To provide a space where young Tibetans and Indians can build strong relationships and learn from each other, Ritinjali in collaboration with Empowering The Vision Project organised a Summer Camp in Dharamsala for students from the Vasant Valley School (Delhi) and Upper TCV School (Dharamsala). Eighteen students from VVS and 20 students from TCV were selected to participate in the Summer Camp which is part of a programme called Building Bridges.

Building Bridges is a learning programme which is designed to bring young people together, typically Indian students and Tibetan students to foster mutual respect, care and sharing. This is seen as a strategy to strengthen the relationship between the Indian and the Tibetan communities, which despite physical proximity and shared heritage remain rather insulated to each other. The programme hopes to nurture friendships and relationships between institutions and individuals.

The specific learning objectives:

That by the end of the camp the participants would be able to:

1. Compare and contrast their personal family experiences with their buddies – see differences and more importantly similarities.

2. Undertake a study of Indian and Tibetan communities in Dharamsala and identify key strengths and challenges.

3. Design and undertake a community action (service/ shramdaan/ awareness program) on an issue of shared concern.

The sub-objectives would be to:

1. Build personal skill sets and attitudinal shifts to be more adaptive, flexible and creative

2. Form a relationship of respect and caring ,

3. Build a base of knowledge and awareness about political, cultural and social heritage of different communities.


1. Staying in a camp - sharing space and routines

2. Trek and nature watch

3. Community study and interactions

4. Talks, meeting and interviews

5. Planning and implementing action projects

7. Art, theatre and games

Guiding Principles:

1. Respecting and transcending identities

2. Diversity and inclusion are strengths

3. Being sensitive and earth-caring

4. Non-violence and assertiveness

5. Deep, peaceful and fun

6. Questioning with openness

7. Reflective and creative