The United Nations has consistently advocated that educating girls has a larger impact on the developing world than any other initiative.

It is now impossible to obtain a traditional monastic education inside Tibet. Buddhism is an integral part of Tibetan identity and culture.

In northern India, this culture survives in the exile community. Key is the creation of gompas: monasteries and nunneries that are also centers of community life, where Buddhism thrives under the auspices of some of Tibet’s greatest religious leaders. Yet in our imperfect world, the funding and building of facilities for nuns has not kept pace with that for monks.

Many nuns in India are now without adequate housing, with no place to go.  Those that do live in nunneries are often overcrowded in poorly constructed and run-down buildings. It is impossible to pursue their studies under such conditions.

There is a desperate need for the women of Tibetan Buddhism to take their places alongside men.

Nuns in India are from all of the Himalayan countries but the majority are Tibetan. Some were born in exile, and some are newly arrived from Tibet. They come because the monastic community is the base of support for all the great Buddhist teachers, many of whom now live in exile.

Education of monastics is of primary importance if the art and scriptures and essence of Tibetan Buddhism are to survive.

Buddhist texts and artifacts that survived the Cultural Revolution are priceless. It is vital that they are studied, translated, and preserved by educated monastics or their meaning will be lost forever. Most young Tibetans are illiterate in Tibetan. Language is culture. Monastics learn Tibetan language skills as part of their Buddhist training. Shedras provide a general education in addition to the traditional Buddhist teachings of ritual, ceremony, meditation and prayer, and study of texts. They empower and train nuns in a 9-year course of study.

See our latest projects and a recap of this year.