Tsechu Dolma

Tsechu Dolma's picture
Basic Info
Wild Gift Class Year: 
2017
Better World Expertise: 
Community Engagement/Activism
Conservation & Stewardship
Sustainable Food & Agriculture
Current Occupation: 
Founder of Mountain Resiliency Project

My bold, entrepreneurial spirit has brought me back to the country I left behind, Nepal. Finding gaps in the existing infrastructures, I make deep­investment in small­scale, doable solutions to development challenges. Such as a greenhouse, which is not a revolutionary idea by itself, but combined with a school curriculum, business model and local investment, it becomes an incubator for social innovation, financial inclusion and capacity development. I am bold in optimizing the existing resources to serve the needs of a community through Mountain Resiliency Project. 

We do not build new infrastructure, we already have plenty of that; instead, I strengthen the existing ones with projects that facilitate social relations and sustainability. I realize my commitment to economic justice and poverty alleviation because I spent half my life as a stateless Tibetan refugee in Nepal, moving around refugee camps and Himalayan villages. After becoming a new American, receiving my education here, then going back, I realized that my community back home was stuck in a culture of waiting that international agencies had perpetuated and we had enhanced upon. Our community has been plagued with development barriers such as heavy youth outmigration, low student retention, poor water access and ethnic marginalization. But we were not working on solving our problems; instead, we waited for outsiders to bring in poorly designed/implemented, costly projects that would only last for a year or two. Inside the past decade, climate change and globalization has made living in the high­ Himalayas increasingly more difficult and we cannot afford to wait. I'm making a risky leap so that we can reverse this development trend, and instead take a grassroots approach to foster local ownership, inclusion and capacity.