FAQ 's  UK version
Frequently Asked Questions




Purpose or raison d’etre of the Association

Due to repression and genocide by the regime in Tibet, a large number of Tibetans have taken refuge in nearby Nepal where they live in exile, still permanent refugees for three generations and mostly living in refugee camps.  But they are not recognised by the Nepalese Government from whom they receive little or no assistance and their children’s education is not financed by the Nepalese authorities.  Education being a basic and primary need, the Association exists to finance the cost of schooling, and to provide basic necessities such as food and school clothing.


What are FAQ ???

Frequently Asked Questions is a traditional Internet tool for satisfying the need for information and saving time. We can all agree that saving time should be one of our duties, to move ahead and avoid redundancies? To my mind, this is the best way of answering most of the questions you may have about our Association. We should not forget that it is worth learning more about our Association’s ethical position but, if that seems obvious to all of us, it should also become so for all our future friends. From now on, I’ll be using this thumbnail to add all new questions asked, and ask all new ‘candidates’ to read it carefully to make sure they fully agree. How did I choose the questions? They are simply the questions I have to answer in all our gatherings, meetings, e-mails (in some cases, I have simply taken up your written questions).


To start with, this atypical association wishes to stand out from other associations and it is because I didn’t want it to look like existing associations that it was founded in 1992. Our credo: Friendship and understanding towards our Tibetan friends, no operating costs, transparent financial management available for consultation on the Internet, complete disinterestedness and, more generally, maintaining freedom of thought and innovative management of our Association.


If you would like to join, the only condition is to read all the questions/answers below and confirm to me your acceptance of the spirit of the Association and its operation and management, in particular regarding the payment of annual dues to help send your foster child to school. If there are any questions to which you have not found the answer, please ask me directly and I will add it to the FAQs. Thank you.




What are the Association’s operating costs?

OK, but can members who incur expenses be refunded?

Does "Tibet Children" offer paid or volunteer jobs and/or does it send these people into the field?

How can we work for "Tibet Children" ?

What does it means to be a member?

Why communicate only on the Internet ?

How can I consult the Association's accounts ?

What costs does the Association allow itself (in addition to helping the children)?

Is it possible to adopt a child ?

Is it possible to provide sponsorship for just 6 months or 1 year ?

OK, but if this Association is not a cult, is it morally possible to leave early ?

What is the annual cost of sponsorship ?

Is this amount tax deductible ?

Is it possible to go see the children in Nepal, write to them or send gifts ?

Why Tibetan children in Nepal ?

Where are the children located in Nepal ?

Where do the Western sponsors live ?

Is this a Catholic association ?

Is this a Buddhist association ?

Who is (Paljor) Norbu Lama ?

What is (Paljor) Norbu Lama’s role ?

How can you be sure of Norbu's integrity ?

How does the sponsors' money reach the children ?

How long has this association been in existence ?

If a sponsor has financial problems or is no longer available, who takes over ?

Should I wait for a meeting to confirm my sponsorship or... is there a form to fill out ?

In what language do sponsors correspond with their foster child?

Does "Tibet Children" have any political commitment?

Is it possible to participate in the functioning of "Tibet Children" ?

Can "Tibet Children" be considered a service club ?

Is it possible to bring the children to France or UK ?

How do you preserve the private lives of sponsors and children in Nepal?

Why the familiar ‘tu" ?









What are the Association’s operating costs ?go to top

The operating costs are equal to 0% of your dues. 100% of your dues go to the child.go to top

OK, but can members who incur expenses be refunded ?go to top

No, regardless of the expenses (travel, telephone, stamps, time, etc). go to top

Does "Tibet Children" offer paid or volunteer jobs and/or does it send these people into the field ?go to top

No, for the above-mentioned reasons (no expenses incurred). go to top

How can we work for "Tibet Children" ?go to top

First by joining, then by contributing to improving the way the Association operates. go to top

What does it mean to be a member ?go to top

To sponsor a foster child. go to top

Why communicate only electronically on the Internet ?go to top

To make it easier to maintain the above-mentioned objective of 0% expenses.

