Since more than ten years Dhammapala Monastery has supported – under the supervision of its Trust, the Verein Dhammapala – four aid projects in the poorer Buddhist areas of the world. Two of them are in Myanmar (Better Burmese Healthcare and Metta in Action) and the other two are located in Ladakh/India (Ladhaki Nuns Association and the Amchi doctors and monks education facilities). Every year we were informed about the activities in Asia by three Swiss friends, who are directly involved in these projects, and a Burmese doctor from Wales, who besides looking after the donations for the healthcare project in Myanmar, gives her own time to work volontarily alongside the local doctors in her home country.
As we had never met any recipient of the donations directly, we were delighted that this year two members of the Ladhaki monks education facility in Leh found their way to Switzerland. Lama Tsewang, the president of the Lingshed Labrang project, and Sonam Dorje, a local councillor of Leh visited Dhammapala for a few days. It was very touching how appreciative they were of all the support they had received over the years. And they seemed to be really delighted that they had an opportunity to express their appreciation and gratitude directly to us. After the traditional offering of Katas (Tibetan silk shawls) to the Dhammapala shrines and the two senior monks plus organically grown Ladakhi apricots for everyone they assured us that we would be most welcome to have a look ourselves at the developments in their own city and country. By the way: They are living permanently at an altitude the equivalent of the highest peaks overtowering and surrounding Dhammapala – 3600 meters above sea level!