Project: Buddhist Education for Children in Difficulty in Kathmandu Monasteries – new buildings for two monasteries accommodating 180 children in difficulty!
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Sed Gyued Monastery – Kathmandu, Nepal
Sed Gyued is one of the oldest and most sacred monasteries of Tibet, guardian of a precious spiritual lineage. Founded in Tibet in 1432 by a disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa on his instructions and destroyed in 1959, it was re-established in 1986, thanks to a donation, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, near the famous Boudhanath Stupa.
Today it accommodates more than 100 children from very difficult situations, and about 20 adult monks.
Before the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015, there were only 25 monks living in the Monastery. After the earthquake many children, mostly from remote villages, were taken in after losing one or both parents; others because they were living on the streets, or at the request of their families who were no longer able to provide for their needs. More recently others have also arrived as a result of the severe economic hardship caused by the Covid pandemic, which has pushed many families into extreme poverty.
Monasteries survive from the offerings they receive and are often in a state of emergency, yet the monks try not to turn down requests for help.
Aware of the great responsibility for the future of the young guests in its care, in 2019 the Monastery obtained registration with the government as a non-profit school: Segyu Buddhist Educational Institute.
The children now follow the normal government curriculum so that any children who decide to leave the monastery will have received, in addition to training in Buddhist principles, an education that will enable them to enter the world of work.
However, the Monastery found itself in serious difficulty due to the lack of bedrooms and classrooms: classes were held in spaces cut out here and there: in the dormitories, in the temple, in the dining hall, on the floors of the courtyard.
For this reason the Monastery requested Fondazione Lama Gangchen Help in Action for help with the construction of a new school building. An architectural and structural design — with earthquake-proof foundations — was drawn up by a Kathmandu-based firm, and to everyone’s great joy the Project submitted to the 8×1000 Italian Buddhist Union was approved!
The 8×1000 Italian Buddhist Union contributed 70% of the total cost: for the remaining 30%, the Foundation relied on the generosity of its supporters and also used funds from the 5×1000.
The work started in 2020: the chosen company did an excellent and punctual job, keeping, among other things, ‘to the rupee’ the costs estimated in the initial budget. In May 2022, the work was completed and inaugurated (although the classrooms on the ground floor had already been in use for some time due to the extreme urgency of having space for lessons). A day of celebration and great joy for the Monastery!