The Sharminub Institute is an education and retreat center and was not really planned for hosting children. Nevertheless, more and more boys are searching for refuge there and of course they are accepted. Not only has their accommodation to be organized now but also their education. Right now, 86 boys are living there, between 6 and 15 years old. They come from the Himalaya Region and mostly they became orphans due to the disastrous earthquake in 2015. Some lived with their relatives for a certain time who then brought them to Sharminub. Or they are brought there because the parents are very poor and cannot afford to send them to school.
When arriving in the Sharminub Institute, they don’t have any belongings except the cloths they are wearing. Some of the children are sick and need medical care. Generally, they are treated with Nepalese medicine as western medicine is too expensive and often it is not even available. There they receive all necessary things such as food, clothing, a place to sleep, schoolbooks as well as medicine if needed. With a smile Lama Ngawang reports that many boys were rather wild and boisterous and had not received much education.
Kids in Sharminub in December 2017
The teachers and the people looking after them have the task of teaching them important rules of living together, which is not always easy when there are about 25 children sleeping in one room. On the other hand, they also show them daily routines such as keeping themselves clean, e.g. brushing their teeth, etc., washing their cloths, eating with a spoon, keeping things neat & tidy, etc.
In addition to the general school education some of the children are also receive a Buddhist education. Those teachers who take care of the school education are Acharyas or volunteers, who have a normal job outside and go there during their free time to teach mainly Nepali and English. All children learn to read and write in Nepali, Tibetan and English. Beside their education the children also enjoy free time during which they play soccer, badminton or cricket and practice rope jumping. All this is only possible because there were and are sponsors supporting this project. Donations for the schoolbooks are also important. Each child needs at least three books for the three languages mentioned as well as other school material to successfully join the lessons. Although sometimes generous one-time donations are given, covering the expenses for the regular care is still difficult.
This is why your donations are still very welcome. A sponsorship of, say, € 30 per month covers the costs for one child. At the end of our short interview, which took place during the stay of Lama Ngawang in Renchen-Ulm, he said that some of the boys had asked him when he would come back. They miss him. He smiles when he says that he felt like a father to them.
There is an urgent need of volunteers, who are not only willing to help with the education but also with teaching the children (in English, Mathematics or natural sciences). These could also be high-school graduates who are planning to go abroad for some time. It would be good if the stay was possible for at least 3 months. When interested, please contact us for further information.