Written by Vicki Robinson, Board Member and Sponsor
Sponsoring a nun is really one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done in my whole life.
My life has been full of activism and social justice issues, but nothing compares with the personal relationship I have with a young woman who is struggling and who appreciates the opportunities that the Tibetan Nuns Project and sponsors provide.
I’m writing to you today to share my story with you, to thank you for your generosity to the nuns, and to tell you about some of the urgent needs at the nunneries.
I met and started to sponsor Kalsang on my first trip to India in 2006 when I visited Dolma Ling Nunnery. I was so inspired by the nuns and what they were doing that I decided then that I wanted to sponsor a nun.
I was paired with Kalsang and we were able to meet briefly.
Kalsang comes from a large farming family in eastern Tibet and never had the chance to go to school. As she helped in the fields she thought, “I am simply wasting my precious life” and she longed to be educated and to practice her religion. She told her family that she wanted to become a nun and escape to Dharamsala, India where the educational opportunities for women were much better.
Kalsang escaped on foot from Tibet, walking over the Himalayas for 20 days with a large group of Tibetans. Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute has become her home and the other nuns have become her family.
Kalsang works hard and her devotion to her studies and to being a nun are inspiring.
I have sponsored her for the past 12 years and will keep doing so for as long as I can and for as long as it is needed.
There are many nuns like Kalsang who urgently need sponsors. The cost is just $1 a day, and the return is priceless.
Last October, I had the great pleasure of meeting Kalsang again when I travelled to Dolma Ling Nunnery for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Tibetan Nuns Project.
When we met and talked, I was just so amazed at the progress that she has made with her studies. She is very bright and very dedicated.
I was deeply moved when she told me that she wishes to study for the Geshema degree, the highest degree in her tradition, similar to a Ph.D. in Tibetan Buddhism.
Kalsang told me that when she was in Tibet and when she escaped to a life in exile in India, she never imagined that she would have the educational opportunities that have been made possible by you and other supporters of the Tibetan Nuns Project.
She said how very grateful she is.
Sponsorship has become a very important and close connection for both of us and I’ve decided to also leave a gift in my will to the Tibetan Nuns Project.
When I said goodbye to Kalsang we exchanged gifts and hugs. She gave me a beautiful woven bracelet that she had made for me. It was a sad parting. I don’t know if I’ll make it back to India.
As sponsors, we get lovely notes to celebrate Losar, Tibetan New Year, from the nun or nuns that we sponsor. This year, Kalsang enclosed a personal note telling me that when she saw me I reminded her of her grandmother who she hasn’t seen for many years. I feel that I have become a member of her family. She signed the note, “Your daughter KT.”
Supporting the nuns is very gratifying. Every time I hear from Kalsang or when I write to her, I feel that strong bond. It has become very important to me.
By supporting the Tibetan Nuns Project, you are helping to educate and empower the nuns and to preserve Tibet’s precious wisdom and culture at a time when both are under threat.
Thank you for helping the nuns!
P.S. I hope you will join me in supporting the Tibetan Nuns Project this holiday season by making a gift.
Wish List: Please help fund these 5 projects
1. Roof painting at Shugsep Nunnery: $2,642 needed
2. Media Equipment: $5,550 needed
3. The Debate Endowment Fund: $150,000+ needed
4. Yangchen Lophel Study Center: $940,000 needed
5. Sponsorship: 139 new sponsors needed
Or you can donate to the Area of Greatest Need