In 2005, Ven. Khenpo Tsewang and former school Principal Ven.Lekshay Tendhar met two Italian ladies, Mrs. Francesca Stengel, and Mrs. Mariagrazia Ferro. Francesca and Mariagrazia returned several times to Namgyal monastery in the following years. During those recurring trips to Upper Mustang, visiting local communities and villages, they realized that girls and women at large had limited access to education. In 2009, Francesca and Mariagrazia suggested Khenpo Tsewang create a nunnery school to offer education to girls. Khenpo Tsewang happily accepted the suggestion to start a girls' school because he also had a wish to renovate the nunnery tradition in Mustang. In October 2010, the Altevette-Onlus Association was established in Milan, Italy, to give more momentum and strength to the fundraising activity to support the creation of a girls' school. The organization missioned to provide accommodation and education to girls from impoverished families living in the remote highlands of Upper Mustang and other Himalayan districts of Nepal.
On 15 June 2011, Khenpo Tsewang initiated a Nunnery school and started the school building in Trenkhar village. The Nunnery school was inaugurated on 9 August 2012 by Altevette Onlus with the presence of the President Mrs. Francesca Stengel and a delegation of the Association’s members. Altevette Onlus has been sponsoring the scholarship of all students ever since. In 2016, Mrs Linda Ambrose, a former member of Altevette Onlus, decided to register a separate charity in the UK, naming it “Altevette Project”, to manage the non-Italian sponsors, international sponsors, and newly recruited UK based supporters. Altevette Onlus andAltevette Project carries the same vision and mission and they closely collaborate to the flourishing of the nunnery school. Until 2016, the mobile nunnery school had to be conducted in a rental house in Pokhara during the winter months. In 2016, The Nunnery school at Khapaudi, Pokhara was built with the generous financial help of Malaysian donors Mr Ho Kim Hee, Mr Goh Doal Tuck, and Mr Ling Muo Tuan. On 27 October 2016, His Eminence Ngor Thartse Khen Rinpoche inaugurated the new building of the Nunnery school at Pokhara. In 2017, five classrooms were built with the help of the Singapore volunteer group Love @ Pal, Mr Ong Wee Yeap and Ms Shiyuan.
Since 2016, given the increase in the number of girls at the school and the number of classes, the need to expand the school, and build new school facilities emerged also in Mustang. From 2016 to 2022 new school buildings were added to the original building such as a spacious Shrine, a guesthouse, a two-story classroom building with 12 spacious classrooms, a new dining room with kitchen, a river bank, and an apple orchard fencing. These new buildings in Mustang were built with the generous financial help of the Italian association Altevette Onlus. At the same time, Altevette Onlus in cooperation with Altevette Project UK provides for the payment of all nuns’ scholarships and the salaries of teachers and staff. The school buildings in the nunnery compound were completed by the end of 2022. The founder of the nunnery school KhenpoTsewang Rigzin celebrated this achievement by giving the nunnery the new auspicious name Pal Ewam Tsungon Rigsum Choeling –Namgon Nunnery.
The new nunnery compound will be inaugurated with an opening ceremony in June 2023.
Our vision and mission