ROKPAs Core Values


Respect for all human beings

ROKPA helps wherever help is needed. For ROKPA all people are equal, whether rich or poor, and irrespective of religion, origin, race and culture. When it comes to giving or receiving help, nobody is more or less important.

Valuing indigenous knowledge

ROKPA holds the knowledge and the skills of local populations in high esteem. Through a creative dialogue, ROKPA introduces aspects of Western knowledge to complement what is available only if this decisively improves the circumstances of life of the people concerned. 

Helping people to help themselves

It is always the local population that takes the initiative for any ROKPA projects, thus determining for themselves how they should be helped. By taking part in the implementation of the projects they develop the strength and the confidence to be able to change their lives for the better, and because they are tailored to what is actually required, projects are far less likely to fail.  Since ROKPA projects are highly effective, they are widely respected and often copied. 

The central importance of education

ROKPA has a holistic view of education, meaning that as well as the transmission of knowledge and information, emphasis is also placed on broader human development and the promotion of social skills. Over a period of many years we accompany our pupils through an exhaustive training programme of academic education, mentoring, practical skills and social skills, equipping them with the means of living an independent life.

ROKPA opposes discrimination and promotes the schooling and advanced education of girls and employment opportunities for women.  

Coordination of projects

ROKPA’s fundamental priorities are healthcare, education and cultural initiatives, but depending on the actual needs of the population it is sometimes more useful to first establish projects addressing nutrition, reforestation or the preservation of handicrafts. Once these basic needs have been met, we can then move onto our core activities. 

A holistic approach to healthcare

Without health there is no balance in body, mind and spirit, and once established this balance fosters respect for oneself and for others. ROKPA does not neglect any of these aspects and is very much committed to sustaining and developing the knowledge and practice of Tibetan medicine

Minimal bureaucracy

According to Swiss law, ROKPA INTERNATIONAL is a Swiss organisation. The organisation is represented in 17 countries worldwide, as well as a number of development associations, which raise the funds necessary for our projects. ROKPA INTERNATIONAL coordinates this international network and implements the projects. The financial statements are audited by Truvag Revisions AG.

The valuable support of our many volunteers enables us to keep our administration costs low and helps to achieve a maximum sustainable impact. 

The Explanation of the ROKPA Logo

The Jewels

The jewels represent ROKPA’s humanitarian activities to alleviate poverty in its many forms, including hunger, thirst, homelessness, the damaged environment, the lack of access to education, spiritual and emotional poverty and loneliness.

The Tibetan Book

The Tibetan book lying on the lotus blossom symbolizes the development of wisdom in its many shapes, but in particular the honest awareness of one’s true self and the human potential that may be manifested through Buddhist meditation and study. ROKPA believes in the cultivation of wisdom with compassion at its heart. The two lotus blossoms – one still in bud, the other unfolding with ease – symbolize the various stages of this development.

The Fruit

The fruit represents the famous myrobalan or arura plum, the supreme medical plant. It stands for ROKPA’s efforts to enable human beings to enjoy health and healing, particularly through the work of Tara ROKPA Psychotherapy and Tara ROKPA College of Tibetan Medicine.

All three activities arise from the waters of pure compassion, with the flames representing the increase of all these qualities.

The Meaning of ROKPA

ROKPA is the Tibetan word for 'help', 'serve' or 'friend', which expresses ROKPA's philosophy: Helping where help is needed.