For my part:

I provide the Association’s management (.../...) and electronic support (website). That’s why our management has zero cost and that’s why all the Association’s communication goes through the Internet (site and e-mails).

I do not provide training, documents on paper, etc. In other words, you must be able to use the Internet (or get help from friends other than myself, otherwise there will be perverse effect that will clog the system: imagine 50 or more requests for technical information) and surf, check your e-mail, connect your computer... print everything you want (web pages, e-mails, etc), but I remain your friend, OK ?go to top

How can I consult the Association’s accounts ?go to top

Since the Association has nothing to hide, the accounts (thumbnail ‘bilans/results’) can be consulted directly on the site.go to top

What costs does the Association allow itself (in addition to helping to children) ?go to top

Outside the help we must give  the children: no expenses, past or present.go to top

Is it possible to adopt a child ?go to top

No, this is about sponsorship; the Tibetan children have their own parents so this is simply a gesture of friendship between Western sponsors, the foster children and their Tibetan parents.go to top



Is it possible to provide sponsorship for just 6 months or 1 year ?go to top

No, your sponsorship should last throughout the child’s schooling; this is your moral commitment to your foster child. A sponsor supports a child from the time when the sponsorship starts, from the age of 5 to 12 up to the age of 18 to 20. There are two reasons for this: to create strong ties in the long term and minimize administrative time by not having to seek sponsors: remember our credo of 0% expenses ! This moral commitment implies constancy and reliability, since our Association does not seek to achieve growth for its own sake, although we would like to able to help as many children as possible: our purpose is to bring together the children’s well-being and the need to provide help. The Association asks you as future sponsor to be as dependable and serious as possible in paying your dues before starting your sponsorship !!! We have no desire to become treasurers and spend our time pestering recalcitrant or evasive members. But I can reassure you that the daily sum is only 80 eurocents, which is reasonable for any budget.go to top


OK, but if this association is not a cult, is it morally possible to leave early ?go to top
Let’s get back to one of my favourite definitions of a cult and the definition of our purpose. A cult (without referring to the mental aspect, of course) is “an entity that is easy to enter and hard to leave.” That’s completely untrue of ‘Tibetan Children’: we are very careful in checking out the people who want to sponsor our children; we want to be certain they have fully understood their duty to the foster child. But, if a sponsor wishes to leave the Association, whatever the reason, the only thing to be respected is the commitment to the child by continuing to sponsor him/her until his / her schooling is completed (end of secondary school). This has never happened, but I believe it is the only important thing to be maintained, particularly since the Association asks for no commitment on your part for itself !

Another thing: that’s how the Association got started in the first place, but the other way around: when the ‘Étape’ association disappeared in 1992, I wanted to respect my commitment to my foster child who was only four years old at the time, so I continued for her sake and extended that reasoning to the other children who had been ‘abandoned’. The only thing that keeps us in the Association is friendship and pooling our ideas and energy.go to top

What is the annual cost of sponsorship ?go to top
Each foster child corresponds to a particular sponsor and vice versa in a genuine binomial structure similar to a ‘real’ family. The sponsors pay the sum once a year; this year it is € 290. (more or less) Payment is made every year in December. For the past two years it was € 290 and € 150 !. One sponsor (& family) = one child (& family).go to top

Is this amount tax deductible ?go to top
No, non, nein, niet.go to top

Is it possible to go see the children in Nepal, write to them or send gifts ?go to top
Of course !  Unlike many associations that are actually smokescreens, some of them accepting no direct relations, our Association encourages sponsors to travel and even helps you. You can write to the children (in English) or send them gifts (preferably ‘traditional’, not too technical, without batteries, etc). All letters and packages must be sent by registered mail exclusively.go to top

