Yushu orphans

Gebchak Wangdrak Rinpoche is the custodian of 22 children left orphaned after the devastating 2010 Yushu earthquake. Please help these children by making a contribution towards their basic needs and care. Online donations for the orphans can be processed securely using the PayPal link at the bottom of this page. Instructions for Australian and USA donors can be found here.

The story of the Yushu orphans

Epicenter within Yushu county. Map based on OCHA/ReliefWeb.

An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 struck Yushu County in southern Qinghai province on April 14, 2010. The capital of Yushu (Tibetan: Jyekundo) was flattened by its overwhelming force. According to the Xinhua News Agency, 2,698 people were confirmed dead and over 12,000 were injured in the area.

Gebchak Gonpa, a few hours drive away to the south, suffered increased damage to its old temple, but luckily all nuns remained safe. In Jyekundo Wangdrak Rinpoche alongside many other rescuers worked in freezing temperatures searching for survivors, recovering bodies, attending to the living, and praying for the deceased.


The quake struck at breakfast time, killing many children while they were in their school canteen. Other children who were still walking on their way to school were spared by being outdoors.

In the days after the earthquake people sought out Wangdrak Rinpoche asking for protection of orphaned children left behind. In total, Rinpoche pledged his guardianship of over 30 young orphans between the ages of 6 months and 12. Some children have since been absorbed back into their extended families, so that today there are 22 children under Rinpoche’s care.


The crucial need – your ongoing help

Wangdrak Rinpoche with orphan, Anyuk Chunga. She was found in the arms of her dead mother after the quake. Her father did not survive.

Six years after the Yushu earthquake civic infrastructure has been re-established in Yushu, but the character of the Tibetan trading town that it used to be will never be the same. Tibetans are now pursuing modern livelihoods and social roles in the rapidly developing economy. Amidst these changes in Tibetan society, our youngest orphans are sheltered in a two-story apartment in Yushu, while the older ones are boarding in higher school dormitories.

Along with ensuring they remain part of the Tibetan culture in which they were born, Wangdrak Rinpoche’s central concern is to see all 22 orphans through college so they are capable of surviving economically on their own in the future. After age 18, if some choose to become monks and nuns they will be welcomed in an appropriate monastery. Others may continue with higher studies or go straight into business.

But first – we need to see them through school! Thank you to all the supporters around the world who continue to reach out with prayers and vital ongoing donations to foster these orphans.

Watch a video of the orphans here.

Online donations of any amount for the Yushu orphans can be made below via PayPal.com using your PayPal account, or with a regular credit or debit card. (For cards, look for the small credit card logo on the left hand side after after clicking the yellow Donate button.) Australian and US donors, please see below.


Australian donors: for donations in $AUD please visit www.gebchakrigpaharsey.org.


USA donors: for tax deductible donations please go here.


Other Gebchak Gonpa projects: