News – 2010

2010 was a banner year for the Bhutan Nuns Foundation, as our work began to take shape

Training Center:

The Bhutan Nuns Foundation Training Center will be the first ever gathering place in Bhutan for nuns to meet each other, and receive training, outside of their own nunneries.  BNF will provide all aspects of this center, from acquiring the land to later providing training and supplies to the nuns, once the center opens.  We are very proud to create this important space for the nuns of Bhutan.

Thanks to the generosity of Drathshang Lhentshog (the Central Monastic Body of Bhutan), the Bhutan Nuns Foundation was awarded 9+ acres of land in Tsalu Maphey on the outskirts of Thimphu for the purpose of creating our Training Center. We are deeply grateful for this donation to BNF.

The center will provide a space for nuns from across Bhutan to meet each other, enhancing the sense of community between the nuns of Bhutan, and receive training on health & hygiene, nutrition, management & leadership, teacher training, basic entrepreneurial skills, and instruction in many other hands-on skills.  This center will not only help the nuns develop their own self-reliance and sustainability, but also create a ripple effect for the society at large, as the nuns will be trained to later provide similar instruction and services to the people of Bhutan.

In addition to acquiring the land, the existing farm road to the land was widened, lengthened, and resurfaced, and drains on the roadside were also completed.  We do hope to pave it in the future once funds are secured for this purpose. In the meantime we have volunteers working on the design of the training center and we plan to break ground before the end of 2011.

Completed in 2010-2011 (for Training Center):

  • Land: Acquired 10 acres in Tsalu Maphey  
  • Road: Existing farm road widened & lengthened, drains created
  • Staff: Assembled and trained excellent staff dedicated solely to the needs of BNF and the nuns of Bhutan

Volunteers:  Engineers2 professional Bhutanese Surveyors spent 10 days walking and surveying the land, creating contour maps and other necessary assessments required for construction of our training center.  Our expert team donated hundreds of volunteer hours, and both received terrific sunburns in the process!  We are so grateful for their donated time and would like to thank our volunteer engineers.  Thank you very much!

Upcoming Goals 2011 (Training Center):

  • Building construction: estimated at approx.  $1,000,000 USD (but we are looking for $200,000 for the first phase).
  • Tarring the road: estimated at approx.  $75,000-100,000 USD
  • Water supply (pipeline) to the site: estimated at approx. $25,000 USD


Building Projects for Existing Nunneries 

The Bhutan Nuns Foundation has provided assistance to upgrade basic living conditions to eight nunneries throughout Bhutan.

Completed or Currently Under Construction: 

Build toilets, bathrooms, basic sanitation and kitchen with smokeless or with electric stove:

  • Doranthang Nunnery, Lobesa
  • Shedrup Choling Nunnery, Gelephu*
  • Kila Goenpa Nunnery, Paro

Clean drinking water:

  • Kinzang Choling Nunnery in Martshala, Samdrup Jongkhar

Upgrading Living Quarters:

Penjorcholing-Nunnery-Toilet-construction schedrup_choling
Doranthang Nunnery, Lobesa Shedrup Choling Nunnery, Gelephu*

Build Basic Kitchen (Smokeless or with Electric):

  • Shedrup Choling Nunnery, Gelephu*

 

Upcoming Projects:

We will be visiting these nunneries soon to help them get started with construction; to be completed before the end of 2011:

We received Nu.150, 000 each for the following three nunneries to build toilets and bathrooms to improve basic sanitation from Helvetas Bhutan:

  • Samten Choling Nunnery, Wamrong
  • Upper Chothpo Goenpa Nunnery, Pema Gatshel
  • Lower Chothpo Goenpa Nunnery, Pema Gatshel

Build Basic Kitchen, Smokeless or with Electricity:

  • Doranthang Nunnery, Lobesa
kila_goenpa
kitchen_001

  • Kila Goenpa, Paro*

On February 10, 2011, Bhutan Nuns Foundation  presented a cheque worth Nu.200,000/- to Kila Goenpa nunnery to start the  construction of  a smokeless kitchen.

* Seeking further funding in order to complete construction


Scholarships 

This year we were able to provide ongoing scholarships to two nuns to pursue further Buddhist studies in Dharamsala, India.  Though they come from low income backgrounds, they are able through the Bhutan Nun’s Foundation to pursue these advanced studies; they will return to Bhutan to teach to other nuns what they have learned.


Upcoming Events and future plans:

  • Fist national conference on Nuns and Monks of Bhutan in June 13th – 15th 2011.
  • Workshops (offered onsite at Nunneries throughout Bhutan)
  • Health Workers (Nutrition, health & hygiene)
  • Counseling & hospice worker
  • Life skills education training
  • Management & Leadership
  • Basic livelihood skills
  • Research & publications
  • Recruiting Nun Teachers for Nunneries

Your Support Helps Bhutan’s Nuns in So Many Ways!

Every contribution makes a difference, big or small. Funding comes to the BNF through individual and corporate sponsors as well as grants and donations; gifts can be given to a general fund or to specific areas of need.  For UD donors, the Bhutan Foundation is a US non-profit 501C3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.

The Bhutan Foundation
Suite 525
2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20037
Tel: +1 202 609 7363
Fax: +1 202 787 3943
Note:  
However, it is important to mention on the memo of your check that the donation is for Bhutan Nuns Foundation to avoid confusion.