TVP Artisan Store
Tibetan Village Store in 2006: In 2006, TVP trained five Tibetan artisans: one man and four women in handcraft production in Lhasa and started Tibetan Village Store that serves as a coop by working with different artisans such as weavers, and wool spinners who would supply raw materials and artisans at the store design and produce Tibetan handcrafts. After three years support from TVP, this three-storey store (retail space on the first floor, training room on the second floor and an office on the third floor) is able to support its own financially and continue to make progress. Part of the success has been keeping its goal of becoming self-supported (not have a big fancy with huge operational costs) and avoiding dependency on NGO’s financial support to survive.  In 2010, Tibet Tourism Bureau with Lhasa TV Station collaborated and produced a 30-minute documentary to showcase the store as “Cultural Heritage” model and showed it on TVP every for one week. It was not only a great advertisement but also a validation and support from the Chinese government. Now the store has been already invited to different trade shows in mainland cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.


 
Melok Trade School
Is located just northeast of Lhasa. A Tibetan tour guide started it in the end of 2004. The school trains about 20 students, 2 teachers and one cook. The student term of study is three years: the first year teaches woodworking and sewing skills, the second year provides on-the-job training and the third year develops business skills. Products students make during their training such as desks, chairs, clothes, and other crafts, are sold or donated to local schools and clinics.  

The first group of the trainees made remarkable progress by (1) gaining woodworking contracts (jobs that normally go to non-Tibetans) to finish over 40 houses, (2) saving money to build a showcase space for woodwork and (3) working in their own villages. In the last few years, TVP has provided tools, equipment, clothes, and technical support. TVP is committed to helping to improve and expand its programs and making seed money available for those who wish to start their own businesses.
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