Darchen, China


Photographer: Samuel Zuder

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition)

Tseten Dorjee (above) is headmaster of the Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute in Darchen, a village in western Tibet, one of the world’s poorest and most remote regions. Since the mid-1990s Tseten has taught traditional Tibetan medicine, astrology, nutrition, ethics and language to young Tibetans. Some of his graduates have stayed on to work at the institute, but most have returned to their home villages to look after basic health care in rural communities. His institute stands at the foot of Mount Kailash, a holy site for Tibetan Buddhists. As well as training students, its staff also take care of the health problems suffered by pilgrims visiting the area, the most common of which is altitude sickness caused by Darchen’s location 4,575 metres above sea level.