May 25, 2016 – Zurich, Switzerland
Bringing to a close a day of travel outside Zurich, the Karmapa returned to visit the headquarters of ROKPA, which means “help” or “assistance” in Tibetan. Its purpose is to aid people in remote areas of the world, where it participates in more than 100 projects to provide food, health care, and education. Founded by Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Lea Wyler, and Dr. Veit Wyler in 1980, ROKPA has offices in seventeen countries, from Asia through Europe to Africa, while much of its work takes place in the Tibetan areas of China and Nepal.
On this sunny afternoon, the Karmapa climbed the stairs into the elegant building on Boeklinstrasse and was escorted to the main office with its broad antique desk. As he was invited to take a seat there, he joked, “Uh-Oh, now I’m the director.” Lea Wyler, the long-term CEO, laughed and offered him an introduction to ROKPA, saying that their commitment to continue serving would never wane.
The Karmapa spoke in English, saying that he was glad to be able to visit and he was sad that Akong Rinpoche was no longer with us, but his activities were still going on and have benefitted many people. “My aspiration and wish is that ROKPA’s activity continue,” the Karmapa said. “We should work harder than before and support each other. We can benefit and give hope to lots of people. They need support not just materially but spiritually as well. Thank you.”