The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his advocacy of non-violent means of liberating Tibet. While he describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk, he has become a world icon for his work to promote peace and intercultural understanding.
Here's the note we sent to officials in Himachal Pradesh to explain CLIC Abroad's interest in meeting the Dalai Lama.
CLIC Abroad is an organization dedicated to education, the preservation of culture, and building international understanding. At workshops in Indian villages such as Pragpur and Sahoo in Himachal Pradesh, CLIC Abroad uses photography to help children learn to see and appreciate the beauty and values of their own cultures. American student volunteers assist with the workshops, and they gain a new appreciation of humanity from their interactions with Indian children. After the workshops end, CLIC Abroad continues to spread the children’s messages of peace, hope and understanding through articles, books, documentaries, television and personal contacts.
This is all possible because these digital images, created by children, speak in a manner that transcends language. The pictures tell the children’s love of the world, and CLIC Abroad carries their message to people locally and internationally.
The Dalai Lama is the world’s most inspirational figure in promoting ethical values, intercultural understanding, and global harmony. Our purpose, admittedly selfish, is to seek the Dalai Lama’s inspiration and blessing for our small effort to help people better understand one another.
Our hope is that through this contact we can carry the uplifting and learned message of the Dalai Lama into all our workshops. A photograph or video of the Dalai Lama speaking to a member of CLIC Abroad’s party will provide, as all our photos and videos do, an emotional and powerful story of our purpose.
The culture of rural India is being transformed, and sometimes lost, because of the country’s rapid growth and modernization. Digital images, taken by children, not only preserve a record of cultural lifestyles, but they also teach the children and those who view them that the culture’s age-old ways of life are valuable and worth honoring.
Our group is led by international photographer D.K. Bhaskar, who grew up himself in a small village in India, and a number of educators, ethicists and other volunteers who see CLIC Abroad as one small way to help build peace and human understanding. The nonprofit organization is funded through donations and in-kind support from organizations such as Nikon and Goal Zero. Our volunteers are traveling around the world to bring this project to a village near the Dalai Lama’s temple. We pray for the opportunity to visit and grow from the wisdom and inspiration of his message.
We deeply appreciate your consideration.