Tibetans in Exile: The Dalai Lama & the Woodcocks

Tibetans in Exile

Tibetans in Exile

The Dalai Lama & the Woodcocks

by Alan Twigg


  • Autumn 2009
  • ISBN 978-1-55380-079-8
  • 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 272 pages
  • History

Alan Twigg has here recovered the amazing story of how George and Ingeborg Woodcock, while travelling in northern India in 1961, encountered many of the Tibetan refugees who had recently fled over the mountain passes. Appalled by the condition of the children — huddled together with inadequate bedding, surviving on a diet of thin soup and steamed dumplings — the Woodcocks vowed to help.

Hearing of this, one of the Tibetans said, “You must absolutely come and see uncle.” This was Khando Yapshi, the Dalai Lama’s niece. Among the first Westerners to meet with the Dalai Lama, the Woodcocks offered to campaign to provide humanitarian assistance. This was the genesis for the Tibetan Refugee Aid Society (TRAS), one of two remarkable non-profit charities spearheaded by the Woodcocks — the other being Canada India Village Aid (CIVA) — that have touched the lives of millions.

Since 1962, TRAS has raised over $5 million and undertaken 300 projects. Both of the Woodcocks’ volunteer-based, low overhead organizations are still going strong today.

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“A great book about great people.”
— Joseph Planta, The Commentary

“Alan Twigg casts new light on [TRAS and CIVA’s] enigmatic founders.” — Canadian Literature