During the summer months, when the school is closed, there is still much to do for the Bon children in Dolanji, India. Many of the children living at the monastery in India come from rural areas in Nepal where there are no schools. This year those children in the 10th class went to visit their families. Some had not seen them for 10 years, and it was a very happy reunion. Many children had difficulty recognizing their family members but their families knew them and were very happy that they had grown up and were receiving a good education.
During the summer there were also activities for those children remaining in the dormitories. There was a debate in July and a seminar on Bon history, religion and culture was organized in the library which included students attending the Tibetan University in Varanasi. There was a handwriting competition with prizes for the winners. Teachers Day was celebrated on September 5th, the birthday of Dr. Radha Krishanan, the second president of India.
School has again started for the Bon children in Dolanji. This year a 12th class was added and everybody is very happy about that. Two children from the school achieved first positions in the science and culture exhibitions held for the Tibetan schools in the Northern Zone. The students then traveled to Delhi to participate in the Central Zone exhibition.
Don’t forget! The holidays are a great time to share your passion for the Tibetan Bon children and continue supporting their education! GlobalGiving offers gift certificates which can be used to donate to this project. Also, beginning December 1st, the initial donation made by recurring donors will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving. There is only $25,000 available in matching funds, so help us take advantage of this opportunity early!
Every morning I rise early from my bed in the hostel. I wash my face and hands and brush my teeth. I wear my school clothes. Then we have prayers and after prayers we have breakfast. Our school is half way down the mountain from the hostel. Our hostel is on the top of the mountain. After breakfast my friends and I take our book bags and start to walk down the mountain to the school. Soon we are running to see who can get there first. Before school, we all line up in front of the school. Then we go in and study. At noon, we run back up the mountain to the hostel for lunch and then we run back down the school for our classes. After our classes, we run up the mountain to our hostel and change our clothes and go outside and play. Everybody helps each other. If I have homework, I do it before we eat dinner. After dinner, I go to sleep. I am very happy!!!!
My name is Paljor Lhundup. I was born on November 6th in Guwahati in Assam, India. I am from Lubra, a small village in Mustang, Nepal. I was born in Assam because my parents were doing some business there during the winter. My father’s name is Dawa and my mother’s name is Dickey. I have two brothers and a sister. Their names are Nyima Tsering, Tsering Wangyal and Sonam Lhamo respectively.
I began studies in my village in primary school. There I studied Nepali language, but there is no Tibetan language there and the facilities are not so good. So in 2001, at the age of six, I came to the peaceful village of Dholanji, Himachal Pradesh in India to study and further my education. Later I was advanced from primary school to C.S.P. in Dholanji. There I studied five subjects: English language, General Science, Tibetan language, Social Studies and Mathematics. When I first joined the school there were about 250 students and classes were offered up to eighth grade. Now there are nearly 600 students and we have classes that go all the way through to high-school.
In primary school classes I always used to play in the classroom with my friends and learn for a short amount of time. When I was in the standard sixth grade class I realized that education is very important in our life. There is a quote that says, “A person without education is like a bird without wings.” After understanding that I started to pay attention to what the teacher explained. Recently, I successfully completed the ninth class. I am fond of traveling to new places, listening to music and playing football. My favorite hobby is playing football with my friends. My favorite subject is mathematics because there is so much calculation, puzzle games, mind games and puzzle questions, etc. I like the colors black and white.
In my home village there are nearly twenty families and most of them are farmers. There is a small school with nearly sixty-five students and which goes up to the fifth grade class level. Students come from nearby villages to learn there. Many of their parents are farmers and they do not have a chance to study in a good school. Because of this, many of them remain unemployed. In the future I want to do something about that.
The head monastery of the Bon religion is in Dholanji, as is the head Spiritual Leader of Bon H.H. and the thirty-third seminary Trizin Rinpoche. We wear monk cloths and go to prayer in the monastery once a week. By the grace of the Spiritual Leader, I received free hostel facilities, food, clothing, education, etc. I will be very thankful to him for my entire life. Thank you.
