ASSOCIATION Marc Zanskarpa

 

Notre histoire

In 1988, Marc Damiens and a few friends create ADEPTE (Aventure, D├ępart, Espace, Passeport, Terre, Espoir), an association aimed at an alternative mode of travel. During one of his solitary treks in the Himalayas, Marc meets Tashi from the hamlet of Phey in the Zanskar mountains. They can't readily communicate but they exchange addresses. Back in France Marc and his association correspond in English and end up offering to support a project in Zanskar.

The Zanskaris jump at the opportunity; a few parents have already started the LMS (Lamdon Model School) association to provide their children with a better education than what is locally available. The teaching is done in the context of their cultural heritage.

 

ASSOCIATION Photo2 Histoire

Jetsun Pema, the sister of the Dalai Lama, had allowed them access to a building and to a few unused rooms in the Pipiting monastery near Padum, the only town in Zanskar.

 

Some 20 children, both boys and girls, are being taught there by three teachers. The project appeals to the French and 15 of them travel to Zanskar in 1990...

 

ASSOCIATION Photo1 Histoire

A few years later ADEPTE is renamed Aide au Zanskar (Help to Zanskar or AaZ), a joint project with the Zanskaris. It grows steadily in numbers and in the admission of girls, with an end goal of 50%. After completing 10th grade, a majority of students move on to higher studies, mainly outside Zanskar. Most return to Zanskar, to the extent they can find jobs. They help develop the Zanskar economy and maintain its culture.