OrgyenLing Children’s School
When travelers marvel at the gorgeous landscape and immerse in the heavenly atmosphere in the Himalayas, local residents lead a nomadic, frugal lifestyle based on subsistence farming and livestock rearing. Little formal education is required to sustain the traditional way of living. However, globalization is changing this area. Hear the story and vision of Nuptrul Tenpei Nyima, who grew up in a small rural village in Nepal and wish to bring modern education to his community. Donate now.
In your country, can one survive without basic education of literacy, math, and science? The importance of basic education is self-evident in the modern world. Sadly, education remains a privilege of the richer families in Nepal where public schools are limited in number and generally poorly-managed. In the region near my hometown, about 20 villages share 3 humble schools. As young as age of 7, children begin working in the fields or doing menial handcraft tasks. Girls may be engaged to other families in teenage. These children need and deserve basic education.
Orgyen Ling Children’s School is designed to fill the need for accessible basic education among underprivileged children in Nepal. The vision is to provide elementary and secondary education to children whose families cannot afford other formal education, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, caste, and religion. Boarding facilities will be built to accommodate children from remote areas. The school curriculum will aim at holistic development and impart non-religious, essential knowledge of languages, mathematics, sciences, and arts.
My Personal Story of Education
The Children’s School project is inspired by my own special education experiences.
I was born in 1984 to a poor farmer’s family in a remote Himalayan village called Nubri in northern Nepal. My parents are kind and loving, but like many fellow villagers, they are illiterate. My early childhood was like every other child in our village: taking care of cattle, running around here and there, and trying to cause troubles to stir up the peaceful boredom. Following the traditional way of living, I would have by now become the head of the household, inherited the responsibility for farming from my father, and found good marriage for my younger sisters at their teenage.
Yet at the age of 7, I was recognized as the reincarnation of previous Master Khedrup Tenpei Gyaltsen and brought to a monastery in India, according to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Tulku. From then on I learned to read and write, and eventually studied Buddhist philosophy and meditation until around the age of 24. At age of 28, I was selected as an exchange scholar to attend a three-year program in Hampshire College, Massachusetts. I knew very little about other parts of the world outside of Nepal and India. With only a one-month crash course in English, I set foot on the modernized western societies. Amidst numerous challenges in study, in language, in culture, and in social interactions, my understanding of the world has deepened and enriched.
As I spent more time travelling in America and in Europe, I have developed a profound concern for the future of underprivileged children in Nepal. Ten years ago, it might still be possible to lead an isolated, agrarian life in the Himalayas. But ten years from now, even the remotest area will be penetrated by Internet and one’s livelihood will depend on the education or training that one has received. The idling school-age boys strolling in the mountains or teenage girls caring for their siblings in rural Nepal will face unthinkable challenge in the future.
Nepal Earthquake and Taking Action
I returned to the Gorkha region in Nepal in 2015 and survived from the devastating earthquake in April. Seeing the world crumble and shake in front of my own eyes was a wake-up call for me to take action in this transient but precious life.
During the earthquake relief effort in November, I spoke to many disheartened villagers and frightened children in the region. At the sight of damaged houses and their clear eyes that were filled with distress, I announced that our monastery would offer temporary education and housing for some of the homeless or poor children from the nearby villages. The face of the villagers brightened up and they saw strong hope in life with their children finally receiving education.
We estimate to receive about 90 children by this year and nearly 50 of them have arrived at our monastery. They are sharing the facilities and food with the monastic sangha at the moment. Our temporary school has received approval from the Nepalese government. A formal school site will be built near Kathmandu to allow more underprivileged children from other parts of Nepal to join. When the school construction is finished, the children in our monastery will be transferred to the new campus and continue their study.
Thank you very much for taking time to read through this page. May your life be healthy, fulfilling, and prosperous.
Nuptul Tenpei Nyima