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.
Focus of Our Mission
- Nuns Sponsorship Programme
- Construction of Nuns Living Quarters
- Support of projects on ad-hoc basis including 1st International Buddhist Nuns Conference in Bhutan and Nuns Ordination Ceremony
- Nuns Healthcare Fund
Project Updates & Recent News
Project Summary: The construction of a nuns living quarters for the nuns at Upper Chothpo Goenpa nunnery. Period: January 2014 to current (near completion) Project Description: Shedrup Choling nunnery is located in Southern Bhutan. The nearest town is Gelephu which is 11 hours drive from Thimphu, capital of Bhutan. The ...Read More
Project Summary: The construction of a two-storey building comprising of classrooms and living quarters for the nuns at Upper Chothpo Goenpa nunnery. Period: February 2013 to current (Completed in 2015) Project Description: Upper Chothpo Goenpa nunnery is located in Pemagateshel District, Eastern Bhutan and takes a three-day drive to arrive ...Read More
Project Summary: The Nuns Ordination Ceremony, the first time the Getsulma Dhompa vows were taken on a large scale was held as a result of the discussion and debate at the 1st International Buddhist Nuns Conference on the topic of the ordination of nuns in Bhutan. The ceremony was organised ...Read More
Project Summary: The 1st International Buddhist Nuns Conference was organised by BNF to provide an important platform for discussion and dialogue, so as to inspire and empower the Bhutanese nuns and enhance their informed and active participation in their religious lives and within their communities. Period: December 2013 Project Description: ...Read More
Project Summary: The Bhutan Nuns sponsorship programme aims to improve the basic quality of life for nuns and nunneries through the provision of daily nutritious meals, clothing, teaching/ learning materials and other essentials e.g. mattresses and blankets. Currently, six nunneries are receiving support via 60 sponsorship shares. At S$600 per ...Read More
Voices From The Heart
Lama Yeshi Dorji
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
Lama Yeshi Dorji
Yoesel Choling Nunnery - By Lopen Tashi Choden
It is beyond our imagination that anyone would come half round the world to support us. Our spirits are uplifted and we are humbled.
Spiritual Teacher Lopen Tashi Choden of Yoesel Choling nunnery
Samten Choling Nunnery - By Ani Kunzang
I am relieved that from the money we received from our Singapore supporters will help to buy cooking oil, salt, eggs and lentil for the nuns’ nutrition. I never realized that when Meme (our late Spiritual Teacher) was alive, there was so much mental comfort; I never worried much about where the food items would come or anything like that but after he passed away, it worried me. Also before Firefly’s funds came in, we did not have money to buy sugar and milk for tea. The younger nuns like to drink tea with milk but we were not able to provide them the milk and sugar for their tea. But after we received the support from our Singapore donors, I was happy to be able to buy sugar and milk for the tea for the nuns and they were happy to have tea breaks. I thank our unknown donors from other side of the world for their kind support. Please tell them that the only way we can repay their generosity is by saying prayers for their well being.
Ani Kunzang Choden, Head Nun of Samten Choling nunnery
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