Media Equipment

The Media Equipment Project was fully funded in January 2019. Thank you to everyone who donated to the project. Here is an updated report with photos from July 2019.

Thank You for Empowering the Nuns With Media Equipment

Stories matter. Traditionally Tibetan Buddhist nuns have been a quiet presence in the world. They have had little or no opportunity to tell their own stories. In 2018, the Tibetan Nuns Project launched a campaign to raise funds for cameras and other media equipment so that nuns at seven nunneries in northern India would be able to share their news and record special events such as teachings and graduations.

Tibetan Buddhist nuns learn how to use cameras

Tibetan Buddhist nuns learn how to use cameras. A Tibetan freelance photographer kindly volunteered his time to help train nuns from three Tibetan nunneries – Dolma Ling, Shugsep, and Geden Choeling – to use the new cameras. Photo courtesy of the Nuns’ Media Team.

We are extremely grateful to everyone who donated to purchase the following media equipment and empower these brave and dedicated women to share their words and images with the world.

  • 6 Point-and-shoot digital cameras for 6 nunneries
  • 1 High-capacity external back-up hard drive
  • 1 Tripod case
  • 1 iMac Pro computer for video editing
  • 1 3-year service contract for the computer
  • 1 Final Cut Pro Editing Software
  • Epson PictureMate Photo Cartridges (T5852)
  • 5 Surge Protectors
Tibetan Buddhist nuns from Sakya College receive camera training

Venerable Delek Yangchen of the Nuns’ Media Team (right) teaches Tibetan Buddhist nuns from Sakya College how to use the nunnery’s new camera. Photo courtesy of the Nuns’ Media Team.

The Media Equipment Project is part of an ongoing process to empower and educate the nuns and to provide them with the skills, training, and equipment to become leaders and teachers in their communities. Most of the nuns escaped from Tibet – including members of the Nuns’ Media Team – and arrived in exile with no education and unable to even write their names. You can read Venerable Delek Yangdron’s story below.

collage of photos showing Tibetan Buddhist nuns receiving media equipment training

Reporting back to donors. One of the ways that nuns can use the cameras is to report back to donors on the impact of their support. Here’s a collage of photos taken by the nuns showing nuns from the six nunneries receiving training on how to use the new cameras.

Now the members of the Nuns’ Media Team are making a very special contribution to the lives of Tibetan Buddhist nuns in exile. They document teachings, record special events such as the Geshema graduations, show daily life at the nunneries, create books and newsletters, and train their sister nuns at other in many nunneries in many aspects of media arts.

Here’s the email from our headquarters in India:

“We are very happy to let you know that we have finally distributed cameras to (Shugsep Nunnery, Tilokpur Nunnery, Geden Choeling Nunnery, Sakya College for Nuns, Dorjee Zong, and Sherab Choeling Nunnery). The nuns were very happy on receiving the cameras… Our Media nuns did a wonderful job of explained different functions of the camera and how they should be taking care of it. The committee nun from Dorjee Zong [in the remote area of Zanskar] was especially very happy, as she would now be able to bring us pictures and videos of the nuns which she was never able to do so in the past… We would like to thank all the wonderful donors who made this wish come true.”

media equipment, Nuns' Media Team

Venerable Delek Yangchen of the Nuns’ Media Team with the new computer and thank you messages in English and Tibetan to all those who made this possible. She wrote in Tibetan and English, “Our new computer is very very nice! We love it so much! Thank you all!”

flower at Dolma Ling Nunnery

Taken by the Nuns’ Media Team and sent with deepest thanks to everyone who contributed to the media equipment.

Here is a photo of a flower taken by the Nuns’ Media Team as an offering of thanks to all the donors who made this very special project a reality.

We always keep an up-to-date list of Current Needs here.

Nuns’ Media Team at Dolma Ling

At Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute, one of the two nunneries built and fully supported by the Tibetan Nuns Project, there is now an active Nuns’ Media Team. A special group of nuns received training from overseas volunteers. Now they are now passing on their knowledge to other nuns. Venerable Delek Yangdron, the supervisor of the Nuns’ Media Team, has trained several nuns in still and video photography, in interview techniques, and in cutting and editing the footage to make videos. The nuns have already produced a series of videos on life at Dolma Ling, the Tibetan Nuns Project, and Shugsep Nunnery.

Currently, the nuns write, edit, and publish their own annual magazine and also help prepare the annual Tibetan Nuns Project calendar that is an income earner for the nunnery. These are both achievements to be proud of given than so many nuns were illiterate on arrival in India.

From Illiteracy to Tech-Savvy Teacher: One Nun’s Story

Venerable Delek Yangdron is one of the most senior nuns in Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute. She arrived in India in the winter of 1990 in the first group to form the newly founded Institute.

media equipment, empowering women, Tibetan Buddhist nuns, Tibetan nun, Buddhist nun, Delek Yangdron, Tibetan Nuns Project

Early photo of Venerable Delek Yangdron, a senior nun at Dolma Ling Nunnery and a member of the Nuns Media Team.

Illiterate on arrival, she began her education in Buddhist studies and progressed to completion of the first year of Vinaya studies. She was among the first group of nuns to receive training in computer skills and, because of her special interest in this area, she began teaching in the Dolma Ling computer room, providing basic computer education to the other nuns while continuing her own studies.

While in charge of the computer room, Delek Yangdron designed the nuns’ yearly magazine and helped a senior Dolma Ling teacher with the design for his book on full ordination for nuns.

Delek Yangdron Tibetan Buddhist nun photographer

Delek Yangdron, far left, and another media nun shooting video and photographs at the nunnery.

While Delek Yangdron worked in the computer room, she learned Final Cut Pro video editing software and videography. The nunnery established a media section under her supervision. Along with documenting activities, the media section also makes staff and nuns’ ID cards for Dolma Ling and Shugsep nunneries, burns CDs and DVDs, and copies Buddhist teachings on to MP3s for the nuns.

In 2010, Delek Yangdron made a short video of the month-long Jang Gonchoe debate session at Dolma Ling. Many nuns bought the video and sent it to their families in Tibet, who were happy to see the nuns doing so well in their Buddhist studies. The nuns there were encouraged that a nun had made the video herself.

photo by Robin Groth of Tibetan Buddhist nuns

Photo by Robin Groth, a TNP board member and a sponsor, who championed the Media Equipment Project. Robin wrote, “I had spent my career as a broadcast journalist and documentary producer, telling stories of people’s lives, witnessing historical events, and now I could help the Media Nuns, Ven. Delek Yangdron ((left) and Ven. Delek Yangchen (center), give voice to the nuns’ own stories of survival, hope, educational equality, and empowerment. What a joy to help enable the nuns to record, preserve, and share their culture and accomplishments with the world.”