7 more in collection Tibetan Refugees , 3 more in collection RUNNING FROM REPRESSION - Editor's Picks 23 Jan 2013 , 7 more in collection Editor's Picks 3 April 2013

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Created by Katie Lin

20 Aug 2012


Like Lhamo, Nyidon has also been separated from her children. In 2006, when she noticed that schools in Kham province were increasing the use of Chinese for classroom instruction, the 37-year-old mother-of-three decided to send her two eldest children to India to continue their education in Tibetan. But she wasn’t only concerned about their education – their future in the job market was also compromised. “My younger brother was a political prisoner – he protested against Chinese in 2008,” Nyidon explains. “So they considered my family as a politically-related family. If our children would graduate, [the government] said that they would not provide jobs for them so I found no peace over there.” Six years later, in April 2012, she and her youngest child were finally able to attempt the border crossing to join them in exile. Once in Nepal, however, Nyidon was separated from her daughter, as their guides tried to strategize the best way to safely deliver them both to the Tibetan Refugee Reception Centre in Kathmandu. “I felt so scared – if I was caught by the police then I would be imprisoned, and what would happen to my daughter?” she remembers. “So when I arrived at the Reception Center I cried a lot.” While Nyidon is excited at the prospect of being reunited with her other two children after having spent more than half a decade apart, she is also faced with a lot of uncertainty. Because of her age, she does not qualify for admission to the Tibetan Transit School for further education and, as a farmer, she does not possess – what are considered – transferable skills. Nyidon also doesn’t know when she’ll see her husband again. “I feel so upset. I want to meet him again, but he needs good money to leave, so it is very difficult.”

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