‘Particularly in these days of renewed violence against the Tibetan people, the over nine hundred thousand Euros raised in the RTL Telethon 2007 has been more important than ever before to pay for the expansion of a Tibetan Children’s village for Tibetan refugees children’, explain RTL charity director Wolfram Kons and project mentor, German actor Hannes Jaenicke.
The expansion of the children’s camp in Suja (North India) was one of the six selected child support projects in the RTL Telethon 2007. The spiritual leader of the Tibetans, the Dalai Lama, was also prepared to take part in an interview within the scope of the filming work of the ‘Foundation RTL – We Help Children’: ‘The RTL Telethon aims to help children in need. I appeal to you! Get involved and help in the long term, also for the sake of your children and children’s children.’
Each year over 3,000 Tibetans flee from their country, which has been occupied by China, and embark on a life-threatening trek across the Himalayas, usually completely ill-equipped, on their way to Nepal and India. 30 percent of these refugees are children and young people. They are sent into exile in India by their families so that they can grow up in freedom at the children’s villages of the Dalai Lama. As the inflow of Tibetans is likely to increase rapidly due to the current situation, the conditions in the overfull camps will become worse. Particularly precarious is the situation in Suja: the inhabitants here are all children, of which there are now over 2,000.
Hannes Jaenicke got a good picture of the dramatic situation in Suja for himself in autumn 2007. ‘With the RTL Telethon funds, we will be able to build houses, schools, playgrounds and sports fields and additional teachers and caretakers will be employed. In addition to this, we will be able to give the refugee children the psychological support they need so desperately,’ explains the committed actor. ‘If the Tibetan culture is to survive, we need to give the children who have fled from Tibet a future, for this is the very thing which has been taken away from them by the Chinese in their occupied country.
The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) is the organisation responsible for the project in Suja. ‘We are very pleased about this excellent contribution by RTL. Just at the moment the Tibetan children need more help than ever before’, says ICT-Germany’s director Kai M?ller.