Education is the primary vehicle by which poor children can lift
themselves out of poverty.
Thrangu Rinpoche established the school in 1987 with a vision of providing an education for
children from the Himalayas.
While offering these children a secular education, SMD School also helps to preserve Tibetan Buddhism as well as
the language and the cultural identity of Himalayan peoples.
Almost 500 children are enrolled as day students or boarders, waking at 5:30 in
the morning for prayers and studying before eating breakfast and then putting
in a full day of school.
42 nuns and 40 young monks go to SMD in Kathmandu with lay children.
More than 30 students are studying abroad on full scholarships at high schools and universities.
FACEBOOK page SMD WEBSITE
About Our Students
Our students come from the
high mountains of Nepal, from villages that have no electricity, no
toilets, no sanitation, no telecommunications, no hospitals, no roads
and no schools. Our kids come from villages that are 6 to 14 days' trek
from the nearest road, villages that lie above 10,000 feet (3000 m).
Getting word to and from the villages sometimes takes months,depending
on weather conditions.
We know the children before
they come to us. They are younger siblings, nieces or nephews, of our
students, or of Rinpoche's monks and nuns. In any case, their
backgrounds are well-known. They are means-tested by virtue of their
We are very crowded at SMD. The Waiting List numbers more than 200. When we have a
free bed, a Himalayan child can come to school and we send word up the
the villages. The messages have to be delivered in person, most often by
our nuns and monks. Sometimes it takes a few months to get word into
the mountains. Occasionally the family sends a different child than the
one chosen. We try to be flexible about this, and ask that sponsors do
Once the children come down to
SMD, they may see their families once a year, generally in the winter. In the other seasons, the parents are busy with their animals (yaks and
goats) and the summer crops (barley, potatoes and maize). Many families
come down to the Kathmandu valley to do pilgrimage, and to escape the
heavy winter snows. Winter is when we have the long holiday of the year.