Roof Painting Shugsep

We’re delighted to report that this big project was fully funded in November 2018. Thank you to all the generous donors for keeping Shugsep Nunnery and Institute a strong and healthy place for the nuns to live and study. Here’s our report to you with before and after photos.

In the spring of 2018, we launched a special fundraising campaign to paint the metal roofs throughout the entire campus at Shugsep Nunnery and Institute in northern India.

Painting the roofs of the nunnery is a huge job. The nunnery complex, which functions as a kind of Nyingma university, has 43,208 square feet of roofing. These roofs protect dormitories, classrooms, the dining hall, the prayer hall, and much more.

Shugsep Nunnery roof painting, nunnery roof

Here’s a collage of photos showing the poor state of the roof before the painting project. The roof is the most critical part of any building. If the roof leaks, living conditions quickly become unbearable, even dangerous because of mold, and buildings can be destroyed.

Shugsep Nunnery and Institute was re-established in exile almost 10 years ago. Due to the extreme climate in northern India, including searing heat and torrential monsoon rains, substantial maintenance work needs to be done. Without being properly sealed, the metal roofs were rusting and were in grave danger of leaking.

Shugsep Nunnery and Institute, roof painting project

Here’s a collage of “after” photos from January 2019 showing the newly painted roofs at Shusep Nunnery. Thank you!

Here’s the labor-intensive work that your generous gifts made possible. All of the work had to be done by hand with brushes because spray equipment is not available anywhere in the area.

  • Inspecting the roofs and doing necessary repairs.
  • Cleaning and sanding over 43,000 square feet of tin roofing sheets and metal facias (the bands under the roof edges)
  • Priming them with one coat of top-quality red oxide paint to prevent rusting
  • Painting with two coats of green enamel paint for the roofs and black enamel paint for the facias.

Thank you so much for helping the nuns at Shugsep Nunnery and Institute with this huge and vital project!

collage showing Shugsep Nunnery roof painting project

Shugsep Nunnery Roof

Photo of the conclusion of our “Paint by Numbers” campaign for Shugsep Nunnery and Institute

To donate to another project or Area of Greatest Need, you can:

  1. Make a gift online – see below.
  2. Call our office in Seattle, US at 1-206-652-8901
  3. Mail a check to:
    The Tibetan Nuns Project
    815 Seattle Boulevard South #216
    Seattle, WA 98134 USA
  4. Donate securities.

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About Shugsep Nunnery

Shugsep Nunnery is the home and study center for about 85 nuns of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The nunnery was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on December 10 2010.

Many of the nuns had escaped from Tibet en masse in 1991, arriving in India with nothing. The nuns fled to India and Nepal in search of freedom, safety, and the opportunity to study. Initially around 20 nuns settled in Dharamsala under the care of the Tibetan Nuns Project. That number quickly increased to over 80. Before the nunnery in India was built, the Shugsep nuns were housed in temporary accommodation and forced to live in damp, moldy, and overcrowded conditions.

The nuns came from the original Shugsep Nunnery in Tibet, an ancient seat of learning re-established over 100 years ago by the great hermit Topden Rinpoche. He taught Shugsep Jetsun Rinpoche, one of the most illustrious female practitioners in Tibetan history. She was the abbess of Shugsep Nunnery. The Tibetan Nuns Project helped set up a regular study program for the nuns, following the 9-year Nyingma course developed at Namdroling Monastery in Bylakkupe, South India.

Here is a video made in 2006 telling the story of Shugsep Nunnery in Tibet and how it was re-established in India by the Tibetan Nuns Project. Note the roofs in the early days around 2010 before the weathering caused by the harsh climate and monsoon rains of northern India.