The Tibetan Nuns Project (TNP), a US-registered charity based in Seattle and in the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh, India, has announced a fundraising appeal to meet an urgent need for new math, science, and English textbooks for the Buddhist nunneries under its charge.
“The new academic year begins shortly after 10 February and the Tibetan Buddhist nuns urgently need . . . textbooks,” The TNP said in an announcement shared with BDG. “Three nunneries have already sent their lists of books they’d like to purchase from Collins India. We’re waiting to get the textbook requirements from the remaining four nunneries we support and also the list of storybooks needed for Shugsep Nunnery.”
The three nunneries to have so far detailed their academic wishlists are: Shugsep Nunnery and Institute, which is home to about 100 nuns; Geden Choeling, the oldest nunnery in Dharamsala, with 200 nuns; and Dolma Ling, home to 250 nuns.
“A textbook gives all the plans and lessons needed to cover a topic in some detail. They save time and energy when searching for information and provide a reliable point of reference,” The TNP explained. “Although we now have a science-learning program in the nunneries for one month per year, if the teachers had each level of science and general knowledge textbooks in their classrooms it enliven their classes and help to explain science topics.”
The TNP added: “So far, the [three] nunneries have asked for 1,005 textbooks in English for their 550 nuns.”
Shugsep Nunnery and Institute is hoping to acquire math, science, and English grammar and composition books.
“The nunnery’s last big purchase of books was years ago and the books have been so well-loved that they are now falling apart” the TNP noted. “Shugsep Nunnery needs 369 textbooks, with a cost of US$2,019.”
The TNP also reported that the abbot of Geden Choeling was keen for the nuns to study math, however the nunnery lacks suitable textbooks.
“They have asked for help to purchase textbooks so the teacher can use them for ideas and exercises in their classes,” said the TNP. “Geden Choeling would like 362 textbooks with a cost of US$1,864.”
The teachers at Dolma Ling have requested the higher grade books that were not previously available, and for grammar and composition books.
“Dolma Ling has so far requested 274 textbooks at a cost of US$1,680,” said the TNP.
“A single book can transform hundreds of lives. Textbooks provide organized units of work with each lesson carefully spelled out. Because they are illustrated, students can picture and visualize concepts,” the charity concluded. “The [total] cost of these orders is US$5,563. The average cost of one textbook is between US$5 and US$6, so even if you can help purchase one textbook, that would be wonderful.”
The Tibetan Nuns Project provides education and humanitarian aid to refugee nuns from Tibet and Himalayan regions of India. Established under the auspices of the Tibetan Women’s Association and the Department of Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration, the TNP supports hundreds of nuns from all Tibetan Buddhist lineages and seven nunneries. Many of the nuns are refugees from Tibet, but the organization also reaches out to the Himalayan border areas of India, where women and girls have little access to education and religious training.
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