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Name: Mingyur Paldon

Country: Tibet

Pestalozzi Scholar: 2017-2019

Born in Tibet, Mingyur was carried across the Himalayas from India by her mother at the age of two. Crossing the Himalayas took them nearly a year, and when they arrived in India Mingyur was enrolled at Tibetan Children Village, a refugee boarding school, where she heard about Pestalozzi.

‘Two years in Pestalozzi was the most life-changing experience of my life. It taught me so much about myself, this world and its diversity and where I developed lifelong friendships. I was privileged to receive the scholarship, which opened a world of possibilities. I’m a senior at Connecticut College majoring in International Relations and Human Development and a scholar of the Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA). I also studied at the Brussels School of Governance in Belgium in Spring 2022.

My Senior Independent Research is on how Belgian and Indian policies empower or limit Tibetan refugees’ livelihood and career options and provide recommendations to ensure access to employment for Tibetan refugees as per their skill sets and aspirations. As an intern at Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in India, I researched and drafted a shadow report for the UN on education and language rights in Tibet under China per the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I also interned with Integrated Refugees and Immigration Services (IRIS) in the US, which works collaboratively with the US Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide housing, employment, education, healthcare, and legal assistance for refugees. I work with co-sponsorship to produce a report on average rent in Connecticut to find affordable housing for incoming Afghani refugees amid Covid.

As a volunteer with Paper Airplanes, I taught English online to Syrian refugees looking to advance their education and career prospects. I am volunteering for Child Development Lab, working with children ages ranging from 1-4 years old. I am currently the President of the Student Refugee Alliance, and have served as President of the Amnesty International Club and the International Student Association.

I understand firsthand the disparity in accessing primary or quality education worldwide, especially for refugees who have to navigate a complex web of bureaucracy and economic and social exclusion in their quest to find homes. I want to work on refugee empowerment, especially among children, through education. My passion is drawn from my experience and that of many in my communities, and the conviction that education is one of the most powerful ways for refugees to empower and uplift themselves, their families and their community.

I would like to thank all donors who made my and many of my peers’ dreams come true. Thank you for believing in us all and for making a difference.’

Education is the key to empowering young people to improve their lives and their community. By setting up a regular payment to Pestalozzi or giving a one-off gift, it means that we can continue to provide opportunities to young people like Faisal who will go on to make a difference in the world.

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