Mingyur Paldon is a remarkable young woman with the power and potential to improve the plight of refugees caught up in one of the world’s longest running political conflicts.
The 17-year-old has grown up in one of the Tibetan refugee settlements in India after surviving a perilous trek over the Himalayas as a toddler, carried in the arms of her mother. Mingyur vividly remembers being urged to close her eyes so that the brightness of the snow did not damage them.
Inside my home
The holy cave
Where we wash the dishes
Mingyur dreams of helping the young people of her community overcome poverty, homelessness and exclusion as they build a new life in exile from their Chinese-dominated homeland.
In September 2017, as one of Pestalozzi’s new intake of students, Mingyur is embarking on a journey to gain the skills and knowledge she needs to make a difference in the world after showing the determination and resilience needed to gain an international educational scholarship.
Along with 37 other young people from similar backgrounds in nine developing countries around the world, Mingyur will live for two years in our multi-cultural, multi-faith community and study in a local college. Here she will have a unique opportunity to experience different cultures, and develop a global perspective on some of the problems she faces in her home community.
Pestalozzi provides life-changing opportunities to motivated young people like Mingyur, who have achieved outstanding academic performance in difficult circumstances. Our students come from Belize, Bhutan, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Tibetan communities in exile.
Many go on to internationally renowned universities and careers in world development, engineering, medical research, news media, environmental conservation, healthcare and education. Some have set up their own schools and charitable foundations ensuring that every penny that has been invested in them is multiplied many times in benefits to their communities.
Pestalozzi receives no government funding, and we need to raise £1m each year to support our students.
Mingyur has already demonstrated the dedication and persistence to flourish despite difficult personal circumstances and has a strong social conscience and a desire to give back to others.
Mingyur now lives with her mother in one of the Tibetan communities in exile in India. Her mother is now a serving nun in a monastery where they live in a holy cave. Their only income comes from the gifts of the pilgrims who worship there.
Despite these hardships, Mingyur graduated top of her year group of 160 students at the Tibetan Children’s Village School.
Me and my mum
Thanks to you, Mingyur and others like her will have the chance to complete their education and go on to change the world.