In 1996 the Lhasa City Government gave THF permission to engage in works relating to the restoration of historic buildings and infrastructure improvement, and also to carry out studies necessary to the design and implementation of activities. A general concept for the rehabilitation of the old city area was completed in 1997. In the same year, our water and sanitation program was launched, and since 1998 we have been working with the Lhasa City Cultural Relics Preservation Office as our main counterpart. Choosing Lhasa's central Barkor area as a pilot conservation mini-area, we implemented several full-scale restoration and rehabilitation projects, and a number of emergency interventions, smaller projects aimed at stabilising a building and preventing further damage. THF also carried out a limited number of restoration, reconstruction and water and sanitation projects in other parts of Tibet.
This project provided the opportunity for vocational training, with established Tibetan masters and occasional foreign experts training young people to become masons, carpenters, painters, restorers, electricians, plumbers and surveyors.
Altogether, THF fully rehabilitated 12 historic residential buildings and one monastery in Lhasa, completed basic rehabilitation of 3 additional residential sites, carried out emergency intervention in 18 residential buildings, improved water supply and sanitation facilities for more than 1000 old city residents, built 2 public toilets, paved alley ways and courtyards, reconstructed a Buddhist stupa and restored another one, and stabilised 15th century threatened wallpaintings in an ancient monastery south of Lhasa. More than 800,000- US$ have been invested in these projects, and 300 Tibetans received employment and training.