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Phugmoche School Project, Nepal.

Actualizado: 24 de jul de 2019

The story of the project..

During a multi-week trek on foot through Nepal, between the Himalayan Mountains on the way to Everest Base Camp, I had my first encounter with the Buddhist world. I witnessed a procession of Buddhist monks marching towards the city of Bhandar to celebrate a religious gathering and to receive the blessing of the lamas. I was struck by their faith, kindness, and simplicity towards life, in spite of the precarious and inhospitable conditions in which they lived. They were full of an overflowing spirituality. They told me that to them, walking is synonymous with purification. I then decided to walk for the next three weeks. Upon my return, I was directed to the town of Jumbesi, where I was told about a small school in the mountains that housed a significant number of children. The school was hidden in the outskirts of town. The founders, Anneliesse Dietrich and Ngawang Jinpa Lama, had a small monastery nearby and invited me to participate in the activities. I then offered my best carpentry skills in exchange for their reception and teachings. The next year, at the end of my trip, I went back to repay the debt from the spiritual revelation I experienced in my life from their teachings. In April of 2015, Nepal suffered from a major earthquake and subsequent cultural cataclysm, as the difficult conditions made it hard to access numerous monasteries and ancient towns on the East side of the Himalayas. The small monastery and school that I visited was completely disabled. Now, the 105 children and monks that make up their community continue their education and practice in makeshift tents.


On 25 April 2015, Nepal was hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was in the Lamjung district. The original facilities covered basic shelter needs. Serious damage resulted from the earthquake. It is not possible to rebuild without proper land surveys.



Watch our crowdfunding video here...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJExGS4f6wY&t=105s




Phugmoche is a Sherpa village, located 400 kilometers to the northeast of Katmandu. The only way to get there is by walking on the path towards Mount Everest and Tibet. It was founded by a small Buddhist monastery, created for the children of farmers of the local Sherpas and neighboring communities. The boarding school is attended by around 90 children and is maintained by the association PHUGMOCHE-NEPAL.


The Carpentry workshop project...




Long Term Objective: Rebuild and recuperate the Phugmoche school to with active student participation in order to allow the continuation of scholarly activities in adequate conditions. Short Term Objective: Help and work with the students, delivering all necessary tools, materials, and knowledge to increase the efficiency of the reconstruction. We place a strong focus on orienting the students towards sustainability. This includes teaching planning concepts grounded in permaculture principles while promoting self-sufficiency and local economy. The former buildings were made of stone, mud, and in some cases supportive wood, and were worn out by the environment. This made them very vulnerable to terrestrial movements, and, in effect, caused grave harm. The project will focus on maintaining the esthetic language of local construction in order to preserve the heritage and architectural style characteristic of this part of the Himalayas. We believe it is very important to preserve the traditional techniques of wood and construction work that local builders and artisans are known for.




The experience...
The project finally became one of the most enriching experiences we have lived....
It was a hard work that lasted more than a year since we started the design of the plan, fundraising, videos and crowdfunding.
I think one of the most interesting points and of which there were many doubts, was the direct participation and interest of children in build a house...but we always knew that if it was very important to develop something that they themselves could be proud of having been part of, there was no institution or many rules, Only those of safety at work, there were no castes or genres that made a difference and that limited our imagination and form of expression, there were no accidents despite being mostly children, nor bad moments that are worth forgetting.
In total, 6 months of hard field work, in which we were fortunate to have a fantastic team of volunteers and friends who came and collaborated hard in the realization of this project, which at the time seemed to have an end, luckily not It was like this, today 3 years later we continue working and implementing new initiatives with the children, who in the future will be the spokesmen and founders of noble initiatives, full of inspiration, opportunity and hope for the people of their communities and why not, the rest of the world.

Watch our end project video here.....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugdW0tRieKw&t=142s


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