As a result of the fire, the hardships of continuing the schooling in temporary structures, and construction delays, there was no school or shedra this year. Here are the personal stories of two Dzachuka children who have been impacted by the closure of the Kilung Children’s School after the fire that destroyed the structure in April 2016. One is a story of challenge, the other a story of hope. We believe they point to the benefits your donations provide, both to relieve suffering and to offer opportunities.
Nyima Dondrup is eight years old, the fourth child of a nomad family living in the Kilung Valley. His father Pinde, 43, and his mother Chime Lhamo, 40, have six children and are part of the Kilung yogurt cooperative. Like many nomad families, Pinde and Chime were planning to send Nyima to the Kilung Children’s School when he turned seven. When the school burned down, they kept him at home for a year, but finally they had no option but to send him to the public school in Sershul to get a basic education.
The public school, managed by the Chinese system, conducts all of their business and studies mostly in Chinese. Pinde and Chime speak only Tibetan, and so they were unable to enroll Nyima themselves. They asked a monk from Kilung Monastery who speaks Chinese to help them get Nyima into the school.
The public school in Sershul is very far from Pinde and Chime’s home. Because they have to look after their children and animals, the parents could not accompany Nyima to town, and the young boy could not come home every day after school. The family asked distant relatives who live in Sershul to please host Nyima, and while they agreed, they were also hosting five other children from the nomadic community. Nyima has never been away from his parents and home before. On the first night in Sershul, the eight-year-old stayed awake crying, feeling far away from his family and home.
In the coming days, Nyima changed from a happy and energetic boy into a quiet and hidden child. When questioned, he told his parents the story of being slapped by his teacher because he couldn’t finish his homework. Nyima is one of many Tibetan nomad children who drop out of school at an early age because of the emotional and academic challenges of having to leave home for an education.
We need your help in rebuilding the Shedra so the Kilung Children’s School can once again provide Tibetan education for the nomad children. Click HERE to donate.
Yangzom is Nyima’s 17 year-old sister. As the oldest girl in the family, she did not have the opportunity to attend school until she was 14. As a young child, she was terribly shy and quiet, often hiding her face behind her arms to avoid being seen. In 2014, with a Chinese sponsorship, she was sent to a private Tibetan school in Golok. There she studied Tibetan and Chinese reading and writing.
She began to develop more confidence and a beautiful singing voice. With Kilung Rinpoche’s help, Yangzom finished her studies in 2017 and was accepted in a specialized school in Kyegu Do for voice training. There she learned to play musical instruments and to perform Tibetan songs. She was asked to entertain publicly at many local events. Now the school is planning to record Yangzom’s first album, after only a year of study.
Yangzom is an example of the transformation that is possible through loving kindness and personal support from a Tibetan school. We ask for your help in rebuilding the Shedra in order to be able to offer Tibetan education for girls in the Kilung nomadic community. Click HERE to donate.