The state of Hiamachal Pradesh in the Northwest of India, and in particular Dharmsala, is home of displaced families from the poorest areas of India. They live in slums of up to 600 people, struggling to survive with begging and waste collection. Being out-of-state citizens they have no rights and no government support.

Jamyang, a Tibetan monk, started the Tong-Len Charitable Trust in 2002. The trust provides schooling and general health care directly in the slums. In addition Tong-Len launched a hostel program for 90 children. They have a “normal life”, go to public school and provide support and feedback to the rest of the family in the slums. They are true change agents.

Fontana Foundation made a first investment in this hostel in August 2011 and we visited the slums and the hostel in May 2012. Impressed by the work of Jamyang and its social impact, we made a major investment in Tong-Len in order to expand the current hostel from 90 to up to 200 children. The project concluded by the end of 2014. Today we are still supporting 10 children.

Charan Kad slums Charan Kad slums
Tong Len hostel Tong Len hostel

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(c) 2009
Fontana Foundation