The Tibetan Nuns Project was established under the auspices of the Tibetan Women’s Association and the Department of Religion and Culture of H. H. the Dalai Lama and is dedicated to educating and supporting nuns in India from all Tibetan Buddhist lineages.
In the mid 1980s, with the strong encouragement of H.H. the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Women’s Association began to work on behalf of nuns of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Initial efforts focused on small projects within the two existing nunneries in the Dharamsala area, and the women also worked to start a new nunnery in South India.
In early 1991, a group of 66 refugee nuns appeared overnight on the streets of Dharamsala, India. They had been on a two-year pilgrimage from eastern Tibet that had ended in a journey over the Himalayas. Ill and exhausted, they had nowhere to go. The Tibetan Women’s Association organized emergency assistance to meet their basic needs, and set in motion the Tibetan Nuns Project to work exclusively on behalf of the nuns. The Project immediately began to find long-term solutions to the problems of securing housing, medical care and most importantly, education for refugee nuns. The Project created a sponsorship program, reaching out to individuals around the world.
Our India office is staffed largely by lay Tibetans who are increasingly assisted by the nuns. It is our vision that, after completion of the educational programs currently underway, all of the administration of the Tibetan Nuns Project will one day be carried out by the nuns. In the U.S. we have a small administrative and fundraising office in Seattle, Washington which is staffed by two employees assisted by a number of committed volunteers.