Please remember that Wednesday, June 13th (beginning at 12:01 AM EST) is a Bonus Day through Global Giving. Donations received that day will be provided a matching gift of 30, 40 or 50 percent.
When the students who live at the Children’s Welfare Center (CWC) at Yungdrung Bon Monastic Centre (YBMC) and attend the Tibetan School in Dholanji, India, reach the 10th grade, they are asked to write a biography about themselves in English. Following is the biography of Sangye Palden, born in Nepal, written in 2011.
There are two hundred countries in this world and every person was born in a different country and a different place. Some may have been born in a rich country, like the U.S.A., and some in a poor country like Nepal. It depends on your luck. Some people are so intelligent and others are foolish. Some are rich and others are poor. It depends on your capability. In this world each and every person wants to enjoy their life, but many do not get to enjoy their life; many only meet sorrow. The place we call our motherland depends on where we are born. There is one boy whose name is Sangye Palden. That is me.
I was born on March 7, 1995 in Thapa Galvo Valley. It is my birthplace, and Nepal is my motherland. It is known as one of the most beautiful places in Dolpo. My father is a farmer and mother is a housewife. I have three brothers, one uncle, and no sisters. My family is made of seven members in total. When I was four years old, my father sent me to our Village School. Five years later, I reached fourth grade. I was not good in properly reading English. Two years later, when I was ten, I would be so sad because in my village there was no facility to develop more education. In our village, fortunately one Bon monk came and wanted to take some boys to a foreign country for proper education. At that time he wanted to choose the students himself. Then, my whole family discussed it with each other. My father and mother were especially very happy because I was chosen to go to a foreign country for education. Within three days, my father and mother had prepared to send me to a foreign country. When I was leaving all of my neighbors gave me blessings with love.
When I reached Dholanji Village in India I found different kinds of resources and I was surprised because I had never seen this type of village. When I was ten years old I had to admit that the new school was first class because I couldn’t yet read in English when I arrived. Then, I started to improve my education and always did well and thought well. At the end of the year I received the first position in my class; number one. I was so happy and proud of myself. When I was in sixth grade my teacher said, “Do you have ambition?” I said, “No sir,” and at that time I began thinking about my ambition. Finally I decided that my ambition was to become a great writer and monk. I like reading books. Now, I study in tenth grade (IX A). For me my teacher Penna Padul is the best teacher in the whole school. When I went to school I discussed, enjoyed, and played with my classmates as well as other schoolmates.
Now I am living in a hostel. My hostel’s name is Bon Children Welfare Centre in Dholanji, India. This hostel is inviting. I’ll never forget this hostel because I came to live here in 2000 and now I have lived here for eleven years. I had different kinds of experiences. Actually, this is my short auto-biography. I am not a great person but I want to be a great person in this world one day. I must always keep up on my self-confidence.
Please keep in mind that Wednesday, March 14, 2012 is Bonus Day through GlobalGiving. Donations up to $1,000.00 will be provided with a 30% match. The bonus allotment is $50,000.00 and the period runs from 12:01 AM EST until the funds are exhausted. So, if you would like your donation to go a little further with the help of Global Giving, give early on March 14th. Thank you!
In November, I visited both the boys’ and the girls’ hostels at Menri Monastery in Dholanji. There are now 204 boys and 45 girls in the hostels. As the number of children has increased, the hostels have grown in size. The boys’ hostel now has a new wing for storage of clothes, bedding, and food and also has three extra rooms for art and extracurricular classes, as well as office space for the monks who are looking after the students. The play area, which needed to be reconstructed after heavy rains caused part of the play area to slide down the hill, is now under use by the boys and a basketball court has been added.
In the hostel for girls, rooms are now completed and a railing has been added to the staircase for safety reasons. Anticipating even more students, a new addition for rooms is under construction.
The school for the children now has an 11th grade class which means that students can now complete the 11th grade without having to go to another city and pay tuition. There are presently 30 students in the 11th grade class.
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