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Shamo Thar: Creating an Action-Based Model for Teaching
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Nominated by Catlin Powers and Scot Frank

Shamo Thar is one of the driving forces of sustainable change and female empowerment in western China. She established the development studies program at Qinghai Normal University. As a teacher there, she has nurtured many young people — especially women — to become social, environmental, and educational leaders in their communities.

Yet, her lessons go far beyond the classroom. Each year, Shamo Thar spends her free time writing grants for her Community Development Fund for Students, a fund enabling students to engage in hands-on teaching and sustainable development internships.

Shamo Thar’s students come from agricultural and nomadic families in Qinghai, Gansu, and Sichuan Provinces in China. By creating a new, action-based model for teaching about the environment and sustainable development, Shamo Thar is shaping a new generation of rural youth capable of raising living standards in their communities in a locally appropriate manner. She is calling this endeavor the Pentok Institute (the institute of selfless giving).

In addition, Shamo Thar’s extensive experience in the sustainable development sectors in China and the USA has made her adept at designing effective, efficient, and long-term development projects. She is using her experience to bring renewable energies, libraries, and running water to rural areas of western China through innovative approaches to education.

Photo credit: Catlin Powers

This piece is part of Worldchanging's Attention Philanthropy campaign. All week long, the Worldchanging Network will be delivering "attention grants" to worthy projects, individuals, resources and more. You can learn more about these gifts of notice and find other entries by clicking here.

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Thank you Catlin and Scot. Having read your article, it sounds to me that Shamo Thar is one of those who has a great vision to bring sustainable development in the much needed nomadic communities / grassroot level people in Qinghai. Kudos to Shamo Thar and her Phentok Institute. Wondering ??? how we can involve in the activities of Phentok Institute. Thanks!

Posted by: Tsering Wangyal on 11 Jul 09

Yeah, i strongly agree that Sharmo Thar is a woman who is driving development studies in the Tibetan area and empower Tibetan young people, especially young girls. She encourages Tibetan young people to step forward and try to see new world. She thinks that there is so many things to be learnt outside of the our sight. Therefore she tries utmost of her effort to inspire Tibetan young people. Iam one of her student and i am the one who always admire her diligent work and perseverance. I suggest all the Tibetan young girls ought to follow her and study her significant contribution. Here, i am taking all Tibetan young people's place to greatly thank her and pray her.

Posted by: Phoebe on 20 Jul 09

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