We are funding a boarding school to bridge the gap between the Nepalese educational policy and the cultural needs of this indigenous community . At an annual cost of $1000 per child the Foundation currently sponsors 39 village children (mostly from poor families) to attend Nepalese boarding school where they learn reading, writing, science, and math etc. These children live near the school and again in the evening, the children learn to read, write, and speak their indigenous Tibetan language . They learn Tibetan history and traditional prayers and rituals. We are committed to sponsoring each child until they complete school and each year we add four additional students to our program.
This program is still in its infancy but beginning to work. Grandparents who still speak Tibetan told us recently that, when their grandchildren were home for the holidays, it was amazing to see them speaking Tibetan, chanting Tibetan prayers, and engaging in familiar rituals in Tibetan. Our long term goal is to teach this next generation of children their own Tibetan spiritual practices and thereby revitalize Tibetan Bon and Buddhist customs in Mustang.
The Foundation built a cultural center in Pangling, a large, single story building in the center of the village. This is where the younger generation learns from elder women to weave and make boots and thangkha painters pass on their sacred painting skills. The center is also being used to hold community meetings and celebrations.