Why has Cunina started this project?

The Buddhist philosophy of life is a part of the daily life in Nepal. Every year, poor families bring their children to the monastery. The children stay there for an entire year and get a general education. The Buddhist philosophy of life takes an important place in this education.

The Chiwong monastery is situated at an altitude of 3,000 meter, completely isolated from the world, on a cliff next to the mountainside of Mount Everest. Cunina supports the training of 20 students in this monastery. Thanks to Cunina, they have a place to live and are able to go to school and feed themselves. When they finish their education in the monastery, they can choose what they want to do next: do something totally different or continue their education in the monastery. Those that stay can become Lama and make a positive contribution to the community.  

What has Cunina done in the past?

The living conditions of the students were very poor. Therefore, Cunina started building a new hostel in autumn of 2014. The monastery and the original hostel, which was being renovated at the time, were heavily damaged by the earthquakes in 2015. The hostel even came down entirely and had to be completely rebuilt. In the meantime, all the students stayed in an improvised tent camp in very primitive conditions. During the night, the temperature was far below the freezing point.

The new building is now resistant to earthquakes and only has one first floor in order to limit the risk of damage when a new earthquake should occur. Each room has two beds, two nightstands and one wardrobe. The walls, the ceiling and the floor were covered with wood to keep the warmth inside.

After the earthquake, it became very difficult to find milk. Powdered milk was too expensive and the younger students needed their daily dose of proteins, so Cunina decided to buy two dairy cows. We named them Koe Nina1 and Koe Nina2. In the meantime, they gave birth to calves, which means that succession is guaranteed.

What will Cunina do in the future?

Cunina will provide the library with books, a computer, a printer and a television. It is important that the students get in touch with the outside world. They live in a very isolated area, after all.

Cunina will also build fences, a kitchen and toilets

We work together with the local community and use local materials to support the local economy and create jobs.

Fact sheet of the Chiwong monastery

Start of the project: 2008

Money already spent: €83,674

Number of students: 20

Result at the end of 2016:

  • Continuous support of the students (since 2008)
  • Reconstruction and furnishing of the hostel (inauguration November 2016)

Plans for the future:

  • Furnishing of the library
  • Construction of the kitchen
  • Construction of the toilets
  • Building of the fences

Support our projects in Nepal

Deposit your contribution, big or small, into IBAN: BE29 2300 3660 2564 with BIC: GEBA BE BB and put ‘Donation Nepal’ as the message.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our project manager Sophie (sophie@cunina.org or 014/58 01 01)

I would like to ask a question about Nepal

Why does Cunina operate in Nepal?

30% of the Nepalese population does not know how to read or write, even though primary education is free and compulsory for children aged six to eleven. Only half of the children in Nepal go to school.

The quality of public schools is bad and private schools are too expensive for many families. This is one of the reasons why children that do go to school often drop out early.

Cunina projects in Nepal

Cunina has been operating in Nepal since 1997 and particularly focuses on the development of the region situated on the mountainsides of the Makalu. We have already built two boarding schools, which we completely manage ourselves. Here you can read more about the other projects that we have realized in Nepal.