Our main fundraising events are the sponsored walks. Recently we've extended these to two a year, a city walk in the spring and a hill walk in the autumn. The walks typically attract a good turnout, and between them and other fundraising activities they raise in the region of a four-figure sum for good causes.
We also run two or three street collections, typically covering Aberdeen, Banchory, Inverurie and Stonehaven.
Occasionally we have also staged special live events on a Tibetan theme, or by Tibetan performers. A very popular example was the performance, to a packed house, of Tibetan ritual dancing by the Tashilhunpo monks.
Local musicians have also contributed by way of staging concerts dedicated to Tibet; one such occasion was a performance by folk/bluegrass band Moonshine Madness at Letterfourie, a traditional Scottish stately house in Banffshire.
The money raised by these activities goes to various projects. These can be divided into two principal areas: projects which seek to bring a solution to Tibet's political problems, such as Free Tibet Campaign, and those which provide aid to Tibetan communites both in Tibet and in the exile community.
The main aid projects we have supported are:
The Yak for Life programme seeks to redress the failure of the Communist farming policies which left many Tibetans without livestock, by providing yaks (the Tibetan equivalent of our domestic cow) for the smaller farms and nomadic groups who are herdless.
We're often asked on the street why we collect for Tibet, and not for a local cause. Simple fact is we here may have our gripes but none of us has the slightest notion of the extent of poverty in a place like Tibet, a marginal land which requires careful resource-management if it is to be a viable habitat, and which has been subjected to half-a-century of misguided and idealistic Chinese dogma on farming methods, leading to widespread failure of the traditional subsistence farming. Owing to the difference in the value of money between here and India or Tibet, a contribution of even few pounds can do a lot more than you might think.
We make donations each year to Free Tibet Campaign, Tibet Relief Fund, Tibet Foundation and ROKPA (meaning: to help or serve, in Tibetan). In addition we have made occasional donations to the Office for Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet, Art Refuge UK and other smaller Tibet aid organisations.