The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded $2 million for the new Tibet Education Project (TEP) to The Tibet Fund, a U.S.-based

NGO operating out of New York City, according to the State Department. The TEP is a two-year program to help Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal acquire educational skills and knowledge and improve the quality of education opportunities at Tibetan refugee settlements in South Asia that are run by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

“Investment in the Tibetan refugee community is a demonstration of the U.S. government’s enduring policy commitment to help Tibetans preserve their distinct culture and identity. This new project is the outcome of constructive collaboration between USAID, the State Department’s Tibet Coordinator Maria Otero, and the Central Tibetan Administration’s new leadership,” said Todd Stein, ICT Director of Government Relations.”

The TEP is based on a congressional directive in 2009 aimed at revitalizing the Tibetan settlements. The Central Tibetan Administration was consulted in TEP’s design, and U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Under Secretary Maria Otero guided the project to its launch phase.

Bids for the project were announced in June 2012 and the Tibet Fund, with years of experience managing State Department humanitarian and education grants for Tibetan refugees, won the award in September.

According to the U.S. Government, the six objectives of the TEP, based on the CTA’s Education Plan, include:

  1. intensifying teacher development and training;
  2. expanding the scholarship program;
  3. scaling the counseling program;
  4. prioritizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education;
  5. supporting test preparations and coaching for students; and
  6. improving education management.