The school and clinic projects which make up NTF were commenced in 2001 by Driru Lhachen Gonpa, a monastery in the area where NTF operates. The projects were thus set up by Tibetans and for Tibetans. They saw an opportunity to make a difference to others within their community through education and health care.
NTF was only established formally in Australia as a charitable organisation in May 2007 by an Australian woman who had travelled to the monastery in 2000, and has maintained a connection with the monks from the monastery.Our projects have been operating without any formal external funding, but now further financial and other assistance is being sought through NTF.
NTF’s projects are located in Nangqian County, Qinghai Province, on the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. This area is very beautiful, remote and rugged, and has a very harsh climate for many months of the year. The winters are very long, and average temperatures in January range from – 18 degrees C to – 7 degrees C. The average elevation of the area is approximately 4000 m above sea level, and most families subsist on raising animals, as growing crops is extremely difficult. People are extremely poor in material terms.
Both the school and the clinic are located near to the monastery. They are outside the small town of Nangqian, and the nearest large town is Yushu, some 200 kms away through mountain passes and over roads in very poor condition. From Yushu, the nearest city is Xining (800 kms away), the capital city of Qinghai Province.