The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

The World Peace Ceremony

Grant Information
Categories Community , Education , Peace
Location International
Cycle Year 2010
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) The Tibetan Aid Project
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Rosalyn White
Phone (510) 643-9632, ext. 287
2210 Harold Way
Additional Information
Used for The Tibetan Aid Project is a 41-year-old nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to rebuilding, preserving, strengthening, and perpetuating Tibet’s cultural and spiritual heritage for the benefit of the Tibetan people and all humanity. We are requesting a grant from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation for the amount of $10,000. These funds will go toward providing a core staff of five Tibetan Aid Project volunteers to facilitate the World Peace Ceremony in Bodh Gaya, India, in February 2011.
Benefits The World Peace Ceremony brings together Tibetan refugees from throughout the Himalayan region, revitalizes their spiritual traditions, empowers their community and promotes literacy. A Tibetan woman at the World Peace Ceremony put it simply, with a happy laugh and a broad smile: “Our culture is coming back!”
Proposal Description The Tibetan Aid Project and the World Peace Ceremony:

1. What is the World Peace Ceremony?

In 1989 the Tibetan Aid Project sponsored the first World Peace Ceremony in Bodh Gaya, India. Approximately 700 monks, nuns, and laypeople from around the Himalayan region traveled hundreds of miles to recite prayers and make offerings of butter lamps, incense, fruit, flowers, and other precious items. Most importantly, the Tibetan Aid Project distributed 800 sacred books, essential for maintaining spiritual practices at a time when whole monasteries and libraries had been reduced to ashes.

Today, the 10-day World Peace Ceremony brings together over ten thousand Tibetan refugees from around the Himalayan area to preserve their tradition and culture and pray for world peace. Participants travel from as many as 3, 300 monasteries, nunneries and retreat centers located in villages in India, Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan.

The Tibetan Aid Project now distributes over 3,000 books each year during the Ceremony, including many volumes on philosophy, psychology, ethics, and practical sciences. Tibetan refugees have very limited resources and would likely never be able to acquire these books elsewhere. These texts support the foundation for their unique culture which values developing wisdom and acting with compassion, above all else.

2. Why is the World Peace Ceremony important?

The World Peace Ceremony is important not only for the Tibetan people, but all of humankind. The texts distributed at the Ceremony contain knowledge and wisdom that can be found nowhere else. As a result of the Chinese invasion in 1949, almost all of Tibet’s 6,000 monasteries and nunneries were destroyed. Because these were the centers of Tibetan cultural life, this destruction is comparable to all of the churches, libraries, schools, and universities in the United States being reduced to rubble. It was and continues to be a major cultural loss that deprives not only Tibetans but all mankind of a unique cultural heritage and wisdom tradition. It is extremely important to keep alive this special culture and body of literature; if no effort is made, it will be lost forever.

By offering these books, we are making an important investment in the preservation of rare texts and in the future of the Tibetan culture. They also have the immediate practical effect of providing a catalyst for education in the Tibetan refugee community, connecting young Tibetans to their heritage and promoting literacy. In fact, literacy rates are rising in all segments of the population, especially among women. The large quantities of books donated at the ceremonies have also inspired the building of libraries. Little by little, with the help of the Tibetan Aid Project, Tibetan culture is being restored and Tibetan refugees have a brighter future to look forward to.

Not only does the Ceremony benefit Tibetan refugees in an immediate and practical way, it also provides a chance for Tibetan refugees to gather together and reestablish a sense of solidarity. For a people who no longer have their own homeland and face the possible extinction of their culture, this chance to gather and experience community is invaluable.

Since the first Ceremony, many great living masters, including the Dalai Lama, have attended to present lectures to the thousands of participants. It is an educational event unlike any other, promoting visions of world peace and emphasizing the importance of compassion for all beings on our earth.

Why we need your help:

Over the past 21 years, the World Peace Ceremony has become an annual event and has grown from 700 participants to over 20,000. As the Ceremony has grown, so has the need for better facilitation. The Tibetan Aid Project needs your support in funding a core staff of five Tibetan Aid Project volunteers, who will coordinate the distribution of thousands of books during the Ceremony. The staff will also be responsible for distributing thousands of prayer wheels, sacred art prints, prayer flags, clothing, and small cash offerings to help with the expenses of people who undertake to travel a long distance to attend the Ceremony. Your support is needed for funding volunteer lodging, travel supplies, roundtrip airfare, and other supplies. Without volunteer staff, facilitating the Ceremony would be impossible. Now more than ever, with the Ceremony’s incredible growth, we need a core staff of volunteers to oversee the distribution of materials and ensure that the Ceremony is well organized. (See Table 1 and Project Budget.)

Why we are requesting from the Dougherty Foundation:
We are coming to you because the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation has shown commitment to its mission of changing the world for the better. You have funded numerous ventures that focus on fostering world peace and education, two of the main goals of the World Peace Ceremony. You have also funded projects that focus on community development, which resonates with the World Peace Ceremony’s goal to bring together the Tibetan community. This is not only to benefit the Tibetan people, but also so their unique teachings on how to develop peace of mind and compassion for others can bring benefit to the modern world. Your mission to “look ahead towards the future, giving the past its due by remembering where we came from” is similar to the Tibetan Aid Project and World Peace Ceremony’s mission: to preserve and rebuild the endangered Tibetan culture for the future good not only of the Tibetan community, but all of humankind.

In conclusion, TAP is seeking $10,000 in external funding to send a total of five staff members to Bodh Gaya, India to help manage the World Peace Ceremony. Our objective is to provide all necessary travel fare, lodging and supplies for these staff members so they can help run the World Peace Ceremony. Without staff members to coordinate it, the Ceremony will be disorganized and perhaps even ineffectual, and many Tibetans will be deprived of an experience and resources that help keep their culture alive.

During the Ceremony, the entire compound comes alive with chanting, prayers, offerings and circumambulations. Even the statues glow with a special radiance. People travel from all throughout Asia, as well as from Western lands, coming together to share in the spirit of community and peace.

Please consider helping us continue to make this beautiful and invaluable event possible.

In the attached pages, we provide a table that describes the distribution of books, prayer wheels, sacred art, and other offerings from 1989 to 2010; and a budget that describes how we will use the grant.