The mission of Munsel Foundation is to gently and skillfully assist beings in need all over the world. Munsel in Tibetan means to dispel darkness. The sun and moon were selected for the logo because they shed light on outer darkness. The yak is in the logo because they are strong, gentle, and useful. The yak's horns stand for compassionate wisdom and worldly knowledge, which dispels inner darkness.
Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche went to Tibet in 2004 with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and a group of his students from Shambhala International to visit Surmang and Golok. Because he was close, Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche went to the area where his family came from to visit.
While he was there leaders and parents of 4 villages asked him to to help educate their children since most did not have an education. Munsel Foundation has been active in the development of this project since January 2006.
The 2007-08 school year saw 15 children moved to Yushu (Jyekundo) town and begin living in a rented house near a public school. 2008-09 an additional 20 children came to live in a purchased home 5 minutes from the public school.
In Feb. 2008 adult language and math classes were started for small groups of older children who can not attend school and adults of all ages. This continued until the earthquake.
April 14, 2010 at 7:49AM a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the town. In less than a minute most buildings had collapsed. Five Munsel School children died that day. Due to the heroic efforts of the adult staff 25 children survived.
Most children returned to the villages for two months after the earthquake. All remaining children returned to Yushu and continue to attend school. They lived in refugee tents for over 2 years through two harsh winters, the dust and debris from the earthquake and re-building, and the fears of being trapped. Yushu is on the Tibetan Plateau at about 12,000 feet in altitude.
Now all, but 5 younger children without close relatives in Yushu who continue to live with our house parents, live with extended family and continue to go to school. For the past 2 years more and more families are following the Munsel School example and bringing their children down from the high mountain villages to be educated in city schools. Several families putting their income together can afford to rent a house and take turns living with the children.
Vietnam: Since 2003, Munsel Foundation dba Foodaid Compassion has been actively working in all areas of Vietnam with a multi-faceted project called Relief Services In Vietnam. Ly Nguyen is the principal projects manager for Vietnam. She makes multiple trips each year finding new projects, checking on existing projects, and making sure each and every gift from a donor is given with care and love. She has been to every one we support.
When ever possible Ly likes to personally help with the projects.... giving cash but also giving time, effort and attention. Through Ly, and others who accompany her on these trips, gifts to the people of Vietnam are not faceless checks but warm gestures of assistance from real people
Relief Services In Vietnam works with religious, social, governmental, and community based organizations and with individuals. RSV projects are chosen because they are helpful in a real and specific way. We look for projects that are not presently funded or are under funded. We look for people who have the skills, the desire and a commitment to making a difference in the lives of those who need help. Sometimes when we find a need and no one to help...we do it ourselves.