e2 design II — The Druk White Lotus School — Ladakh podcast

Uploaded by kontentreal on 29.11.2007

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My main aim is to preserve the Ladakhi culture, which is
very valuable, not only to me but for Himalayan region, and
also not only that, I mean it really has the beauty of the
Tibetan culture, which is a very rich culture, so I was
really trying my best to set up the school to preserve
the culture.
Well His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa has a vision for the
school, really as a model school for Ladakh, and as a
model education project, as well as a model for building
technologies and what's the appropriate way to
modernize Ladakh. In fact that's what he says, he says
that the project should be a model for appropriate
But what I am doing from my little capacity by developing
a school and all these things it trying to give
everybody a good example.
We started building construction in 1998, 99, and the
first phase was opened in 2001. So we have completed
the nursery and front courtyard, the main entrance
courtyard, we've completed now the junior school, which
allows capacity to up to the age of about eleven
We've built four or five residential buildings: the dining
hall, the kitchen, et cetera, and we're well on with the
central assembly courtyard.
So that puts us at about maybe 55% through the project,
so we've still got a long way to go.
If you do it in one go, I think it's a kind of, I wouldn't say
impossible, but it is difficult because of the funds.
So we have to raise fund every year a bit, and then we
do it little bit, and then we raise fund, and then a little bit
so of course so far so good.
So essentially the school started with the youngest children
and then as the children grew and the next intake comes in,
so teachers are trained to meet that demand, and so we
build in order to meet that demand as well.
Ladakh is such that you cannot really do throughout the
year, in terms of construction. You cannot do that,
so you have to construct maybe for three months
or four months a year actually,
and then that's it, the rest of the year you can't do
anything. So you know little by little, but then of course
on top of that, if you do not have money, then you cannot
do the intensivity, you know the incentive is not there also.
Funding comes from all sorts of different sources,
from the local community itself, but also through the
network of people who are interested and inspired by the
project. You know they can be very modest contributions
in one form or other to substantial contributions, for
example to fund one of the senior school blocks or
residential garden or something like that.
So there's a whole range of things which people can
chose to fund.
Wherever you go in this world, people seem to be lost,
they don't really know where they are and they just
follow, they just follow blindly.
And there's suffering, very unnecessary suffering,
so therefore I think it is very important to give them a good
example. So this is the reason why the school is very
important, I mean you need really a unique school
that really gives you all, total, total education.
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