CULTURE

Dalai Lama’s sister in town for Tibetan Children’s Villages

The youngest sister of the Dalai Lama, Jetsun Pema, known as the «Mother of Tibet,» is currently visiting Athens for the first Cultural Humanitarian Festival «Seven Days in Tibet,» organized by the Friends of Tibet and the Municipality of Athens in aid of the Tibetan Children’s Villages SOS in India. Jetsun Pema visited the hostel for parents of children with cancer, run by the Elpida Association of Friends of Children with Cancer and met with its president, Marianna Vardinoyianni. She also visited the hostel and talked to the patients recovering from bone marrow transplants. Since 1964, Jetsun Pema has been the director of the children’s villages in Dharamsala and has set up schools, infants’ centers, youth centers and hostels for the aged for thousands of Tibetan refugees living in India. In May 1990, the Dalai Lama convened a special Congress of the Tibetan People-In-Exile in Dharamsala to elect ministers. Jetsun Pema was one of the three ministers elected and became the first Tibetan woman minister, but resigned three years later to devote herself to her work at the children’s villages. In 1995, the Tibetan National Assembly-In-Exile awarded her the title «Mother of Tibet» in recognition of her dedication and service to Tibetan children.