctor to serve thousands of people.

Thousands of people have been attended to over the years. Medical clinics known as ‘camps’ offering acupuncture, nutrition, medical and preventative medicine, as well as women’s and general health education, have been foremost in the work of the teams.

Since 2002, under Marsha Woolf’s direction, TRHCP’s most recent project has been to bring clean and safe drinking water to the Tibetan populous living in remote regions where people are in great peril due to polluted water. The primary focus of this project is on children, the elderly, nuns and monks, including schools, hostels, small hospitals and clinics, Homes for the Elderly, monasteries and convents.


    For an update on what is happening currently click here!

    or see our website: www.AlternativeResourcesUnlimited.org


    Please make checks out to Alternative Resources Unlimited and send your donations to:

    Tibetan Refugee Health Care Project
    101 W. 23 St. #158
    New York, NY 10011

    E-mail: amchila@aol.com

FOR ONLINE DONATIONS: We are updating our donations button. Please send a check to the above address, or check back soon to use our online payment service. Thank you in advance for you donation.

FREQUENT FLYER DONATIONS: Since our staff and director are volunteers and pay their own transportation to get to India to do this work, frequent flyer miles are very precious to us.

May All Beings Be Happy And Overcome Suffering