Common Grounds Project is a grassroots nonprofit organization promoting innovative forums for community-building, learning and exchange in the Tibetan exile community of Dharamsala, India. By cultivating a common ground for exchange, we promote community development through the following approaches:
COMMUNITY CAFÉ: By providing a comfortable gathering point in an amicable café atmosphere, Common Ground Café is a gathering point for the local community and visitors to share Taiwanese, Chinese and Tibetan cuisine in Dharamsala’s first authentic fusion café and restaurant. Come by for a cup of tea and browse through our library of books and films! You can also make a booking or request to host an event by clicking here.
EVENTS VENUE: Common Ground Café also functions as a platform for a community-based common ground for learning and exchange. Since our inception in June 2009, we have organized and hosted an array of events, including technical trainings and media workshops, screenings, talks and discussions, international group programs, arts and cultural nights, language and music courses and much more! Complete with our projector, microphones and amplifier, we also organize events in conjunction with Talk Tibet and encourage Dharamsala based organizations to host community programs in Common Ground Café. Click here to see the complete list of our past events and programs.
COMMUNITY BUILDING: Common Ground Café organizes community-building programs including our Photography workshops for Dharamsala based photographers to participate in hands-on courses and gain exposure through the sales of their work at Common Ground Café. We also house over 300 films, featuring a large number of educational films and documentaries in our Community Film Library available for rental to Common Ground community members. The running of Common Ground Café also provides opportunities in vocational training and employment for a small group of Tibetans in the Dharamsala exile community where unemployment is strife.
FAIR TRADE & SUSTAINABILITY: To support local artisans, Common Ground Café offers a wide range of hand crafted fair trade merchandise. Our Fair Trade Partners include Andretta Pottery & Craft Society, Sonam Village Arts, the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and other Tibetan artisans whose livelihoods depend on making handicrafts at home. Common Ground Café also has a help desk for Himalayan Explorers, an ethical Dharamsala-based trekking company that contributes to local grassroots development initiatives to bring positive change and empower communities they trek through. Click here to see our Fair Trade Partners.
THE EXILE FUND: Common Grounds’ Exile Fund assists low-income and newly arrived Tibetan refugees in difficult financial circumstances. From out of pocket medical expenses to reuniting families in exile, we address the hardships of life in exile for ordinary Tibetans. By lifting individuals out of a cycle of financial instability, we empower our recipients to be debt-free and self-reliant. Currently, we are fundraising for the Dharamsala Maternity Fund and the Tsewang Dhondup Fund. Click here to learn more about the Exile Fund and how to donate.
COMMON GROUND ONLINE: Common Ground Online is a netizen powered initiative featuring community generated real-time multimedia content on Tibet and China. Click here to read more.
Common Grounds Project is a registered nonprofit Society in the State of Himachal Pradesh, India under Societies Registration Act of 1994, registration number 4325.