Pain and Progress in Exile: A Refugee's Story

Date: May 1, 2013 Time: 7:00 p.m. Location: Maxey Auditorium

Pain and Progress poster

Karma Tensum was born in Tibet in 1957 and escaped to India as a very young child. His early education at Wynberg Allen School, Mussoorie, one of the top schools in India, was possible because of the efforts of HH The Dalai Lama to educate the early Tibetan refugees and the kindness of individuals who sponsored his school education. Karma's early love was for teaching and after graduating from Wynberg Allen School in 1972, he joined Mt. Hermon College of Education, Darjeeling to get his teaching certification. In March, 1975, he began his teaching career at the Tibetan Children's Village School (TCV) at Dharamsala. Since then, for over thirty years, he has worked for the education of Tibetan children in exile in various capacities - as a teacher, administrator, educational planner and fundraiser.

Much of his work was based at the Tibetan settlement at Clement Town in North India where he was the principal of the Tibetan Nehru Memorial School and helped to found Kyitsel-ling Tibetan Children's Education Center in collaboration with TCEF. In 1994, he won a Fulbright scholarship and got his Master's in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education with a concentration in International Education. He returned to India to continue his work with the education of Tibetan refugee children. As a leading Tibetan educationalist, from 1997 - 2001, Karma was a member of the first Tibetan National Education Policy Committee that helped to draft the first policy document for Tibetan education in exile. Over the past eight years, as the Executive Director at TCEF, he has traveled extensively all over the country doing well over a hundred presentations on Tibet, Tibetan culture and the educational needs of Tibetan children in exile. He is in love with his people and culture and is passionate about sharing it with Western audiences.

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