Chögyal Namkhai Norbu founded ASIA – Association for International Solidarity in Asia – in 1988, after undertaking a number of missions in India, Nepal and Tibet during which he ascertained the difficult socio-economic conditions in which the Tibetan populations lived and the progressive weakening of traditional language and culture.
In the 1990s ASIA’s projects focussed on Tibetan settlements in India, with the aim of improving the living conditions of refugees; subsequently ASIA turned its attention increasingly to the vast areas in China with ethnic Tibetan inhabitants (Qinghai, Sichuan, Tibetan Autonomous Region and Gansu).
In 1999 ASIA obtained official recognition from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an international NGO and in 2001 it signed a partnership agreement with the Humanitarian Aid department of
the European Commission (ECHO) in the context of emergency projects in response to natural calamities.
After the Tsunami catastrophe in 2004, ASIA extended its area of intervention to Sri Lanka with post-emergency, reconstruction and income-generating development projects.
Since 2009 the Association, bolstered by a decade of experience in the Himalayan region, has started new projects in Nepal and forged contacts with the governments of Bhutan and of Outer Mongolia.
ASIA has been active in Italy and in Europe since the early 90s with Public Awareness projects aimed at informing civil society about the traditions and historical heritage of the peoples of Tibet and the Himalayan region, which it regards as a priceless treasure to be safeguarded and handed on.
*ASIA’s history is closely linked to the person of Prof. Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, a master in the Tibetan spiritual teaching of Dzogchen with wide and deep knowledge of the history, philosophy and situation of Tibet and founder and Chairman of the Association.