Why Tibetan children in Nepal ?go to top
First, there are historical reasons (read the corresponding page on the site). Moreover, we are a tiny association and the fact of respecting this is an asset. The Chinese invasion of Tibet, the genocide that followed and has never stopped, Tibetans’ status as perpetual refugees in India and Nepal are all elements to be taken into account.go to top

Where are the children located in Nepal ?go to top
Norbu Lama and I wished to sponsor children from different regions of Nepal: Kathmandu (the capital), Pokhara (second largest city), Jomsom (Annapurna), Dhorpatan (West). What all these children have in common is that they need you.go to top

Where do the Western sponsors live ?go to top
Mainly in southeastern France (Alpes-Maritimes, Var, Bouches-du-Rhône) but also RP???? and abroad. Thanks to electronic communication (Internet), where they are actually located is unimportant except for our get-togethers over a friendly meal.go to top

Is this a Catholic association ?go to top
Nogo to top

Is this a Buddhist association ?go to top
Nogo to top

Who is (Paljor) Norbu Lama ?go to top
Norbu Lama is a Tibetan friend who lives in Katmandu; he is our Association’s correspondent (see historical background).go to top

What is (Paljor) Norbu Lama's role ?go to top
Norbu Lama recruits the foster children over there. He has been with the Association from the start, giving us his help immediately. He ensures the validity of the children’s candidature and their real need by having the dossiers certified  by the child’s School Principal Visa and authorization and obtaining a certificate from the Area Welfare Association. Thus, all the children are doubly certified.  Moreover, he is the one who handles the money before it is distributed to the children.go to top

How can you be sure of Norbu’s integrity ?go to top
Believe me, this is a crucial recurrent question that I, like all of us, often ask myself and that often comes up with new sponsors. I think it is discussed at virtually all our meetings. Integrity in the choice of the foster children, integrity with respect to money. Regarding the money, there is little problem (read the answer to the question on how the money reaches the children). Concerning selection, this problem was raised mainly in the Association’s early days, but it was settled through the two certificates mentioned in the answer to the previous question. Moreover, I have visited each family at least once and my brief role as a social worker makes it possible for me to assert that all these people are really in dire need of assistance. Now, I must tell you that I am absolutely convinced that Norbu is perfectly honest with us and I have asked all the sponsors going to Nepal to validate my conviction: Claire, Laurence, Cécile, Jean-Christian, Yves, Philippe, Jean-Marie. Now, since Norbu has become a friend, it would be hard for my judgment of him, the (indispensable) help he provides us and his value as a person to be other than very, very positive. Furthermore, 33 members of the Association had the pleasure of meeting him in Nice (at an exceptional dinner on Tuesday, September 10, 2002, see report in the thumbnail meetings) and on this occasion we had a long discussion during which everyone was able to ask him all their questions and make up their own minds.go to top

How does the sponsors’ money reach the children ?go to top
Each step is listed below:

your make out your cheque to ‘Enfants du Tibet’ (‘Tibetan Children’) in December of each year.

the money is paid onto the Association’s BNP Paribas account.

this bank has a good international bank transfer service, knowing that some banks outsource this service to the BNP, while we work with them directly.

after approximately ten days, I contact Norbu so he can check his account.

that gives me the actual amount of Nepali Rupees (NRs) to distribute.

usually go to Nepal in spring and recover the money from Norbu’s bank.

organize two days for the distribution and give an envelope to each child/family with a listing of the amount of the sponsoring, the sponsor’s name and address). I add my own e-mail in case of emergency or major problem.

