Increasingly, the Dutch Foundation for Ladaki Nuns (DFLN) and the Ladakh Nuns Assiociation (LNA) was approached by people who wish to volunteer in Ladakh. For those who are considering, it makes sense to advance a number of points stand still.
Ladakh is a Buddhist region in the northwest of the Indian Himalayas. It is extremely dry and the winters are very cold. The area is only since the late 70's opened up for tourists. Tourism is still growing and for the local population an important source of income. Leh is the capital and largest city of the region.
In 1996, the nun and Dr. Tsering Palmo the LNA to the position of nuns in Ladakh to improve. Nuns get a lot less likely to study, training and floor in the Buddhist teachings than monks. Until recently, the nuns monks for the household duties. Often they had to help their families work in the country. Also often had and have no nuns convent or monastery is their due. The LNA that is supported by the DFLN.
For volunteers, there are several tasks which can help you along:
Helping to build a monastery
In Nyerma, three minutes by bus from Leh, built a new convent for nuns old. Work began two years ago and since autumn 2006, ten nuns live.
In the coming years there will be further built on shared spaces and guest rooms. Of volunteers who help with the construction is not expected to have experienced builders. While some skills are more welcome. Once the guest house is ready, we have a couple of years people need in the summer months the building running: guests, arrange cleaning, any meals. We hope that in future young nuns in the convent established that these tasks will take.
Teaching English to nuns
Contact with foreign organizations where the LNA and has links with other foreign visitors plays an increasingly important role. English is usually the main language. The level of English varies greatly nun. Some speak well and without hesitation, others are still at the beginning. Confusion also plays a role. It is therefore important that those who go and teach English for at least three weeks, and preferably longer, can do.
At this moment there is no teaching method or program. You must be able to improvise. It is planned that there will soon be a curriculum, so that people can continue to teach where their predecessors have gone. Native speakers to teach advanced. English speakers who teach beginners a good command.
There are also activities that occasionally occur. As in the LNA to provide practical hands-office chores. Maybe you own certain knowledge or skills come in handy?
An example is that since last summer attention to western ways of cooking and eating. This with a view to build rooms. It is nice that the nuns have an idea of the differences in taste, so that guests can put a good meal.
What we ask?
People who are aware of cultural differences and willing to adapt to local life. Ladakh has few luxury: there is not always hot water and electricity. The bathroom is not as we know it.
It is important to note that agreements and plans often turn out different than expected. Ladakh is one in a different way with time than we used to. However, this is surprisingly varied days.
It can also happen that while no one can be built. You can not expect someone who will arrange for you anything else. Flexibility and patience are therefore important characteristics.
It is important that you look into your skin is and that you can rely on yourself. There will not always other volunteers who you can call. When the LNA is lacking the time to volunteer every day to supervise.
What we offer?
Meet and work with special people in a particular environment. By being there and to work experience the happy relaxed atmosphere, but also the problems faced by the nuns to run. You become acquainted with the everyday life of Buddhist nuns and make new experiences.
The responses of volunteers show that the lifestyle of the nuns experienced as an enrichment of life.
For more information: Contact Aniek Jaartsveld