Tibet Foundation

Yak for Life

‘Yak for Life’ has been one of the most popular ongoing aid projects that has received continued support from our members. The project was established in 1996 soon after the Snow Storm disaster that destroyed hundreds of thousands of yaks in Tibet. 

Sponsor a Yak

Not just photogenic, three female Yak, or dri produce  enough milk to feed one person! Far removed from the 'Tiger' Economies of East Asia, the high plateau of Tibet is the heartland of the Yak economy!

The vast nomadic grasslands of Tibet are inhabitable only thanks to the lumbering yak. Virtually everything that a nomad family has or needs derives from their dependable herds. Beyond meat and wool, a yak - or more accurately the female yak called ‘dri’ in Tibetan - produces a rich milk used in making cheese, yogurt, and of course the ubiquitous yak butter, its smell prevalent throughout Tibet. Yak caravans still reach out to the remotest areas of Tibet and, where farmed, yaks are the plateau's tractors. Yak bones make jewellery and tent-fastenings, and yak dung is used to fire the otherwise fuel-less stoves of the Tibetan plateau.

It costs just £350 to sponsor a Yak, and help to preserve a tradition!

The nomadic way of life, unchanged over centuries, is increasingly under threat from changing social and environmental conditions. In 1995-6, devastating blizzards ravaged the eastern Tibetan plateau, killing hundreds of thousands of animals and leaving many nomads destitute. Although the life of a nomad is hard, the alternative - migration to the cities where they are unqualified for more than manual labour - is almost always much worse.

Since 1996 Tibet Foundation has been purchasing yaks from monasteries and people in the richer lowlands, and redistributing them among the poorest highland nomads. We are also providing yaks to worthy institutions such as old people's homes and remote nomadic schools. The ‘Yak for Life’ scheme makes a real contribution toward helping people remain self-sufficient, and keeping their tradition alive!

To sponsor a yak costs only £350. Aid to Tibet will purchase one dri (a female yak) with a calf or a dri bearing offspring in the next season depending on the area and time of year, and distribute them to families in the region who have the greatest need of our support.