A school comes into being


Picture of Phugmoche (1992 to 2000)


At the Beginning - table of contents





Table of Contents





A day at Phugmoche School – April 1997


At seven o'clock, one hour after being woken up by the bell there is the appetising smell of steaming hot early morning tea. The boys and the twenty girls at the school hurry up as they know that time until breakfast at nine will pass quickly. The adult students, first of all 25-year-old Dawa, but younger and very young children as well enter into the twilight of the Gonpa to exorcise the demons of the night by reciting and chanting the rituals of the morning puja. Other children concentrate upon their homework. Their noisy friends, who laugh and chat and wash their clothes in the chill of the morning, do not disturb them.


At ten o'clock the day-scholars have climbed up the steep hill to the monastery. Together with the boarders they gather in the largest classroom in order to receive the blessing from Lama Ngawang Jinpa or Ang Gyalbu who teaches religion and Tibetan. After checking the students' presence and saying the morning prayer the children attend the different classes.


Visiting Phugmoche School you feel the atmosphere of friendly care and guiding assistance among the students themselves. The teachers educate with kindness and humour. During the period of settling down the children are looked after tenderly. The elder children and the adults slip into the role of an elder brother or an elder sister lovingly caring for the younger. Our students are between five and 25 years old. For those young people who have passed the normal age of a school child this school is a last chance to receive the qualifications enabling them to survive in our modern society.


It was Ngawang Jinpa Lama's idea to found this school which at the start, after 1992, was unique in the area. It is well accepted by the inhabitants of Solu-Kumbhu (north eastern Nepal). The Lama feels obliged to help preserve Sherpa Buddhist tradition. In the meantime the school has become much more than a religious institution. Thanks to the Lama's mental flexibility and his exceptional character Phugmoche School has become a living organism which grows and undergoes changes. The Lama has understood that only teaching Dharma, religion, is no more sufficient nowadays. So besides Dharma and Tibetan all the subjects of the Nepalese curriculum are taught at Phugmoche. The standard is comparatively high. The Lama also invites girls to study at his school. As the mothers of the coming generation they will have a key role transmitting values to their sons and daughters. Among the eight teachers there are two young women and three Hindus of the ethnic group of the Chhetri. Franziska and Analena, two German students, and Peggy from Canada brought a wind of change by teaching English conversation. Other volunteers followed.


Most of the students come from very poor families. Their parents' main worry is feeding the family. It is the Lama's wish to give an education to those young people. But we also need your help. This is why we ask to you to sponsor one of the students. 20 Euro only are needed to send a child to school in Phugmoche.