When two massive earthquakes struck Nepal in 2015, resulting in 10,000 casualties and more than 22,300 injuries, many people turned to Khyentse Foundation asking how they could best support this most holy place, where Padmasambhava walked and so many great masters followed. Donors around the world were quick to offer support to many worthy initiatives, but Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche expressed concern that international aid would quickly dry up as Nepal faded from the headlines. Rinpoche also recognized that rebuilding the country would take years if not decades, and that immediate relief efforts, however essential for emergency help, did not address the country’s deep and long-term human resource needs. He appointed a team to research how to support Nepal in ways that would have long-lasting effects. After a full year of careful investigation and negotiation, Rinpoche and Khyentse Foundation are pleased to announce the launch of two significant partnerships:
- A 9-year US$118,000 program at Shree Mangal Dvip (SMD) School for Himalayan children to train health assistants (“barefoot doctors”) and teachers contracted to work in the remote Himalayan villages where health and education services are minimal or nonexistent.
- A 4-year, US$104,000 scholarship program, in collaboration with Teach for Nepal, that will directly benefit 550 school children at 5 schools. Twenty-six fellowships will help train Nepalese teachers, guiding them to become leaders and innovators in the Nepalese education field.
Shree Mangal Dvip (SMD) School
Through SMD, 8 health assistants and teachers will be trained in the first 3 years of the project (2016-18), increasing in the following 6 years of the program. According to SMD Director Shirley Blair, “This collaboration is profoundly important because it will bring basic health care and education to remote, impoverished people who are presently deprived of these and other basic services, and whose lives were devastated by last year’s horrific earthquake.”
Glenn Fawcett, veteran field director for Lotus Outreach, and the primary KF program monitor and liaison with SMD, added, “Because education at Shree Mangal Dvip is both academically rigorous and entirely rooted in values of love and compassion, the selected students will not only get the practical training they need to meet the health and education needs of poor Nepalese, they will deliver those services with care and kindness. Khyentse Foundation could not wish for a better, more seasoned, or more reliable partner that deeply shares our values.”
Teach for Nepal
Teach For Nepal was established by a Nepalese couple, Shisir and Swastika Shrestha, who chose to return from the West after completing their own higher education with the aim to improving the educational capacity of all Nepalese people on a need basis. KF support will enable Teach for Nepal’s programs to expand into one of the poorest districts, which was also one of the hardest hit by the earthquakes. KF will also explore how to enhance Teach For Nepal’s Buddhist leadership teacher training program. The two primary outcomes of this partnership over the next 4 years are to 1) help 400 students graduate from class 10 with high marks over the next four years and 2) to provide 26 Teach for Nepal teacher fellowships.
In addition to these partnerships, Khyentse Foundation will continue its support for Buddhist study and practice in Nepal, including support of Rangjung Yeshe Institute with faculty salaries for its MA course and a substantial scholarship fund, as well as supporting the International Buddhist Academy, both in Kathmandu.
If you would like to make a contribution directly to the Nepal initiatives, simply indicate your intention in the “additional comments” section of the online donation form. Many thanks.