Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
"Telling her own story, provides an opportunity for the Tibetan children to recount theirs"
In May 2000 I travelled to Dehra Dun (11 hours drive North of Delhi) in India to write and deliver a 2 year secretarial course to Tibetan refugee students at a vocational training centre. I left my 2 grown up children, sold my home and belongings to fund my 2 year stay. During this time I met many Tibetan refugee children, aged 4 to 21 who were living in hostels in the centre where I was teaching. These children (housed in 8 homes) had recently escaped Tibet, where they were being persecuted by the Chinese authorities.

I made many friends, and had many wonderful (and not so wonderful) experiences, including trying to teach monks English and students to sing English hymns! It was by far the most challenging time of my life. I spent much of my spare time with the refugee children (many of whom were orphaned and destitute) helping the school nurse and the ‘mothers’ who took charge of the children in the hostels. It was here that I started to write the children’s stories.

In February 2001 I moved to a Tibetan school in a mountain village called Rajpur, where I married a Tibetan man, who was the school accountant. It was here that I decided to write a book about my experiences of being a volunteer. I also wanted people to learn about the suffering of the Tibetan children. I spent my days writing, doing voluntary work in the community, raising funds for the poorest of children so that they could go to school and found sponsors to help sick Tibetans, including heart operations.

I hired a computer for 2 weeks (I couldn’t afford to hire it for any longer) and spent most of my waking hours in those 2 weeks typing up my notes. My book is called “Running From Tenda Gyamar”, (the Tibetan meaning for, “Red Chinese, enemies of Religion”).

There are 32 chapters in my book. These consist of details about myself and why I made the decision to be a volunteer, my experiences of living and working with Tibetans (inc the ups and downs), and also the children’s stories. You can read one of the chapters on this site, which will give you a glimpse of the trauma and adversity Tibetan children suffer when escaping from Tibet to India to get an education.

Voluteer for Tibet
In 2002 I returned to the UK with my Tibetan husband. We returned to India for a holiday in 2003, but sadly, separated and divorced soon after we came home. I continued to help Tibetans living in London to access qualification training and paid work and I was able to help several people.

I could never have envisaged the huge transformation that living in India would have on my outlook on life as well the adjustments I would make for the future. It took around 2 years for me to finally process all my experiences and it wasn’t until 2009 that I felt ready to start the process of publishing my book.

I hope you enjoy looking at my photos and the moving story of a 10 year old Tibetan boy, which is taken from my book. If you have any questions or would like more information, please e-mail me at