Tsemdo in Tibet
My name is Tsemdo and I grew up in a small village in Amdo, Tibet. I was one of the few lucky kids in the village to get a college education. And the first one in my family to ever graduate from a primary school. In 2009 I received scholarship from 100 Friends Project to continue my college education. I was enrolled in college in 2008 to study English language but the amount of the money that I had to pay for my school expenses was beyond my mother’s capability. My father passed away in 2003 due to a serious stomach illness and since then my mother had been supporting my education with her small amount of income generated from farming. So when I got into college, my mother managed to pay for the first year expenses and from the second year onwards the school raised the tuition costs and my mother and I couldn’t afford my education. Therefore I reached to one of my college teachers for help and through her introduction and recommendation, I got to know Marc Gold, who generously agreed to support my education. And because of that, I was able to continue my college education and in the beginning of 2011 I had successfully graduated from college. What the college education and Marc Gold’s support meant to me is that I managed to pursue my passion in photography and train young Tibetans on the Tibetan Plateau in photography and digital storytelling. When I received Marc Gold’s support I was already beginning to take photography seriously and involved in a participatory photography project called Plateau Photographers that has been training young Tibetans from across the Tibetan Plateau in documentary photography. I am now working as the executive director and photography trainer of Plateau Photographers. And in the summer of 2009 Marc Gold gave me digital camera which further enabled me to use my photography to tell stories and document endangered cultural elements on the Tibetan Plateau. All of these would have been difficult without the support of 100 Friends Project. And I am paying back 100 Friends generous support by serving local communities on the Tibetan plateau to share their stories and make positive social impacts. I am grateful of 100 Friends and I hope 100 Friends can continue to support Tibetan students and others like myself whose life would otherwise end up farming, herding, or looking for temporary jobs in the urban areas.
Tsemdo in Tibet