I try to take advantage of this occasion to make photographs of each child

and also to give a little speech on your behalf

Norbu does a speech too

offer a friendly breakfast

in 2002, there was another sponsor (Jean-Marie 0020) who could validate

since 1997, I was able to go every year except in 1998 since I was just beginning but since then...

in recent years, you have been asked if anyone could replace me in this pleasant task, but the date will remain APRIL

after that, the site is updated in the thumbnail ‘bilans’/‘results’ (rates, dates, amounts)

you can also check with the child and compare the amounts.go to top

How long has this association been in existence ?go to top
Since 1992 and the first foster child.go to top

If a sponsor has financial problems or is no longer available, who takes over ?go to top
As I said, 80 eurocents a day is so little... we wanted a budget that would make sponsoring affordable for everyone !!! Just think, every time you spend 80 eurocents or a multiple of 80 eurocents: that’s the daily cost of my sponsorship. But sponsorship, as we practise it, requires serious consideration and understanding before  your make your commitment. So far, all of us have respected this commitment, but if  a problem were to arise, we would then find another sponsor. We must remember that the dues are in arrears, so we have a little time to react. Some sponsors have taken the necessary measures and I myself and most family and friends know that I wish to assist my foster child until the age of 18 to 20. This is a serious personal approach.go to top

Should I wait for a meeting to confirm my sponsorship or ... is there a form to fill out ?go to top
As long as you are determined, that you have read all our documents (FAQ, how, background, results, children / news, etc), all you have to do is contact the sponsor you know in our Association who will register you. You must choose a child (check the age, place of residence, etc), make out a cheque and reserve your evening for the next meeting (thumbnail meetings). I have a form with all the child-sponsor information that we can fill in together and I will give you a copy.go to top

In what language do sponsors correspond with their foster child ?go to top
In English, Tibetan or Nepalese. You can choose, but forget French !!!go to top

Does "Tibet Children" have any political commitment ?go to top
No, we may individually approve or disapprove of certain policies, but we aim to remain in our strictly humanitarian context... like all NGOs, both large and small... and our Association is microscopic.go to top

Is it possible to participate in operating "Tibetan Children" ?go to top
Of course !!!  You are all welcome! All suggestions are welcome, too!go to top

Can "Tibet Children" be considered a service club ?go to top
Definitely NOT!!!  "Enough is enough!!!"  Please : No business in our Association!!!  (the Lions and Rotary Clubs exist for that purpose, associations that have already been diverted from their initial altruistic purpose)... I hope that’s not what you’re looking for!!! We must stick to our guns.  No exchange of professional business cards, please !!!go to top

Is it possible to bring the children to France ?go to top
Of course, but after discussing the matter with Norbu, he does not recommend that the children travel to Europe before the end of secondary school, at the age of 18-20, so as not to disrupt their schooling. This can also act as a good stimulant for them to complete their studies! At any rate, the Association declines any responsibility whatsoever. With all reservations.go to top

How do you preserve the private lives of the sponsors and children (in Nepal) ?go to top
You are certainly thinking of the Internet site? Our Association lives by the Web and thanks to the Web. Without this tool, our aim to cut expenses to zero would be virtually impossible. But how can you protect/padlock your private life? That is a problem I am particularly aware of: if you look closely at the site, it shows only first names and photographs: no phone numbers (except mine), no addresses (except e-mail addresses), no surnames (just look at the ‘phone number’ thumbnail not accessible from the website). We are the only persons with access to this type of information for the needs of the Association: collecting annual dues and organizing our meetings. That’s it! I’m also thinking of the children in Nepal who are covered by the same precautions; that’s the least we can do: the only people with access to complete information on the children are Norbu and the individual sponsors. A few years ago, some of us were hesitant about photographs. We left it to every one to decide whether or not to have their photographs shown and, so far, everyone has accepted and no one has had reason to regret it since the photographs (facebook) is only for our internal use,  to get to know each other better, a good vector for our friendship, sealed by our common centres of interest. For the children’s photographs, needless to say, it provides your first contact with the child and helps you choose which one you wish to sponsor first. Conversely, the sponsors’ photos enable the Tibetans to ‘see’ their respective sponsors (for the eldest and for their families).go to top

Why the familiar "tu" ? (no english meaning ...)go to top
It’s friendlier. Do you like it or not ?. L K J go to top