Maitreya Childrens' home

 

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The new Maitreya Childrens Home before completion

In the late 1970 the Snow Lion Foundation, a charity devoted to help the Tibetan refugees, set up a school and hostel for the children of  Tibetan refugees in the Solu Khumbu area of Nepal. At that time Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery was established as a spiritual center for the refugee community. Over the years many of the original Tibetans were relocated to various other countries, and as a consequence the number of Tibetan children dropped. The children of Sherpa families, the ethnic group living in that area, were accepted into the school once hostel as places became available.

Over the years it became clear to the manager of Thubten Shedrup Ling monastery that there were many Buddhist families in remote areas who would like to send their children to a school that supported their language and religious culture, but there were not enough places in that hostel. Sending them to Kathmandu was  no alternative as it was too expensive for the average family.

The old Hostel, before closing.

When the Snow Lion Foundation decided in 2011 to give up its hostel activity, the parents of the children in the hostel approached Thubten Shedrup ling Monastery to help them taking care of the children. As part of its community activity, the monastery decided to build a hostel to accommodate these children that didn't have a place to stay any longer, and the Maitreya Childrens' home was born. It is administered and financially supported by Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery. Most of these families live far away, some of them several days walk, There are no roads, no public transport, and unless their children can stay with relatives in the village, or in the hostel, the children cannot attend school. 

In the first year after opening the new hostel 35 students took up residence.  After completing Grade 5, seven of them moved on to Kathmandu to continue their studies there; six went to the local school in the next village (about 2 hours walk away). In 2014, the number of children accepted into the hostel rose to 40, showing the great need in that area for a place where the children can attend a Buddhist school while staying in a safe and a supportive Buddhist environment, at affordable cost. 

The daily program for the children includes prayers in the morning (they all come from Buddhist families), and classes on Buddhism in the afternoon after school. There is still plenty of time to play football in the school yard, and go for walks in the surrounding hills. 

The hostel accepts both boys and girls with several hostel mothers caring for them. At the moment the monastery kitchen is providing meals for both the monks and the hostel children; the dining room is shared with the monks, till a proper new dining room and kitchen can be built for the hostel.

The rooms are simple and functional, with bunks beds and small lockers provided. The heating is through enormous wood fired stoves, with wood provided by the local forestry office. The kitchen also used wood fired stoves for the cooking. Solar equipment is planned for the future for heating water. 

Some of the families of these children are very poor. They live in remote hill areas, doing subsistence farming and occasional work as cooks or porters during the trekking season. The monastery would like to offer scholarships to the children of those families who are too poor to afford the hostel fee.of 45 US$ per month. 

 

Donate here and give these children a better chance at education

You can sponsor the following:

  • Sponsor a  recurring payment for a Scholarship for child -  30 US$ per month
  • Make a one time donation for a child from a poor family to buy mattress, sheets and blankets   25 US$
  • Make an offering to the food fund of the hostel
  • Make a general donation towards the running cost of the hostel
  • Make a donation towards setting up Solar Hot Water for the hostel.

Make a donation here


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Kopan Monastery
(Nepal Buddhist Mahayana Center Gompa)

Kopan Monastery is affiliated with FPMT
(Foundation for the preservation of the Mahayana Tradition)