The main focus of Konchok Foundation’s work in 2011 was support of the educational program for children at the Surmang shedra. At present there are nearly three hundred children, both lay children and apprentice monks, studying at four sites in the Surmang valley, including at the shedra itself. All of these children are being fed every day; additionally a number of the apprentice monks are living at the shedra.
It costs approximately a dollar a day per child for the children’s program, which runs seven days per week when it is in session. The children’s schooling is in session between nine and ten months of the year. The number of children in attendance has varied during the course of the year from less than two hundred to well over three hundred, for a variety of reasons.
Some furniture was purchased for the shedra this year, as well as a few decorative items. However, Konchok Foundation wasn’t able to provide enough funding in 2011 to pay for completion of the electrical, plumbing, or other items necessary to fully finish the shedra construction.
Trungpa XII Rinpoche, who is continuing his training at Serta to become a teacher, is now an adult and is no longer as reliant on our help to cover his basic living expenses. However, Konchok Foundation continues to provide some financial support to him.
A modest amount of funding was provided in 2011 for support of survivors of the devastating 2010 Jyekundo earthquake. This took the form of financial assistance for some earthquake orphans and distribution of heavy blankets for people living in tents. Much of the previous population of the city is still living there; they are now entering their second winter in tents.
Donor-designated grants were provided in 2011 to Karma Senge Rinpoche and Damcho Tenphel Rinpoche for their work at Wenchen nunnery and Kyere monastery.
Thank you so much to the more than three hundred donors who provided more than $100,000 in donations so far this year to Konchok Foundation to enable our work in Tibet. All the donations received are crucial. We would like to take special note of the strong ongoing support by the Gesar Fund of Europe for the education of the children at Surmang, of the $31,000 gift from an exceptionally generous donor, and of the group of donors who have signed up to make contributions every month. Konchok Foundation has no paid staff so overhead expenses are relatively minimal, amounting to less than $5,000 in 2011.
Our appreciation to Martin Bieri, a Shambhala volunteer who spent several months teaching English at the Surmang shedra this year. Also to Konchok board member Holly Gayley and other Shambhala sangha who visited Surmang in 2011.
Donations of any amount to support the Konchok Foundation’s work are most welcome. Ongoing monthly donations to support the children’s education are especially helpful.