Teachers’ Salaries

Each year, the Tibetan Nuns Project funds teachers’ salaries at different nunneries in India.

The annual cost of one teacher’s salary ranges from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the location of the nunnery and the skills of the teacher.

The ultimate goal is to empower the nuns to become teachers and leaders in their own right and to help preserve Tibet’s unique culture and religion.

The Tibetan Nuns Project funds all the teachers at Dolma Ling and Shugsep nunneries, both founded and fully supported by the Project. In addition, we support:

The Tibetan Nuns Project seeks to elevate the educational standards and the position of women within the monastic community. To prepare the nuns for positions of leadership and moral authority in a culture that is going through a very challenging transition, it is essential to combine traditional religious studies with aspects of modern education. Your support of teachers’ salaries is essential for this. Thank you!

To help educate and empower the nuns you can:

    1. Make a multi-year recurring gift pledge to support one or more teachers.
    2. Make a one-time gift online to fund a full teacher’s salary or a portion of a salary — see below.
    3. Call our office in Seattle, US at 1-206-652-8901
    4. Mail a check to:
      The Tibetan Nuns Project
      (for Teachers’ Salaries)
      815 Seattle Boulevard South #418
      Seattle, WA 98134 USA


Tibetan monk teaching the nuns low res Brian Harris Tibetan Nuns Project


After their takeover of Tibet in 1959, the People’s Republic of China attempted to destroy traditional Tibetan culture, particularly its unique religious heritage and rich tradition of spiritual practice and scholarship.

In an attempt to eliminate Buddhism in Tibet, more than 6,000 nunneries and monasteries were destroyed between 1959 and 1980. Monks and nuns in great numbers were imprisoned, tortured, and forced to give up the ordained way of life. Teaching, study, and prayer were strictly prohibited, and religious texts and objects were demolished.

Before the Chinese takeover in 1959, there were at least 818 nunneries and nearly 28,000 nuns living in Tibet. Traditional education in the nunneries included reading, writing, and lessons in ancient scriptures and prayers taught by the senior nuns or lamas from monasteries.

Most nuns newly arrived in India have been denied basic educational opportunities in Tibet, including education in their own Tibetan language and Tibetan Buddhist religious heritage. The majority of nuns arrived in India illiterate and unable to write their own names.

teacher appreciation, Delek Wangmo, Geshema, Tibetan Nuns Project, educating women

Photo of Delek Wangmo and other senior nuns in 2013 by Brian Harris. When she escaped from Tibet she could barely read. Now she is one of two Geshemas hired in March 2019 to teach at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute.

Now, thanks to your support of education for the nuns, more and more nuns are attaining the highest degree in their tradition, the Geshema degree, which is roughly equivalent to a Ph.D. in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. After they complete a further Buddhist Tantric Studies program, the nuns are fully qualified to teach. In the spring of 2019, two of the Geshemas were hired to teach at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute.

Education is the key to empowerment. You can help to give the nuns the resources to carve out independent, creative identities for themselves.

Learn more about the Tibetan Nuns Project.