Machik is a U.S.-based non-profit, non-governmental organisation that incubates social innovation in Tibet. Their work focuses on five main areas: The Chungba Project, Women's Initiatives, Summer Enrichment Program, Social Entrepreneurship, Youth Leadership, and Governance.
Machik was founded by Tibetan sisters Losang and Tashi Rabgey, two Ph.D.s who grew up predominantly in Canada. The group came about after the sisters and their parents built the Ruth Walter Chungba Primary School in the village of Chungba, located in the Kham region of Tibet. The school first opened in 2002, and is now considered an exemplary school in the region. The organisation has also gone on to develop the Chungba Middle School and create programs to offer educational opportunities for Tibetan women in the Amdo region and elsewhere.
Losang and Tashi Rabgey were born in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India and later moved to Canada. Losang holds a Ph.D. from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and was named an Emerging Explorer by the National Geographic; Tashi was the first Rhodes Scholar of Tibetan descent and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is now a Research Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. Both have published extensively on Tibet issues and continue to do fieldwork on the ground in the region.
The work of Machik has grown from their first school to include much broader initiatives. Their approach to making an impact has centered on community-based approaches and direct interventions. Projects have included bringing green energy and clean drinking water to a rural town, building a library in town with high literacy but low access to materials, creating a greenhouse, repairing roads and houses, and participating in health care initiatives.
Machik is a partner of the University of Virginia Tibet Center, where Tashi Rabgey served as co-director and founded the Tibet Sustainable Governance Program. Through the program, Machik works with graduate students at the University to conduct research and participate in field work of the organisation.
Machik has been able to achieve success in their programs without the political pitfalls that organisations have faced. Machik's staff speak both Mandarin Chinese and Tibetan, and their educational efforts in the U.S. emphasize an understanding of Tibet within the broader system of international affairs, including Chinese governance.
- Machik: Our Work accessed 26/4/2012
- National Geographic, Explorer Bio, Losang Rabgey accessed 26/4/2012
- Machik: Education accessed 26/4/2012
- Tashi Rabgey and Tseten Wangchuk Sharlho, "Sino-Tibetan Dialogue in the Post-Mao Era", East West Center, 2004
- UVA Tibet Center accessed 26/4/2012
- Ethan Zuckerman, Machik and the Future of Tibet Archived 2012-12-05 at the Wayback Machine., 22 October 2006. Accessed 26/4/2012
- Ed Crews, The Tibetan Connection, 2008. accessed 26/4/2012