Siddhartha School Project

Spring 2011 News & Changes at Siddhartha High School, Stok by Lisa V. Blake
June 11, 2011, 5:48 pm
Filed under: Education in Ladakh, School News, SSP News

Farewell party for Sir Tenzin Dorjee

Today we had a small farewell party for Tenzin Dorjee, our general teacher. He has been one of our good teachers at the school. He was appointed as a general teacher in 2005 and he has served Siddhartha School for nearly six years. All the staff got together and Mr. Angdu, Joint Secretary of SCWS also attended the small tea party in the school staff room.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Angdu thanked Mr. Tenzin Dorjee for his contribution towards Siddhartha School and wished him good luck and success in his future life. He also said that Khen Rinpoche expressed his good feelings to him and wishes him great success with his future life. He also asked the staff to invite Mr. Tenzin Dorjee to attend the dinner party with Khen Rinpochey in July.  He thanked him by offering him a khata (white scarf).  A khata, khada, khadag, or hada (Tibetan: ཁ་བཏགས་; Mongolian: хадаг [xɑtk]; Chinese: 哈达; pinyin: hǎdá) is a traditional ceremonial scarf used in Tibet and Mongolia. It symbolizes purity and compassion. It is usually made of silk. Tibetan khatas are usually white symbolising the pure heart of the giver

“These five years at Siddhartha school has been the most memorable and best part of my life”, said Mr. Tenzin Dorjee. “I have learnt so much over these five years and I carry that with me in my life,” he added.

He thanked all the staff for their wonderful cooperation and friendship.

“Unlike other schools and organizations Siddhartha school staff community is truly a wonderful team with no groupism etc.,” said Mr. Vivek.

Mr. Tenzin Dorjee gave his resignation a month back as per the school norms. And today was his last day at the school. All the teachers thanked him for his service to the school and wished him all the best in his future life.

Two new teachers appointed

On 3rd May, 2011, an interview was conducted for two new teachers and today they were given appointment letter.

Mdm. Stanzin Dolma, our former English teacher left Siddhartha School in November. To fill her gap Madam, Yanchan from Stok was appointed as a temporary teacher. Mdm. Yanchen during her short time at the school proved her ability and English skills and both the staff and students were impressed by her teaching skills.

She appeared for the recent interview for a permanent teacher at the Siddhartha School. The interview was conducted by Mr. Ishe Tundup, Principal Lamdon School, Sir Norlha Principal Siddhartha School, Mr. Angdu, joint Secretary SCWS, and Mrs. Tsering Kunzom, Secretary SCWS, and Mr. Susheel.

All the interviewers were happy with Madam Yanchen’s performance both in the interview and her performance at the school in the last couple of months. They decided to appoint her as a permanent teacher.

The other candidate was Madam. Tsewang Dolker a Tibetan whom the interviewer felt was a good replacement for Mr. Tenzin Dorjee. She did well in the interview and she had all the necessary qualification for a general teacher.

Today during the farewell part for Mr. Tenzin Dorjee both the new teachers were also welcomed to the school and were given the appointment letter.

Madam Yanchan was given the appointment letter for a permanent teacher and for Madam… an appointment letter was given for the first three months of probation. If after three months of probation she is found competent and satisfactory she will be given an appointment letter for a permanent post.

On behalf of the Siddhartha School Project USA family, we thank Mr. Tenzin Dorjee for his dedication and years of service and helping our students succeed!  Sending him all the very best wishes for his success and happiness.  We also send a warm welcome to the newest members of the Siddhartha High School staff!



His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa Lama visits Siddhartha School! by Lisa V. Blake
April 27, 2011, 6:52 pm
Filed under: Education in Ladakh, Ladakh News, School News, SSP News, Uncategorized

Siddhartha School was blessed and honored by a 45 minute visit with His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa on April 26, 2011.  It was his second visit to the school and many parents and honorary guests were on hand to welcome him.  The students dressed in very beautiful traditional clothing and presented a cultural show for him.  His visit was a success and the entire school body felt very honored and blessed to have the opportunity to be among the fortunate audience.  Stay tuned for photos from this event, to be posted soon!

Back in the US, Khen Rinpoche Tsetan has been in New York City, Connecticut, and Maine on the East Coast.  In addition to leading several teachings, Khen Rinpoche joined Executive Director of the Siddhartha School Project Lisa V. Blake at Connecticut College for a presentation about Siddhartha School on April 15, 2011.  College volunteer Danielle Plourde who came to work at the school in the summer of 2010 and who was on hand digging out the hospital in Leh with Siddhartha student volunteers after the mudslide organized a wonderful large gathering at her college.  The theme “Himalayan Heritage: The effects of globalization on a remote Tibetan Buddhist community, featuring a talk by a prestigious Tibetan lama Khen Rinpoche Tsetan, who will speak about the importance of cultural preservation and the actions that are being taken by the students of the Siddhartha School to live in harmony with the Earth.” Lisa presented a slide show on the sustainability project featuring the village cleanup, the students in action, and teh Zero Trash Policy crafted by the class 10 girls.  We reached over 60 people, sold many of Rinpoche’s books, and even gained a new sponsor for our project who will hopefully come to the school in 2012.  More updates coming soon!  Julley & love, Lisa   

He is currently in California, where he has led the ceremony celebrating His Holiness the Panchen Lama’s birthday.  This weekend on May 1, 2011 he will join His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the Yamantaka Initiation in Long Beach, CA.

