Rebuilding Yushu Businesses

Yushu Earthquake Response: Since the devastating earthquake in Yushu, the Tibetan Village Project (TVP) has worked tirelessly to secure the health and well-being of Tibetans in earthquake affected areas.  In collaboration with the Yushu Earthquake Response (YER), a temporary coalition of local NGOs, TVP was able to distribute basic supplies (food, water, clothing, etc.) and winterized tents to 300 families.  Thank you to everyone who helped us raise over $200,000 toward this effort. With the immediate needs of Yushu’s earthquake families being met, TVP has shifted its focus toward rebuilding the business community.

Rebuilding Yushu Business Communities: TVP is helping to rebuild Tibetan owned businesses in Yushu earthquake affected areas by providing skills and business management training and offering seed money to develop businesses. About 85% of businesses in Jyeku are owned and operated by Han and Muslim people from outside of Yushu, and this number continues to increase. Migrants recognize that Yushu offers a good business opportunity for several reasons: the government, NGOs, and caring citizens contribute money toward rebuilding the communities; the government allows outsiders to set up tents and manufactured homes; and the majority of Tibetans simply don’t have the energy and resources to set up their own businesses as they still live in tents. Thus, TVP is rebuilding the local economy by focusing on one business at a time.  Here is what we have done so far:

  1. In August 2010, TVP provided storefront tents to 45 Tibetan business owners in Jyeku (downtown) that would either like to restart their businesses or have already started but need to improve or expand. 

  2. In September 2010, Machik donated $26,897.00 to TVP's collaboration with a Yushu-based NGO to provide loans to 7 businesses in Jyeku such as restaurants, shower house, repair shops and transportation services. Please read the story of the Lhasa Restaurant, one of our loan recipients.  

  3. TVP supported 10 Tibetan business owners and social workers during a one-week business management training. They learned how to identify business opportunities, prepare a business plan, and build an effective team. After trainees returned to Yushu, they continued their relief work and worked hard to improve their business, also helping us to identify Tibetan businesses owners who might need our assistance.

  4. In March 2011, having successfully raised $10,000, TVP provided loans to 2 businesses: a clothing shop and a business support service that employs local Tibetans and plays an important role in rebuilding Yushu communities.

  5. In July 2011, with the help of several donors who contributed $8000 toward building a tailor shop and purchasing sewing machines, TVP initiated an income generation project at a senior care facility for about 80 elders in Yushu. TVP continues to support this program and has hired a part-time staff member for the center.
Our Work

Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant & Tailor Shop: Tashi (~ 47 years old) is originally from Lhoka, near Lhasa, and moved to Yushu in 2006 with his wife, two sons, a daughter, and a nephew. They started a Tibetan restaurant and a tailor shop in Jiegu. Tashi is a “master tailor” and teaches his sons how to sew, while his wife is the main chef and teaches her daughter and others how to cook. After four years of hard work, both the restaurant and tailor shop were financially successful and had gained great fame in Jiegu. Tragically, Tashi’s eldest son, daughter in-law (who was pregnant), and a grandchild were killed in the earthquake. The sewing shop and restaurant collapsed, and merchandise and fabric worth around 50,000 RMB was looted. Since the family does not reside in Yushu, they did not receive any support from the government. TVP offered Tashi one 45 square meter winter tent as a gift (costing $1000) to be used as a storefront and provided $3,750 seed money for his busines. The money was used to buy tables and chairs for the restaurant and fabrics for the tailor shop.

Photos of Winterized Tent Recipien

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