FFM’s involvement with Bhutan began in 2011 following a meeting between FFM Exco members and Dr Tashi Zangmo, Founder of the Bhutan Nuns Foundation (BNF). Established in 2009, BNF seeks to improve the quality of life and education of all Buddhist nuns throughout Bhutan regardless of sectarian difference.
Since 2012, FFM in collaboration with BNF has participated in a number of initiatives including the Bhutan Nuns sponsorship programme and construction of nuns’ living quarters. FFM has also provided support through financial contributions for a number of projects in Bhutan including the 1st International Buddhist Nuns Conference held in Paro, Bhutan in December 2013 and the first ever large-scale Nuns ordination ceremony held in Punakha, Bhutan in May 2014.
FFM volunteers have made a total of three trips to Bhutan in 2013 and 2014 and experienced firsthand the challenges and difficulties in reaching nunneries located in remote areas. In addition to the difficult geographical terrain, there are also accommodation constraints, thus limiting humanitarian visits to Bhutan to small groups.
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Voices from the Heart
It is beyond our imagination that anyone would come half round the world to support us. Our spirits are uplifted and we are humbled.
To keep running the nunnery is challenging. Some nuns get discouraged and leave. Likewise I get discouraged. Each time BNF came, the nuns and I are re-energized. I feel more encouraged with FFM’s support and in their valuing us. This has encouraged us and planted the seed in our mind to make the best of what we have …
--Head Monk Teacher Lama Yeshi Dorji of Shedrup Choling nunnery who founded the nunnery 10 years ago at the request of the local community, and who had compassionately donated one of his kidneys to his friend’s mother so that she could continue farming and earn a livelihood
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