2019 Message

Because of your help, nuns now have a chance to study and access the rich philosophical training of Tibetan Buddhism.

Traditionally, Buddhist nuns have not had the same access to education as monks. The Tibetan Nuns Project aims to elevate the educational standards and the position of women. It has created a groundbreaking education system aimed at both preserving Tibetan culture and equipping these dedicated women to live and become leaders in the modern world.

I want to tell you the story of Delek Dolma. Without the kindness of Tibetan Nuns Project donors like you, she would not have reached her high level of education.

Delek Dolma reached northern India in 1992 as part of a large group of illiterate nuns who escaped from Tibet. As more nuns arrived as refugees seeking the freedom to practice their religion, each nun was given a number. Delek Dolma is nun #6. Her dream was to study hard, return home, and teach.

Tibetan Buddhist nun taking Geshema exams August 2019

One of the 51 nuns who took her Geshema exams in August 2019. Since 2016, 36 nuns have become Geshemas – a historic milestone for Tibet. This achievement would not have been possible without your support for education projects such as the Jang Gonchoe inter-nunnery debate, which provides intensive training in debate.

In August, Delek Dolma took her fourth and final set of exams for the Geshema degree, the highest degree in her tradition, equivalent to a Ph.D. in Tibetan Buddhism.

In late November, all being well, she will graduate as a Geshema at a special ceremony witnessed by about 300 nuns at the close of the annual inter-nunnery debate called the Jang Gonchoe.

Delek Dolma’s story illustrates the power of education and the impact of your generosity.

Currently, the Tibetan Nuns Project supports over 700 Tibetan Buddhist nuns and seven nunneries in northern India from all religious orders of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, as well as nuns living on their own and in retreat.

The nuns are mostly Tibetan refugees living in an exile community that is struggling to survive and that has few resources. We also help nuns and nunneries following the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in Buddhist communities within the Himalayan region of India such as Kinnaur, Spiti, Ladakh, and Zanskar.

In these troubled times, we need the Tibetan nuns as teachers and leaders and as models of wisdom and compassion.

By donating to the Tibetan Nuns Project, you are helping to save Tibet’s unique religion and culture at a time when it is severely threatened in its homeland.

The situation in Tibet today remains dire. Religious and cultural persecution of Tibetans is steady and insidious. Tibet is repeatedly listed as the second-least-free region in the world, behind only Syria and worse than even North Korea. Recently, two large Buddhist academies were partially demolished and nuns and monks forcibly removed. The Chinese government has put severe restrictions on the Tibetan language and religion, preventing Tibetans from having the full knowledge of their tradition.

The Tibetan nuns need you this winter. Here’s how you can help:

  1. Send a donation. Your gift will pay for essentials such as education, food, clothing, housing, and emergency medical treatment. If you’d like, you can designate your gift to a specific project from our list of Current Needs on our website.
  2. Sponsor a nun. More sponsors are always needed. A dollar a day provides education and necessities like food, clothing, and shelter for one nun.
  3. Shop in our online store. By purchasing products, such as beautiful malas and prayer flags, you are helping to build self-sufficiency for the nuns.

We are grateful to you for your belief in the importance of the nuns’ cause. By giving to the Tibetan Nuns Project you are investing in the future of a new generation of educated and self-sufficient Tibetan women.

Thank you for your continued generosity. We wish you and those you love a happy holiday season.

Dr. Elizabeth Napper
Board Chair and U.S. Founder

Please consider a legacy of compassion with a gift in your will to the Tibetan Nuns Project.