Education for the children of Kham and Golok is no ordinary case. The Gesar Fund sponsors an educational project for one to two hundred children in close collaboration with Khenpo Tsering, the abbot of the Surmang monastery, and the American Könchok Foundation. The children get education for ten months per year (for seven days per week).
Khenpo Tsering is responsible for the execution of the project: he not only controls the money spent but also reports to the Könchok Foundation on a yearly basis. The Könchok Foundation reports to the Gesar Fund.
The school accepts all children without exception. Lessons mainly are provided by monks who hardly get paid for their work. Khenpo Tsering himself also teaches. Children are taught reading and writing in Tibetan, math and buddhism. If a english speaking sangha member passes, english lessons are provided as well.
The Surmang School is received with a lot of enthousiasm as public schools often are too far away and local childen hardly can have education.
Depending on the financial reports we receive from the Könchok Foundation the Gesar Fund donates for the upcoming year. Since 2010 this has been 10.000 euro per year. The money is spent on maintenance and – more important – the two daily hot meals per day for the children who go to school ten months a year. These meals are the most expensive: 1 dollar per child per day. Total costs or the meals are around 37.000 euro per year.
Further the Könchok foundation reports about Khenpo Tsering: “Khenpo Tsering is a very modest man. In recent years Khenpo has not been taking out a single yuan for his own expenses, whether travel or whatever. He’s been told that we at the Könchok Foundation have always understood that he’s doing a lot of work on behalf of the shedra and we, from our end, have no issue with his necessary expenses for his work at the shedra being part of the shedra budget being funded by the Könchok Foundation. He then used to take a little money for his car or whatever for some time, but in the last year he is no longer even doing that anymore.”
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