Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) works in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence. We are a chapter-based network of young people and activists around the world. Through education, grassroots organizing, and nonviolent direct action, we campaign for Tibetans’ fundamental right to political freedom. Our role is to empower and train youth as leaders in the worldwide movement for social justice.
In our work for Tibetan independence we also aim to inspire and enable people, especially youth, to create a just and equitable world, free of oppression, in which there is respect for the earth and all living things.
We believe every individual has the right to be free. Those who enjoy freedom have the power and also the responsibility to make positive change in the world. We seek to create opportunities to inspire, enable and motivate all people to see that change is possible. We value creativity in every pursuit and we believe it is essential to have fun while working towards our vision of a just and equitable world.
Dorjee was born in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India. He graduated from MS University in Gujarat with a Bachelors in Economics and Post Graduate Diploma in Human Rights Studies, and developed his skills as a trainer at the Tibetan Center for Conflict Resolution before joining the staff of Students for a Free Tibet India in 2009. He served as SFT India’s National Director for four years, before joining SFT International in 2013. A keen strategist and media spokesperson, Dorjee has trained hundreds of Tibetan and Indian students through SFT’s Youth Leadership Training program. After graduating from the Lhakar Academy Tibetan School of Leadership and Change in 2011, he returned as a guest trainer the following two years. In 2016, Dorjee was elected as a Member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile.
Sonamtso has been a lifelong activist, organizer, and leader with the Tibetan freedom movement. She has been deeply involved with SFT since high school and in 2013, she helped revitalize youth activism for Tibet in California as Regional Coordinator. In 2015, Sonamtso joined SFT International in New York as the USA Grassroots Director and has since taken on the role of Communications Director. Sonamtso has also led grassroots trainings around the world on various topics. In addition to the Tibet cause, Sonamtso has been engaged in solidarity work with other Bay Area communities similarly working to end state violence and discrimination and secure human rights and democracy. Along with having a passion for social justice, Sonamtso enjoys playing soccer and other outdoor activities.
Lauren has been involved with Students for a Free Tibet since 2013. Starting as an intern while in college, Lauren has also been Office Manager, workshop trainer, event MC, sign painter – you name it, she’s done it. In 2014, she moved to Dharamsala for one year to volunteer with SFT India. During her time in India, she focused on grassroots initiatives and local programs, including creating the Lhakar Film Series. She returned to India several months later as Program Coordinator for Emory University’s Tibetan Studies Program. In 2017, she served on the Organizing Committee of Art for Tibet. Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Kenyon College.
Gaychey was born to a Tibetan refugee family in Kathmandu, Nepal. He did his schooling in Darjeeling, India, and later moved to Toronto, Canada. He has been active with SFT since 2007. Gaychey was on SFT Canada’s Board of Directors from 2012-2014. In 2012, he took part in Tibet Action Institute’s Lhakar Academy: The Tibetan School for Leadership and Change, a month-long intensive training. He has since helped co-facilitate many workshops throughout North America. Gaychey has a wide range of skills that include web development, video editing and graphic design. He has an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design from Humber College. As Creative Director, Gaychey hopes to use his skills and talents to contribute to the overall aesthetics of SFT’s brand and campaigns.
Tenzin Sonam was born and raised in India and attended Tibetan Children’s Village School. After completing his studies, he worked at the Tibetan Chamber of Commerce in his position as Executive Director. In 2009, Tenzin joined Students for a Free Tibet India as the Development Director. During his time with SFT India, he helped start their merchandise project. He has also participated in SFT Free Tibet! Action Camp and Tibetan Action Institute’s Lhakar Academy: The Tibetan School for Leadership and Change. Tenzin Sonam received his Bachelor of Commerce from Pune University and Master of Business Administration from The Indian Institute of Planning & Management.
Sonam is a strong, passionate and dynamic Tibetan activist who believes in the power of youth and strategic nonviolence. She is finishing her studies in International Development at York University in Toronto, with a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours. Sonam’s love and involvement with SFT started early on at the York University SFT chapter in 2010 during her first year of undergraduate studies. As a former student of the Tibetan performing arts, nowadays, every Sunday, she instructs young students in both traditional and contemporary Tibetan Performing Arts at the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre. Sonam is also passionate about education, social innovation, and gender equality in Tibet and one day hopes to play a role to tackle these issues in a free and independent Tibet.
Tselha was born to a Tibetan refugee family in Ladakh. She completed her schooling at Tibetan Children’s Village School in India. Tselha holds a Bachelors in Education from Punjab University, and a Masters in English Literature from Pune University, where she founded the SFT-Pune chapter. Tsellha was a participant in SFT-India’s Free Tibet! Action Camp in 2010, and took the intensive climb action training at Free Tibet! Action Camp in 2013. She joined Students for a Free Tibet India as the Grassroots Director in 2013, before becoming the National Director in 2015, and has traveled extensively across India visiting our chapters, holding numerous trainings, and inspiring youth.