Tondashun school
The children at Tondashun are now the ones who need your help.
The winters 2003-2004 were not confortable for the 35 children at Tondashun either. Villagers helped build a temporary abode walled structure providing two classrooms, a dormitory and a kitchen. Wooden planks were placed above the walls and polythene stretched over the top, to give some protection from the element.
Meanwhile after considerable deliberation by local government, this is the site wich has now been allocated for a school building and some wood has been cut and set aside for building, although more will be required.
The site will need to be cleared and a road built linking it with the main road.
Two contractors (one in the foreground) have submitted proposals. Due to the annual monsoon damage to abode buildings, they were asked to quote for use of bricks and modern materials to give the construction durability.
Two options have been put forward: A two-storey traditional style building constructed with modern materials( providing classrooms, kitchen, dining and sleeping rooms, office and prayer room, teachers rooms, a work room, bathing and toilet facilities)will cost in the region of 41,000 pounds. A one-storey Tibetan U-shaped building will cost a few thousand pounds less.
Having consulted AptAsia, an organization which has studied the use of appropriate building technology in Asian high altitude areas, they advise that to make maximum use of solar energy to help heat the school during the bitter winter months, the building should be appropriately positioned with the main rooms facing south and it should be at least two storey high. In an effort to cut the cost, we are investigating the possibilities of compacted mud bricks, but so fare have been unable to locate a machine for making them.
However one looks at it, with less than 5,000 pounds in the account, there is a long way to go to fund this school. Do you know of anyone organization or group who might be prepared to support this school?
In May 2003 the children spent some time in the hills collecting herbs and Choncao or ‘Caterpillar Fungus’ (Cordyceps sinensis) to help bring in funds for running costs. This Fungus, which only is only to be found on grassy hillsides at an altitude of between 3500m and 4000m in Tibet, Yunnan and Sichuan, develops from the body of a caterpillar, which burrows vertically in the ground and then dies. It is much prized by a Chinese for its medicinal properties and is therefore a good local source of income.
Soon it will be time to search in the wooded areas for the Matsutake or’ Songrong mushrooms much loved by the Japanese who will pay a very high price for these fungi which appear to have aphrodisiac properties.
Brief information regarding the Tondashun school:
School principal and village head: Nigma Cili
Head Teacher : Lama Lobsang Temba
Second teacher: Lama Lobsang Jaichu

The site: 21 km north from Punzera (Benzilan)

Altitude: 3200 m (10 500 feets)

Site dimentions: 280 m wide, 800 m long

Description: A rough entry road runs into the site from a bend of the road leading up Mt Baima to Dechen. Pine forest behind and at the sides of the site, the ground already cleared of trees by nomads who built a hut. A stream runs down the left hand side of the site in a gully and is a good source of water for the future school.

Preparation of the site: Entry road is already being prepared :
(Rmb 20,000 already donated)

Ground clearance: local labour and bulldozing is already being prepared.

Water supply: will be from the stream

Electricity is being brought to the siter with the Rimpoches help

Temporary accommodation: The 41 children are in temporary accommodations In eooden hut with plastic cover.

Present status: At present a group of friends are trying to raise funding for building the school. We are also trying to see if it is possible to buit the school with stabilised rammed earth technology and wether this would bring the cost of building the school lower. Traditional method is costly and the school ( comprising 4 classrooms, living quarters for the children and teachers., dining and kitchen area and washing and toilet facilities and a green house and a Stupa or chorten will cost a minimum of $ 100000.
SGS  ©2004 - Manuel en ligne