Pal Ewam Namgon Nunnery School, Mustang (Summer Session)
In June 2005, on their visit to Mustang, two Italian ladies, Francesca Stengel and Mariagrazia Ferro, met Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Rigzin and Ven. Lekshey Tendhar, principal of the schools. The two ladies suggested the establishment of a nunnery school in order to provide education to young girls from poor families in the region. There had already been an appeal for the same from the residents of Mustang. However, financial constraints made it impossible for the monastery to build a new school.
On their following trip to Mustang in 2010, Ms. Stengel and Ms. Ferro offered to sponsor food for the students as well as the salary of the staff for a specific period of time. After the Khenpo discussed the matter with the senior monks of the monastery, on the 15th day of the fourth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, 11 young girls were ordained as nuns.
According to the original plan, the nunnery school was to be built in the village of Namgyal, on the plot of land offered to the monastery by a family of local residents. However, the area’s proximity to the Pal Ewam Namgyal Monastic School resulted in a change of decision. As a preemptive measure against possible repercussions, the village of Trenkhar was chosen as the new location for the nunnery school. After a suitable plot of land was found, construction was started in the 3rd month of the Tibetan lunar calendar (in 2012) Construction was completed and an opening ceremony was held on 9 August, 2012. In attendance were Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Rinzin; Ven. Samdup, abbot of Nyiphuk Monastery; Ven. Tashi Wangyal, principal of Tsarang Monastic School; Ms. Francesca Stengel; Ms. Mariagrazia Ferro; other sponsors; parents of the children; as well as educators from neighboring towns.
Pal Ewam Namgon Nunnery School, Pokhara (Winter Session)
Identical to the model followed by the Pal Ewam Namgyal Monastic School, the nuns at the Pal Ewam Namgon Nunnery School also move south for the winter session. Classes during the months of October to April are conducted in the town of Pokhara.
Since the school’s vision to construct a building for the nunnery school in Pokhara has not yet been realized, the administration has made temporary arrangements in a rented apartment. Due to insufficient number of rooms to hold classes in, two of the four classes are held in the yard and on the terrace, respectively. The 36 nuns sleep in two rooms designed originally, to serve as bedrooms.
The school is located at a distance of about ten minutes on foot from the Phewa Lakeside in Pokhara. Though not far at all from the hustle-bustle of the tourist thronged lakeside, the area around the school is very quiet.