The Swedish-Tibetan School and Culture Society is best known for its work in building and restoring 108 schools and libraries and for sponsoring thousands of students from primary schools up to higher education throughout Tibet. This has been documented in the book 'The Jewels of Tibet – A Rosary of 108 Schools'. Since 2016, the association has shifted its focus by supporting projects, not only in Tibet, but also in other areas of the Himalayas where Tibetan culture is found.
When the School Society was still young, until 2006, when schools and libraries were ready, the School Society often had to refuse requests for help from exiled Tibetans. This was because the association considered that the need within Tibet was so great, especially with the limited number of relief organisations working there. Despite this, the School Society has occasionally supported projects that were in their early stages, as they did not receive support from elsewhere, or in line with a specific donor's wishes. Given how important this work has been, until 2016, it was seen only as a side job from the School Society's main job, which has always been the Tibetans living in Tibet. These side projects, all of which fall within the association's statutes for Education, Culture and the Environment, can be divided into three categories:
1. Construction/ repair of a building.
2. Partial support towards a long-term goal or large-scale construction project.
3. Financial support for specific projects.
Hopefully, this will show the Tibetans living in exile and their brothers and sisters in the Himalayas that the School Society has not forgotten them and perhaps that this inspires others to do something similar in the future.
The School Society has also provided financial support for the printing of religious texts, books of cultural value and also occasionally sponsored students in need of support for their higher education, both secularly and religiously.
The School Society thanks all our sponsors, donations and donors as well as volunteers, both in Sweden and abroad, for realizing these visions!
Close to the Drikung Rinchenling Monastery, the School Society has built this medical facility that will offer both Western and Tibetan medical treatment. Both the monks and the locals benefit greatly from the hospital.
In 2015, a powerful earthquake struck Nepal, wreaking havoc. The School Society quickly began a raising funds from members to help those affected. There were tents, food, medicines and more! Deliveries were made to the hard-hit mountain population of Tatopani.
After years of supporting the Tibetan Children's Home orphanage In Clement Town, it became too crowded for children to both live and receive school education in the same building. Tibetan Children's Home is located in the Tibetan colony of Clement Town in Dehra Dun, India. The School Society paid for the purchase and restoration of a nearby building to be used as a school: now called the Chenrezig School. At the school, students from all kinds of backgrounds and ethnicities attend a welcoming school. Principal Soenam lives at the school and takes very good care of it.
The School Society contributed to a Peace Center in collaboration with the organisation DKI (Drikung Kagyu Institut). The center is used for religious and cultural meetings in the ecumenical spirit. The centre is constantly evolving in order to benefit the local population.
On the northern outskirts of Dehra Dun stands the Songtsen Library. The beautiful library built in a traditional style was unveiled in 2003. The area is a place for studying among both young and older students. There are apartments by the library as well as dining and retreat opportunities.
To read more about the library, visit their website at https://songtsenlibrary.net/
The School Society has helped to restore this small school in Kamrao. This also means sponsoring teachers and purchasing school supplies. Since the school is located high in the Himalayas, the School Society also helped with the restoration of the road leading up into the mountains.
Retreat buildings, Jangchubling Monastery, Dehra Dun
The Da Hanu people are a special ethnic group with their own customs and language living in the mountainous area of Ladakh. Sending the children to the nearest school was difficult from several perspectives, not least of which the distance. The School Society therefore built this school just for the Da Hanu people so that their children would have their own school close by. The school is therefore sometimes called Da Hanu School.
In the Shachukul area and near Shachkul Monastery, this elementary school was one of the first that the School Society built in Ladakh. It is used by both small monks and children from the local population.
Since 2014, the association GoGreenGoOrganic has created so-called Is Stupas in the mountains above villages in Ladakh. The School Society has been able to provide much-needed financial support for this project.
The natural glaciers have shrunk in recent decades in the himalayas. This leads to a lack of water in the early spring for agricultural activities in many villages. The Ice Stupa project aims to solve the water problem in Ladakh, this is done by freezing water in huge structures that in the spring, when they melt, will provide water for agriculture and vegetation. There have been 6 Ice Stupas constructed all around Ladakh.
The school Society has also collaborated with GoGreenGoOrganic on planting important trees and sea buckthorn bushes in Ladakh. Ice Stuporna is an important part of tree planting as these will provide water for the trees in the dry months between April and June. An Is Stupa is estimated to provide water to about 20,000 trees.
This ancient monastery in the village of Sumthrang is of great religious and cultural importance. A restoration was made of both the monastery as well as the school. This made it easier both for the local population and for the monastery as they can now benefit from both. A housing department for nuns has also been organised with the help of the School Society's support. The village of Sumthrang is also part of DKIs (Drikung Kagyu Institute) GoGreen Go Organic project.
A new study center for nuns received support from the School Society during its early development but has since started to function on its own.