Tara Bodong Foundation (Netherlands) is a registered non-profit charity that supports humanitarian projects in Northern India and Nepal. Our mission is to improve the living conditions of local people in the Himalayan regions of India and Nepal, and help them break out of the vicious circle of hardship which often characterises their lives. We do this through (financial and non-financial) donations, capacity building and knowledge transfer. Our main project is the Lumla Bodong Nunnery/Girls’ School, which is a shelter for girls in Lumla, Arunachal Pradesh, NE India. This facility houses and provides supplementary education to poor and orphaned young girls. Lumla is a tiny village that shares a border with Bhutan and Tibet (China).
What can we say about 2020? The first word that comes to mind is ‘gratitude’. We are mindful of the fact that everyone has, in one way or another, been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Some of us have lost loved ones or have had to care for those suffering the after-effects of the virus. Many of us have had to make major changes to our lifestyle – both economically as well as socially, and we are still bracing ourselves for the spin-off effects that are yet to come as adjustments continue to be made into the New Year.
We, the board and committee members of Tara Bodong are truly grateful that you have continued to show your support for our girls at Lumla Nunnery and Girls’ School. On behalf of us all at Tara Bodong and our 21 Lumla daughters, we wish you health, love and compassion this holiday season and a very happy and healthy New Year!
The Tara Bodong Team
Debbie, Maria, Renee, Silvia, Tatjana, Christian, Vincent.
My Voice, Our Equal Future
International Day of the Girl 2020
October 11 is International Day of The Girl Child and the theme is My Voice, Our Equal Future. This special day recognises the changes and developments in the rights of girls, as well as the awareness of the unique and pressing challenges millions of young girls face around the world today. The right to a healthy life, with equitable treatment and access to basic needs, should be given to each and every adolescent girl, but equality is not always forthcoming, especially when it comes to girls' education around the world and their prospective chances of achieving financial success.
Read our newsletter here.
The Impact of a Sponsor
Next summer will mark a significant milestone for the Tara Bodong Foundation. Six of our girls will be completing their elementary (upper-primary) school education. This is a milestone for the Lumla Bodong Nunnery/Girls’ School and evidence that our mission is being accomplished! According to the Indian education system, children are required to go to school until the age of 14 years. These six girls who have or will attain that age by the end of the next school year, will now be able to use this diploma to make smart choices about their future for the first time in their lives! We, at Tara Bodong will support them with guidance and funding to give them the best possible options.
During the coming year, we will work with their teachers and the girls themselves to help them choose the best way forward. Those who have the ability, will be encouraged to continue their studies and maybe even go on to university. Others who may not have the academic ability, will be encouraged to learn a technical skill or craft that they can use to eventually earn an income and become self-sufficient.
Regardless of what they choose for their next step in life, these six girls will not be following blindly in their parents’ footsteps as child brides or manual labourers. This is the impact of our sponsorship programme and we are grateful!
Since 2014, each girl in residence at our Lumla Nunnery/Girls’ School has received individual sponsorship and we are pleased to see our programme bearing fruit by producing young women with choices and a chance for a better future. With our support and encouragement these inspiring young women are on their way to becoming independent thinkers who will help improve the situation in their local communities for generations to come.
The mountainous hillsides that surround Lumla are dotted with numerous nomadic families who are desperate for a chance to give their girls a chance at a better life. We need your help; for just €45 per month you can change a girl’s life, who will then have the potential to change an entire community! Your monthly contribution provides access to lodging, clothes, food, school uniforms, books, and anything else she might need, to help her become self-reliant, contributing members of her community and the world at large. Click here to donate.
“The aim is to become resourceful women in their own locality - as teachers, social and health care workers and mentors. By being taught in the Bodong Tradition of Buddhism, the girls will help to revitalise their religious and cultural heritage.” (Siri Weirum - co-founder, Tara Bodong). For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Life in Lumla During the Coronavirus Lockdown
As you read this message, we hope you are well and are practising measures to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy during the Coronavirus outbreak. We, the members of the Tara Bodong Committee, are also staying indoors as much as possible and practising social distancing to try to limit the spread of the disease.
Our daughters at the Lumla Bodong Nunnery/Girls’ School are coping very well with the restrictions that are now in effect throughout India to try to limit the spread of the disease. Like the rest of the country, Lumla and its surrounding villages are in a state of lockdown. Luckily, the girls are now on the six-week annual school summer holiday break. All of them are spending their holidays at the nunnery.
The girls spend most of their days completing chores around the facility, helping to care for the younger ones and playing games with one another of course! In the afternoons, they practice their handicraft skills such as weaving, under the watchful eye of House Mum, Pema Deki and her assistant Tashi Drema. For more information on Monpa traditional crafts, click here.
So far, we are happy to report that there are no indications that any of our girls or staff members has contracted Covid-19. There are also no reports of any symptoms among them. In the meantime, everyone is taking extra precautions to ensure good hygiene, sanitation and social distancing, as instructed by the Indian Government and the WHO.