Monthly Archives: August 2013

Smiles for monks of Dechen Phodrang

The monks of Dechen Phodrang Monastic School will no longer have to sleep on the Floor!  A Big Thank You to Zoe and Dante and of course to their wonderful parents Tijn Smithuis and Jeannatte.

Mr. Tijn and I share office at the Royal Textile Academy. One day, he said his children, Zoe and Dante were interested to do a Charity Project in Bhutan with the support of their former School, De Kleine Reus in the Netherlands. Knowing the plight of the monks at Dechen Phodrang and of course its close proximity and the ease of coordination, I suggested that we visit the Monastic School. After a few meetings with the Principal, some teachers and the students, the supply of bunk beds was identified as a priority. Up until now the monks slept on the floor and the dormitories also served as class rooms during the day. Hygiene and Sanitation are challenges across most of the monastic schools in Bhutan and 99% of the monks come from poor families. Zoe and Dante were also more interested in Dechen Phodrang as the monks there were mostly of their age.

108 bunk beds have been committed at a total of Nu. 10,77,300/- of which 50 beds worth about Nu. 5 lakhs have been delivered on August 25, 2013 in the presence of His Eminence Tsukla Lopen Rinpoche of the Zhung Dratshang and the Hon’ble Secretary of the Dratshang Lhentshog. The remaining 58 will be delivered by end of September 2013.

Half of the funds were raised through a Charity Sponsored Walk conducted by Zoe and Dante’s former School in the Netherlands and the remaining was raised by Mr. Tijn and Jeannatte through their friends.


We would also like to mention Mr. Mon. Bdr from Wangmo Furniture who agreed to work as a partner and produce the beds at a subsidized rate. He also kindly agreed to produce the beds as a priority, shelving his other commitments. Thank you.

At the monastery, it was so fulfilling to see the excitement and gratitude in the faces of the monks. Thank you Mr. Tijn for making me part of this cause. I was just a facilitator and translator yet I felt so good as well!


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