Funded by: Students of Winchester College
Cost: £69,000. Opened: 2014
Two separate teams of young men and Dons from Winchester College raised money for the construction of this home and nunnery for 60 destitute nuns in remote Basgo, Ladakh. The teams collectively raised £69,000 and worked hard on the building site with the Nepali builders and nuns themselves, ranging from seven to 32 years.
Whilst this is a nunnery, it is most importantly a home for children from very poor families who cannot afford to bring up their offspring. The nuns provide the children with a good education; when they are 18 they can choose to stay as nuns or revert to normal life. They also offer lessons in basic Buddhism, yoga and meditation to tourists. In addition the nunnery serves as a refuge for Ladakhi women who have suffered abuse. It is quite extraordinary to see what has been achieved with the money raised.
A former Winchester College student is currently fundraising to pay for a pick-up truck and water containers so that the nuns can collect fresh water regularly. The vehicle will also used on the farm the nuns are developing on site, producing apples, apricots, vegetables, with a few animals, as a way of providing an income for themselves.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama unexpectedly visited our nunnery in July 2014. The nuns are also grateful for the donation of £10,000 from a private sponsor towards the building of the Temple which is now almost complete.