Dhondup came as a refugee to the Tibetan children’s village in India by himself when he was five. He still lives there, but now he works as a teacher!
“I wanted to help my school and my people and the best way was to become a teacher” he says.” It’s really important for refugee children to have a Tibetan teacher. We speak the same language and have similar experiences.”
Dhondup looks up to Jetsun Pema as if she were his own mother. “She often came to visit our home to talk and asked if we had any problems. She also worked harder than anyone else.”
Dhondup’s parents stayed in Tibet and he has only seen them once in the past 20 years, in the neighbouring country of Nepal. “It’s the best memory of my childhood,” says Dhondup.
Dhondup tells his students that a lot has changed in the children’s villages. “The classrooms are better, the food is too. The students have more of everything, from pens and computers to books and clothes.”