Dickey (the name means “happiness” in Tibetan) is one of only two or three privately funded orphanages in Tibet
. The story goes that the orphanage’s founder, Tamdrin "Mama" Dadhon, made a pilgrimage to visit the exiled Dalai Lama. "Mama" as she is know to all who know her, was told by His Holiness to start an orphanage in Lhasa, where children could live lives free of hardship, and experience a life where Tibetan culture would be preserved. Upon her return to Lhasa, she sold all of her family’s jewelry, collected the funds from her tea and noodle shop, and with approx. $36,000 opened the Dickey Orphanage on September 10, 2002. Because the actual date of birth of each child is unknown, September 10 is also the date when the orphanage hosts a birthday party for all the children!
Eight years on, 72 orphaned children, ranging in age from 8m to 16 years old, live at Dickey. Mama Dadhon and her meagre staff, provide meals, a basic education until the children are either old enough to go to school, or they have papers to do so, and a safe and loving home. The children, many of whom are there because their parents died, others because they were abandoned by parents who could not care for them due to physical and, in a few cases, mental handicaps, stay at the orphanage until either they reach the age of 16 or they go out to work.
The day we spent with these wonderful children, and the people who care for them, has given us much to reflect on. Dickey Orphanage and its inhabitants, will forever hold a special place in our hearts
Before summer break, the families at our school had generously collected warm winter clothing for the children of Dickey Orphanage, located in a suburb of Lhasa, the capitol of Tibet. With much excitement, and some trepidation, we set out the deliver these donations to the children of Dickey Orphanage. As you will see from the pictures the children wre delighted with their "new" clothes. One of the things that was evident from our visit, is that shoes seem to be in short supply. Many of the children were barefoot, or wearing shoes that had long passed their expiry dates. "Mama" told us that donations of shoes are always appreciated. I intend to send a box of shoes in Septemeber. Feel free to contribute shoes which are in good and wearable condition!