Chakmo Tso

Chakmo Tso, one of this year’s Rowell Fund grantees, who is translating writings from Chinese to Tibetan.

Washington, DC: The Rowell Fund Board of Advisors announced today that they have selected 13 projects supporting the work of Tibetan journalists, writers, filmmakers and conservationists to receive funding in 2006. The grants, given to projects in five countries, range from $2,000 to $5,000 each, for a total of more than US$50,000. The Rowell Fund Board is aiming to increase grant funds for next year’s award.

“I want to congratulate this year’s grantees. We have wanted this Fund to infuse resources and energy into projects that can really help protect the environment and encourage high-quality journalism in the Tibetan community,” said Nicole Rowell Ryan, Galen Rowell’s daughter and a member of the Fund’s Board of Advisors.

“We are still working to define and re-focus the Fund, and hopefully give out larger grants next year. Galen and Barbara always challenged themselves to do better and to do more, and I hope both the grantees and the Fund’s Board of Advisors do the same,” Nicole continued.

Projects this year include publishing the memoirs of Yulo Dawa Tsering, a prominent prisoner of conscience, publishing a book on journalism, promoting environmental awareness and translating works of the famous Tibetan writer Woeser from Chinese into Tibetan. Of the 13 grantees, 10 are based in Asia, two in the U.S. and one in England. Four are led by women.

This is the Fund’s third year of operation and each year the Fund has been able to give more grant funds. Next year the Fund hopes to grow again, but possibly give fewer grants, at higher amounts, and re-focus its mission.

The Advisory Board received applications from 59 Tibetans and Tibetan organizations, including numerous ones from Tibet, which are handled confidentially by the Fund. The final selection is done by the 10 members of the Board of Advisors who each read and grade every proposal. The Fund is managed and housed at the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT).

The Fund is in memory of Galen and Barbara Rowell who told the story of Tibet though photography, writing and their stock image business, to hundreds of thousands of people. Galen and Barbara died in a plane accident in 2002. For more about them, their lives and work, see

The advisory board, made up of friends and family of Galen and Barbara, consists of John Ackerly, Conrad Anker, Justin Black, David Breashears, Jimmy Chin, Bob and Beth Cushman, John Jancik and Terri Baker, Bob Palais, Tony Rowell and Ray and Nicole Rowell Ryan.

This year, ICT and the Advisors raised the funds through a benefit climb up the 13,770 foot Grand Teton in Wyoming. Another benefit climb will be announced in January, 2006.

Applications for the Fund are accepted only in September of each year.

The 13 successful applicants, amounts granted, and short project descriptions, are:

  • Gaden Tashi, U.K. $5,000. To publication “The Memoirs of Yulo Dawa Tsering”. About how a prominent monk endured imprisonment and torture for his country.
  • Tsering Yangkey, Tesi Environmental Awareness Movement, India. $4,800. To promote ecological consciousness of Tibetan pilgrims through youth empowerment and leadership training at the Kalachakra. (This is a repeat grant.)
  • Chakmo Tso, US-India. $2,365. Funds to translate and publish Woeser’s works in Tibetan. Woeser’s controversial writings in Chinese are widely read in China, but not sufficiently available to Tibetans.
  • Lobsang Sherab, India. $4,650. To publish a book on the history of Chamdo, Kham.
  • Tashi Wangchuk & Tsultrim Dorjee, Tibet Motion Pictures, India. $4,800. Partial funding for the production of “Two Exile Brothers.”
  • Lungrik Gyal, India. $3,674. Handbook of Journalism that will be a key stylistic manual for aspiring Tibetan journalists.
  • Pema Tsewang Shastri, U.S. $2,000. For the publication of book in Tibetan language entitled, “I am Tibet.”
  • Sangay Tashi, The Tibetan Children’s Education Center, India. $4,971. A newly founded educational organization that publishes Tibetan language news letter “The Tibetan Children’s Treasure.”
  • Tenzin Yangkye, Nepal. $2,600. A project to assist health and welfare of new Tibetan arrivals by providing TB vaccine and other services.
  • Kapthu Gyal, Tibetan Writers Abroad P.E.N Centre. India. $2,384. To publish the newsletter “Chistok Melong”, a Tibetan language monthly publication, run mainly by Tibetan recent arrivals.
  • Rapsel Tsariwa, Tibetan Volunteers for Animals, India, $2,600. To show documentary films, a photo exhibit and literature about animal welfare at the Kalachakra.
  • Confidential, Tibet. $5,000
  • Confidential, US-Tibet. $5,000