Opening of Academic Building at Tibetan Orphanage in India

Tawang, India.  The incredible opening of the Academic Building of Manjushree Tibetan Orphanage in Tawang took place on 10am of September 21, 2015. All 254 children, teachers, villagers, monks, officials, and international guests gathered to celebrate.

b5         Architectural rendering of the new academic building at Manjushree.

20The Opening Ceremonies vibrated with Tibetan culture that very much lives in India.

To me it was a very emotional occasion. It took over four years to build this building with many people’s help from USA and Japan. Tawang is a magnificent very important Tibetan village located in deep, remote in Himalaya, border of India and Chinese occupied Tibet, Bhutan and Myanmar, with fifth Dalai Lama’s monastery which is historically the second largest. It is the birthplace of sixth Dalai Lama. To get there, you must cross nine mountains and two of them are as high as 4,500 meters!

oldbuildingThe old building.

helpSeniorDental hygiene used to require brushing teeth in the steam gutter.

Manjushree Orphanage was started by a remarkable monk, Lama Thupten Phuntsok, with 17 children and three devoted teachers in l998. It was housed in an unsanitary building with no plumbing and no adequate lighting. First I heard about this Tibetan orphanage from H.H. the Dalai Lama, and its children and existence of many infectious diseases.

40Another view in the architectural renderings.

I went there first time in 2009 and took care of eleven TB children. Originally some children were coming from crossing over the Himalaya pursuing the real Tibetan education which was no longer available in Tibet proper, risking their lives and parents. Villagers were, and are extremely poor, isolated from mainland Tibet.

b15Walking into the building the first time, my heart was pounding with excitiment.

In last three years, the Manjushree produced 22 graduates, and all went to colleges and professional schools. This is a remarkable fact in any standard anywhere, but coming from this very remote village of Himalaya?

b16-1Architectural rendering of the Academic Building front.

We now have a beautiful building which houses the classes till they graduate for the higher educations, together with rooms for Science, Biology, Library, Chemistry, Computer lab, Dalai Lama’s teaching hall, and even Gaia Holistic Health Clinic.

1-1So many people from around the world spent so many years to make this happen.
The author, middle, wearing ceremonial ‘kata’ given to her is appreciation.

The children of Manjushree are quite different than any other children. They are all naturally compassionate with full of love for all sentient beings, and never raise their voices, nor quarrel. They are just adorable. One goes there to assist but, instead, we learn so much from these children.

10The Tibetan monks in residence were particularly pleased to see the children’s school.

We were all moved and touched constantly in tears. It is a remarkable healing place for anyone’s souls. I hope, in fact, I am sure these children will grow up to be all important leaders for the world in whatever field they choose.

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By Dr. Kazuko Hillyer.

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The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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