Tibet Heritage Fund (THF) is a group of people from Asian and European countries who have been working in Tibet for almost 20 years to restore traditional Tibetan houses, neighbor- hoods and monasteries. They use the restoration process to revive the traditional building crafts and cultural practices which go into these beautiful buildings and which have been under serious threat in the context of China’s control over Tibet.
Although its work has focused on the physical restoration of historic structures, their work has always sought to find ways that the mostly poor families who live in these historic buildings and neighborhoods can stay and be part of the architectural and cultural revival, rather than be evicted to make way for tourist boutiques.
THF and its local NGO partner (LOTI) have been working in Leh since 2003. After carrying out a survey in the old town, they established a local working team which since 2005 has been engaged in upgrading both houses and infrastructure, with good support from the municipal government.
The ACCA process in LEH, in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir
The remote city of Leh, in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, is the capital of India’s Ladakh region. Because Leh was once part of Tibet, the city’s inhabitants are mostly Tibetan Buddhists, with some Hindu migrants from other parts of India. Since 2003, the Tibet Heritage Fund (THF) group and its local partner LOTI have been working with communities in the thousand- year old town center of Leh to help restore some traditional Tibetan houses, neighborhoods and monasteries, using the restoration process to revive the traditional crafts and cultural practices which go into these beautiul buildings. Although their projects have focused on the physical restoration of historic structures, their work has always sought to find ways to that the mostly poor families who live in these historic buildings and neighborhoods can stay and be part of the architectural and cultural revival, rather than be evicted to make way for tourist boutiques.
Some of this upgrading work in Leh’s old town has been supported by ACCA, but after the flash floods in 2010 damaged or destroyed many houses in the lower part of town, the THF has focused its work - and the ACCA process - on helping these residents rebuild their houses, especially by providing affected households with access to some skilled workers and some housing materials, and then they do the repair work mostly themselves. An especially harsh winter, with lots of snow, has slowed things down, however.
Ater 8 seasons of hard work, we are happy to say our biggest project is finally completed,
the Central Asian Museum in Leh.
Read about the opening in this 3 page DOWNLOADABLE extract from the CAN Newsletter December 2015
647 KBS text and photos 3 pages
Some Earlier pics below
Update: The Central Asian Museum was opedened in October 2015 and you can see many pictures of the celebrations on the THF Facebook page HERE
Working on the Museum in Leh.
Pimpim and Dolkar in Leh Ladakh
Yutaka with local artisans
China Update December 2014
All the latest ACCA stat.s from China ( Tibetan Region)
Using ACCA to help save the soul of an historic Tibetan town
The Tibet Heritage Fund
YUSHU: “socialist Village” relocations
2 page extract on the above topics from ACCA 5 Year Report
LEH: Restoring an ancient Tibetan city with the people who livein it (1 page).
As we construct the NEW ACHR website we will add more information on each country. For now please consider the Country Library section below where PDF downloads with copious information is available.
Country Downloads Library Tibet
Using the restoration of traditional houses to secure tenure and revive local cultures.
ACCA support to earthquake rehabilitation in YUSHU
ACCA support to community upgrading LHASA
Extract from the Second Year ACCA Report 1 page
An episode of Heritage Heroes shown on BBC. This episode features Andre Alexandre from THF. Andre died sadly in Jan 2012. THF continues with dedicated members and is a valued coalition partner in ACHR and CAN. 2010
Tibets architectural heritage, particularly in Lhasa, is threatened by modern development. Tibet Heritage Fund is a non-profit project for sustainable urban and rural development in different parts of the Tibetan cultural realm.