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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why did the members of the Lumla Nunnery School decide to start construction before the total funding target was achieved?
    The most important reason for starting construction was that there are many girls in need of education. By starting up initial facilities, we had the opportunity to offer a few of the girls a chance while they were still young.
  • When did construction begin?
    Construction started in September 2014.
  • When do we expect the building to be finished?
    Phase one is complete. Phase two, consists of a prayer room/ meeting room and a retaning wall. In Asia and especially in Lumla, it is difficult to give an exact time of when the construction will be finished. There are many factors which are not in our hands such as weather, logistics, availability of materials etc. and efficiency here is much less than in any other country in Europe. Together with our European and Indian experts we are working closely with the local construction team and will provide regular updates on the project. Keep checking our website and sign up for our newsletter for regular updates.
  • How are we going to handle the construction?
    Transparency, accountability and integrity are the cornerstones of every project undertaken by Tara Bodong and Pema Dorjee. In this regard, we promise to maintain professional accounts and establish control mechanisms to ensure quality of the construction and transparent purchasing procedure. In addition, our donors will receive a progress report every three months. To keep our budget as low as possible and so get the most value for money, the Lumla Bodong Tashi Choeling Charitable Committee will take full responsibility for the construction of the Lumla Nunnery School. They work with local contractors.
  • How involved will the architect be during the construction period?
    When we are about to start construction we will invite the architect who designed the original plan to brief committee members, the construction supervisor and local experts. The local experts will be available throughout construction to provide guidance and professional advice to the builders.
  • Has there been any inflation since the drawing up of the budget?
    Prices of materials have moved up significantly by some 10-30%, depending on the material. However, our funds are being kept in Euro’s and the Indian Rupee Euro (INR/EUR) exchange rate has moved as well offering some compensation to the cost inflation.
  • Do we have a detailed breakdown of materials needed?
    This question is difficult to answer in reality in a remote and uncertain region such as Lumla. There are many factors which are beyond our control and efficiencies here are much less than in any other countries in Europe. If you go through the detailed plan (architect’s drawing) you will get a rough idea, but if you have more specific questions beyond the plan, please contact us and we will try to answer them.
  • Is there a contingency amount built into the budget to allow for cost over-runs?
    Tara Bodong keeps a slush fund to deal with contingencies.
  • Will the nunnery/ girls’ school be insured during the construction period?
    In general, the insurance system in India is not that reliable when it comes to buildings and especially in Lumla there is almost no building insurance available.
  • Earthquake risk?
    The architect has assured us all the foundations, beams, and pillars are designed to withstand an earthquake in the Arunachal Pradesh region. The materials to be used are of a high quality and will be thoroughly tested and checked, but there are no guarantees. We will be using the same quality of construction as new buildings in the area.
  • Sanitary facilities/heating?
    Sanitary facilities, plumbing and electrical wiring are included in the budget. There is no heating system included in the budget. We have discussed this issue in great detail and decided that it would better not to have a heating system. This is in keeping with the normal living conditions of the girls who do not even have electricity in their homes. If we spoil the girls too much then they may not want to return to their villages.
  • Will we get regular progress reports?
    Any questions you have related to the construction of the nunnery/girls’ school, please contact us.
  • What are the operating expenses?
    Start-up Costs: This covered the costs of furniture for the dormitories, a fully equipped kitchen, a dining hall and a library. Operating Costs: The monthly operating budget is covered and managed by our sponsorship plan which involves monthly donations from individuals. This amounts to between €25 to €40 per month depending on the season and time of the year. Extra money is required once per year for school uniforms, books and other supplies. In winter, extra money is spent on fuel for heating and electricity. Below is a rough idea how the budget will be broken up into tangible items for sponsorship. Monthly sponsorship money will be divided as follows: (a) Kitchen – food, fuel, a cook and other kitchen expenses. (b) Education – text books, notebooks, pens, pencils, teaching aids and materials, chalk, teachers, games etc. (c) Administration and supervision – full-time house mother/ (d) Utilities - electricity, water, stationery, telephone, computer, internet etc. (e) Health – annual health check, basic medicines, nurse, doctors’ visits etc. (f) Clothing – clothes, shoes, bed and bath linen, toiletries. (g) Miscellaneous funds for emergency cases. Expenses from (a) to (f) are included in the monthly sponsorship amount.
  • What will the children be taught?
    We will ensure that the girls at our institution have access to the following skills: ● Language studies in Tibetan, English and Hindi. ● Literature and reading comprehension. ● Mathematics, social studies and science. ● Health, hygiene and environmental awareness. ● Buddhist philosophy according to the Bodong tradition. ● Computer literacy.
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