Situation improving in Ladakh by scottcronenweth
September 5, 2010, 8:52 pm
Filed under: School News

Tsewang Norbu Vivek, International Secretary to Siddhartha School, sent the note that follows on September 3 to Joli Greene, President of the Siddhartha School Project board of directors. So far, friends of Siddhartha School in the US have donated over $6,000 in humanitarian aid to Ladakh. Vivek is channeling this money directly to the people who need it most, as his note describes:

Dear Joli,

Thank you so much for your kind donation. Well things are getting better now with a lot of reliefs coming in. We have so far covered 5 villages with a complete set of winter beddings with Rupees 2000/- cash [about US$60] to those who lost literally everything. On sunday we are providing fodder for two village animals as they lost all their fields both the fodder and wheat and barley fields. We are providing atleast 10 truck loads of fodder and also complete bed sets to all the flood victims.

At the school everything is going on fine. We have collected Rs. 40,250 from 5 days salaries of all the staff for the staff who were affected by the flood and about Rs. 15,000 from all the students to be distributed amongst all the students who were affected by the flood.

We are still planning to provide winter jackets to all those were affected by the flood. Hopefully by October we can do that.. Thanks once again for your kind generosity.

TN Vivek

International Fellowship of Buddhist Youth Ladakh distributes flood relief by tsewangnorbuvivek

IFBYL (INT’L FELLOWSHIP OF BUDDHIST YOUTH LADAKH) today, 22nd August, 2010, visited three of the most affected remote far flung villages of ladakh. We met with all the people who were affected by the flood. We distributed 49 nine set of com…plete beddings (one double sized bed quilt, one mattress, one blanket, one pillow and Rs. 2000 cash to all those people who were badly affected. This is our first phase of the RELIEF WORK. Our next phase of relief work will be to visit the hospital on Tuesday, and talk to all the patients and distribute a small packet of fruits and bread, and also pray for their speedy recovery. Third phase will be to visit more remote villages which are currently cut off as the roads are washed away. The army is fixing the road and once it is ready we will immediately rush to the affected areas with our relief goods and cash.

— Tsering Norbu Vivek, Siddhartha SchoolIFBYL team

Quick Update from Ladakh by scottcronenweth
August 19, 2010, 2:35 pm
Filed under: School News

Lisa Blake, a Siddhartha School Project board member who is in Ladakh, was finally able to get a phone call out this morning (August 19) US time. She is well and staying in Stok. School has reopened and, along with the children, Lisa is busy taking part in the digging-out. Those who know him will not be surprised to hear that Khen Rinpoche has been right in there with a shovel himself. One place where they helped out was the hospital in Leh, where mud fills many rooms to a depth of 4 feet. Lisa said the people are just digging the buildings out, by hand, bit by bit, all over the area.

Lisa described the devastation as “unimaginable and horrific” but said things were improving now that the Manali Road is mostly open and food, fuel, etc. can once again be trucked in. The Indian Army has been hard at work on the roads and bridges. Yet many areas are still cut-off from services. Communications are also slowly improving so we hope to have more news to share soon. From across the valley in Stok, Lisa watched the nighttime storm that caused the flood. She said it was “like a demon eating the mountains” — a supernatural force.

Rinpoche’s nephew Vivek is right on the front lines of aid coordination and distribution. Local groups are cooperating to make sure that all needs are covered. Vivek has received about 200,000 rupees (approximately $6,500) from the US, Switzerland and elsewhere. Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and support. We’ll do our best to keep you informed.

Floods Devastate Ladakh by tsewangnorbuvivek
August 7, 2010, 10:20 pm
Filed under: School News

On 5th August around 12 mid night the whole Ladakh was rocked by a devastating mudslide due to cloudburst. The most affected areas are lower Leh and Choglamsar areas [just a few miles from the school]. Apart from these two places many other villages were badly affected by the flood. Many… lost their lives and hundreds still missing. The army was put into action for the rescue operation. Both the civilians and the army are actively working to rescue all those stuck under the debris. Many tourists are also volunteering in the rescue operation.

Our school is fine. The school is closed for the summer vacation from the 1st to the 10 of august 2010. All our children are at home and some of them probably lost their relatives but we will have to wait and see… we don’t know anything yet. Hopefully all our children are safe.

So far around 120 died and about 800 missing. The situation is still not under control. People are desperately searching for their lost loved ones with a hope to see them alive. The hospitals are crowded with people either with injuries or …coming to find their relatives or friends and some coming to identity the dead bodies. Many people are homeless. Many lost their family and relatives. We have lost so much its hard to imagine the  loss.

Mrs. Dechen, our Hindi teacher at Siddhartha High School was among the worst affected. She was in her house and didn’t know the situation will be such a night mare. Around mid night Dechen was awakened by a strong thunder and lighting and heavy rain fall. When she woke up she saw muddy water seeping in her kitchen and before she could even think she quickly grabbed her baby and a mountain of mudslide just pushed her away along with her house. In an instant she was separated from her one year old baby.
For about 20 metres both of them were washed away by the mudslide before she ended up in a house debris under a staircase. She thought her baby was dead and just as she came to senses she heard her baby scream in a distance. She just ran and grabbed her baby who was completely covered in mud and ran back to the only shelter. She spend the whole night sitting in of the half damaged house hoping and prayer for her life. By morning the rescue people rescued her and her baby. Both ended up in the hospital for couple of hours. They got a few stitches and now they are recovering. I was happy to see both of smile and grateful for a new life. But she lost everything. She is happy to be reunited with her baby at least.

Second Term Exams by tsewangnorbuvivek
July 26, 2010, 3:23 pm
Filed under: School News

From 11 – 17, July the children had their second term exams, which is an important exams as whatever marks they gets added to their marks in the final or the third term exams.

All the children did well in their exams and are hoping to pass with good marks and percentage. Now Teachers are busy preparing the results which will be declared on Thursday, 22nd July. The school is closed on Monday as the teachers need time to prepare their result sheets.

On 22nd July, all the parents will come to take their children’s results and also take time to talk to the teachers regarding their child’s performances, etc.