Currently our children’s age varies from the youngest being 4 and the oldest being 18.
Some of our girls are orphans, others have no family members that are able to care for them due to extreme poverty or poor health and others have no access to schooling due to the remoteness of their homes or semi-nomadic lifestyle.
At present we have almost 50 girls coming from different villages and remote high altitude regions of Nepal such as Upper Mustang, Dolpo and Rukum. All come from impoverished families struggling to survive economically and physically within farming communities.
About 18months after the school opened, five young girls together with their parents and siblings arrived at the school from Dolpo, a very remote area in Western Nepal. The two families walked for 9 days from their home village to get to the nunnery school and asked the head lama to consider admitting their daughters to enable them to have an education.
None of the girls (aged 8 to 11) had previously had an opportunity to have a formal education as there are no schools anywhere near their village. Their parents, brothers and sisters are also uneducated and illiterate and when asked to sign the admission forms, all of them did so using their fingerprint instead of signature. But despite this lack of education both sets of parents have very strong determination to provide education to younger ones. How could they be refused?
Since then a steady stream of girls arrived from Dolpo and the remote and impoverished region of Rukum.
Our latest youngster – little binu (baby) aged 4 arrived last year
Currently, the District Education Office has granted permission for schooling up to grade 8 as governmental policy requires at least 20 students in classes 6 or 7 to licence the school to offer higher education to grade 10. Currently our girls studying grades 9 and 10 will attend the nearby boy’s monastic school.
Each year number of students has increased and we’ve already tripled in size with classes from first level to level 8, so teachers have also to increase pro rata as more classes are offered. Classes are currently taught by six full time paid teachers and we fund other additional employed staff including a cook, general manager and Dharma (Buddhist studies) teacher.
Our students receive a full Nepalese government school curriculum as well as 3 languages – Tibetan, Nepali and English. Buddhist ritual activities and meditation. Buddhist instruments such as gongs, cymbals, trumpet etc. are also learned.
The school receives no government grants and is totally funded by public donations.
Please help us if you can. Thank You