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Who We Are
"Pendeba" is a Tibetan term referring to volunteer community-service workers.
The Pendeba Society, founded in 2009, is the first non-profit organization to be created in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China [registered in the Civil Affairs Bureau of the Shigatse Prefecture Government]. The Pendeba Society is the local incarnation of a program begun in 1994 by Future Generations, an international NGO focused on conservation and community development. The earlier Pendeba Program was developed in response to the growing need for local participation in the protection of the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve (QNNP) in the Mt. Everest Region. The program was part of a new approach to protected area management that saw local inhabitants of the newly created protection zone trained to be preserve wardens. In 1989, the QNNP was the first national park in Asia to integrate conservation with development.
The Pendeba Program was a great success. Between 1994 and 2005 the program trained over 270 Pendebas and successfully reduced infant mortality by 50% and increased immunization rates to 90% in the program area. In 1998, this training model was deemed one of the “50 Most Effective Development Programs for Poor People in the World” by the United Nations.
The Pendeba Society Executive Director, Mr. Tsering Norbu, is a local from Nyalam County in the QNNP who worked as a Forest Ranger in the region from 1996-2006. Norbu previously worked with Future Generations on the Pendeba Program and completed a Master’s Degree in Applied Community Change and Conservation from the Future Generations Graduate School (www.future.edu). He took over the direction of the program in 2009 and founded the Pendeba Society to localize and streamline operations.
Over the past years, the Pendeba Society has received multiple awards and certificates. In 2012, the Pendeba Society was conferred 5 A Grade (top grade) of Social Organization Grade Evaluation of TAR, and "Outstanding Social Organization of Tibet Autonomous Region 2011" from the Government of TAR.