My experience as a volunteer at the Department of Health, CTA

Volunteer Tsering Yangkyi copy
Honourable Sikyong, Health Kalon and volunteer Mrs. Tsering Yangkyi.

My family and I relocated to Dharamsala in December, 2013 from USA to render my service to the Department of Health. I graduated from University of Vermont, USA with B.Sc. in Nursing in 2005. I worked as a Psychiatric Nurse at the State Hospital of Vermont for two years and then at the Fletcher Allen Hospital for another 7 years.

In October 2013, I contacted the Health Kalon Dr. Tsering Wangchuk regarding a volunteer position in the Department of Health and that is how I got to volunteer here. In January 2014, I started volunteering for the Health Department.

My experience volunteering allowed me to get involved with a number of important and rewarding projects. I worked on writing multiple grand proposals, created and presented on Mental Health Education at schools, wrote a booklet on Mental Health for Tibetans communities, and established a post rehabilitation program. I had a great experience working at the Department of Health; most of all I enjoyed interaction with students during my presentations on mental health education. Also, working on the Post Rehabilitation Program was particularly rewarding as it is a valuable and much needed program in our community.

From my work on the Post Rehabilitation project, I saw the vast majority of the cases were individuals who started abusing substances while they were young and in school. With this being the case, I believe that it is extremely important to educate students on the ill effects of substance use at a young age. Substance abuse education needs be completed regularly throughout Tibetan schools.

Overall, my experience has been wonderful and will definitely do it again when the opportunity arises. The Department of Health is a great organization with the honorable duty of serving the Tibetan people in exile. I find it admirable that the Department is able to accomplish so much with a limited amount of funds. It is a testament to the dedication and hard work of staff members in Dharamsala and health workers throughout the exiled communities in India. It was truly a pleasure to have this experience working for the Department of Health and to serve our exiled community. I thank each and every one for allowing me this invaluable opportunity. It was a pleasure and I feel that I not only gained experience, but also gained new friends.

We want to express our appreciation and thank you for all you have done, the time and work you gave during the last nine months. We were extremely thankful to have had an extra set of helping hands just when we needed. We were fortunate to have you all the way from USA to contribute your service to the department and the Tibetan community as large. We look forward to working with you again in future.