Dhang-shab-pa is a Tibetan word that means someone who has volunteered his or her service.
2. What are the volunteering eligibility requirements?
Tibet Corps seeks passionate and civic-minded Tibetans who are interested in engaging in tangible work in service to Tibetan people and polity.
- Be Tibetan, or a person of Tibetan origin
- Be a current college student, a recent graduate, a current professional, or a retired professional
- Have expertise or specialized knowledge in a professional field or subject which may include traditional skills and cultural knowledge
- Be prepared to commit at least three months of service
3. How do I apply for a service position?
Application is a two-step process:
- Browse the service openings and select one or more openings
- Complete the online application by clicking on the apply button. You will need to have your cover letter, resume and external references ready for uploading
- Sit for a phone or an online interview
- Applications will be reviewed and filled on a rolling basis, so the sooner you apply, the better. Online submission of applications is preferred.
4. I am retired. Can I still apply?
Tibet Corps strongly encourages Tibetan retirees to apply. In many ways this program is ideally suited for retirees who have deep experience, expertise and most of all time.
5. How are service opportunities created?
Tibet Corps service positions arise out of a clear need expressed by a host institution typically a department, section or an entity affiliated with the CTA.
The dhang-shab-pas do not supplant the role and work of existing staff, but instead fill a clearly defined and needed role. Most service opportunities will require the dhang-shab-pas to work in close partnership with one or more staff to ensure that the learning and know-how is diffused and transferred across the host institute.
6. What if I don’t see a service opening that interests me?
Not a problem. Submit your application and let us know your availability and interest. Tibet Corps will try to find you a service opportunity.
7. What are the three different service tracks?
The three service tracks are: Student, Professional and Fellows.
Students, those who are currently pursing an undergraduate degree and recent graduates, have opportunities to serve in Tibetan schools and selected projects within CTA. Third and final year undergraduate students and recent graduates will be given preference in the selection process.
Professionals constitute both active and retired professionals. This group includes Tibetans who possess specialized knowledge and experience in a certain field or subject.
Fellows are active or retired professionals with over ten years of experience and who possess deep expertise. These are individuals who hold or have held senior leadership positions in their professional careers. Fellows can respond to specific projects on the website, or may be recruited to do high level work related to strategy, training, and advising.
8. Where are service opportunities located?
Service opportunities can be based in Dharamsala within one of the CTA departments or autonomous entities, field-based in one of the Tibetan settlements and schools, an organization affiliated with CTA or virtual
9. What is a virtual opportunity?
Some Tibet Corps opportunities, primarily those that are research and writing oriented, can be done virtually. These opportunities are ideal for those with the required skill sets and experience, and able to work with minimal supervision. Recruiting, screening, placing and supervising are done virtually.
Virtual dhang-shab-pas are also required to sign a service contract at the start of service where the responsibilities, tasks and guidelines are outlined. Orientation, setting communicating goals, assessing progress and giving regular feedback will all happen online primarily between the volunteer and the contact person at the host institute. The dhang-shab-pa will need to keep a log of service time rendered and tasks completed.
10. What happens after my service application is approved?
A Tibet Corp staff person will contact you to review and discuss the details of your service, timeline, logistics, etc. You will be asked to sign a service contract detailing your responsibilities and other service guidelines. It will be your responsibility to apply for a valid visa and make travel arrangements to and from Dharamsala. Once you arrive in Dharamsala, you will receive a tailored orientation and be connected to a staff contact at the host institution. If the position is field based then the program will assist with your travel arrangements and get you to the project site.
11. Will I receive guidance and support?
During the service period, you will have regular check-ins with both your host institution contact and program staff of Tibet Corps. In these sessions we will cover your progress, answer questions, facilitate communications, and provide as much support as possible to create a positive service environment.
12. What kind of financial assistance and support can I expect from Tibet Corps?
The program will assist you with housing should you need one. A nominal monthly stipend is provided to cover meals and local transportation. Here are the monthly stipends (in INR):
- Fellows and Retirees: INR 12,000
- Professionals and University Graduates: INR 11,000
- Students: INR8500
You are responsible for travel expenses to and from Dharamsala and for all health-related expenses during your service period. For those willing to commit six months or more of service, Tibet Corps will reimburse a portion of the round trip international economy airfare. A request must be made and it is conditional on availability of funds. The program also encourages taking Tibetan language classes during the service period.
13. What is the maximum duration of service?
A dhang-shab-pa can serve for a maximum of one year. However, in certain cases an extension of additional three months can be considered.
14. Is Tibet Corps only for Tibetans living outside India and Nepal?
No, Tibet Corps is open to all talented and service-minded Tibetans. However, the program strongly encourages Tibetans living overseas to apply as one of the core objectives of the program is to connect the CTA and the Tibetan community in India with Tibetans living overseas.
15. What about health insurance?
Dhang-shab-pas are responsible for their own health care during service. For those coming from outside India, consult with your insurance provider and confirm if your policy applies overseas, or you may also choose to obtain health insurance from a domestic provider in India.
16. What about visa-related issues?
For those serving less than six months, generally you may be able to work as a volunteer while on a tourist visa if your main purpose in visiting India is tourism and any voluntary work remains incidental.
However, if you want to serve for six months to a year then we recommend that you apply for an Intern Visa from the Indian Embassy or nearest consulate.
Please contact us if you are applying for an Intern Visa as Tibet Corps will provide you with the required documentation, which will also include getting a letter from your concerned Office of Tibet. Putting the required paperwork takes time so please begin the process well in advance so that you can start your service as per your availability.
17. What is the work schedule?
All dhang-shab-pas are required to follow the same work schedule that applies to staff of the host institute. The program strongly discourages taking personal time off during the service period unless it is an emergency. It would be best to schedule personal and family-related travel before and after the service period.
18. I head up a Tibetan NGO and would like the services of a dhang-shab-pa as well. How can I make a request?
The implementation of Tibet Corps is currently confined to CTA and select group of host institutions. The program hopes to serve other Tibetan organizations in the future.
19. I’m not Tibetan. Can I apply?
Generally no. The primary objective of Tibet Corps is to make Tibetans more self-reliant by enabling Tibetans to help themselves.
However, those outside the Tibetan community may apply for selected projects where Tibetan applicants cannot be found. These applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis taking into account the expertise offered and the needs of the host institute.
Interested applicant should write directly to [email protected] with the service code mentioned on the subject line.
Non-Tibetans should not fill out the online application form.
20. I’m not yet ready to become a dhang-shab-pa. How else can I help?
- Join Tibet Corps as a member and create your profile.
- Spread the word to your family and friends and encourage them to join utilizing your social media network.
- Host an information session in your area.
- The program would be happy to work with you.
- Recruit someone you know who would be a good match for one or more of the opportunities posted.
- Consider making a donation.