When we think of exploration, we tend to imagine astronauts unlocking the mysteries of outer space or deep-sea divers studying the astonishing worlds of the ocean’s depths.
But sometimes, the most important direction exploration can take is inward.
Losang Rabgey learned this through her work in Machik, a nonprofit whose mission is to grow a global community committed to a stronger future for Tibet, which she founded with her sister and her parents. In 1998, they took advantage of a “small window to go into Tibet to deliver Tibetan-language, mother-tongue-based, bilingual education, to rural Tibetans” in the village where Losang’s dad grew up.
It wasn’t easy. There were lots of stakeholders to consider, not just students and their parents. And empathy was the key to finding a solution. “We’ve had the tremendous privilege, the life-changing privilege… to explore how to build empathy in a very uncertain context and place in the world,”--Tibet—through the powerful avenue of education”
It’s a long-term project, and it has delivered. Both in excellent test scores for students and in the fact that many graduates went on to college and came back to teach in Tibet.
Losang says the key lesson is “the importance of really searching inside ourselves to figure out how to listen to people across a great, cavernous gap.” We need to “build the internal strength and desire to sit and listen deeply for long enough to someone to understand what their challenges are and what possible overlap” we have.
About Losang Rabgey
Born a Tibetan refugee in India and raised in Canada, Dr Rabgey is the first Tibetan to hold a PhD in Feminist Anthropology. She is the first Tibetan Commonwealth Scholar and National Geographic Explorer. In 1998, she and her sister Dr Tashi Rabgey co-founded Machik with their parents as a nonprofit whose mission is to grow a global community committed to a stronger future for Tibet. In 20+ years, Machik has mentored and supported education for thousands of people in Tibet and in diaspora, mostly women and girls. Machik’s currently works on civic engagement, gender equity and social innovation. Programs feature a Tibetan Ideas Festival, a global platform to learn about cultural producers and change makers in Tibet, an annual Gender Summit, and more. Machik also supports social innovators inside Tibet working in education, film, gender equity, conservation, health, and so on.
About Women Blaze Trails Festival:
In celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11), LenovoEDU sponsored Women Blaze Trails, a virtual 3-day festival celebrating women in science, exploration, and conservation from around the world.
The virtual festival had one simple goal: celebrating incredible women, doing incredible things around the world, day in and day out. We’re sharing these videos from the festival so you can meet scientists, explorers, conservationists, filmmakers, photographers and more, showcasing their work, challenges, adventures, research and expeditions.
Image description: Portrait of Losang Rabey inlay on a photograph of mountains and a stream taken near Tsurphu Monastery, Doilungdêqên County, Tibet.