As one who born and raise in the refugee camp in India, Mr. Tenzin Losel a Tibetan social worker is strongly believed that for Tibetan community in exile a spiritual support is as equal important to that material need. With a support from Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation, The organization that have strong emphasis on the spiritual well being of humanity in Thailand. This project is aim to support senior Tibetan refugees who lived in exile for more than 50 years. Due to old age, health and economic condition, many of these Tibetan senior in exile were unable to participate in religious pilgrimage and unable to join His Holiness 14th the Dalai Lama annual teaching. “Diaspora Smile Project” empowers them with supporting in kind of transportation, assistance staff, food and accommodation during the pilgrimage season. From 2009-2013, We have successful support about 280 Senior Tibetan refugee age between 60-90 years old, from Mainpat Tibetan Settlement in Bihar , Refugee Camp near Bumtang in Bhutan, Choephelling Tibetan settlement in Miao, Arunachal Pradesh, Paljorling Settlement in Pokhara, Nepal, and Phuntsokling Tibetan settlement from Orissa.
From beginning of this project Mr. Bhanuwat Jittivuthikarn have start collaborate this project by working with still image for fund raising campaign in Thailand. He regularly took portraits of old people with a smile on the night after they have received private blessing from His Holiness Dalai Lama. While Most other photographers often portray image of Tibetan in exile as an alien culture on the verge of extinction, being slowly destroyed by the materialization in the process of Globalization. Bhanuwat on the other hand is fascinate by the tradition value characteristic of the old Tibetan who can laugh openly as similar to what he describe as “Thai people ability to smile”, he is believe there are simply connection between this two tradition emphasize by the Dhramma teaching of Buddha. We wish that audience who have view these photograph will look at Tibetan refugee in a new way, not as miserable political victim nor as an alien exotic being, but with a new respect. As friends who tell us that compassion and kindness is the secret of our survival in a harsh world today. So we hope this work is an invitation to discover the potential of simple image that have a power to inspire life with full of compassion.