A light at the end of the tunnel

Bakhang Nunnery in Sindhupalchowk, near the Tibet border, was home to 212 nuns, ranging in age from 19 to 98. Many of the nuns were Tibetan refugees who escaped to Nepal to study dharma unhindered.

Fortune was with the nuns when the first earthquake struck, as they happened to be gathered outside for medical checkups, where they were safe from collapsing buildings. The nunnery, however, didn’t fare so well—the prayer hall, dorms, kitchen, dining hall, and temple were all reduced to rubble.

Immediately after the quake, we gave them food, water, and hygiene supplies, so these dedicated nuns could manage, and also help others, while they wait to return home. We also gave them solar lighting units, so they can continue their studies as the days get shorter—and get around safely.

Most of the nuns have relocated to tents and a temporary shelter in Lalitpur—refugees for a second time. The rest remained at Bakhang to safeguard the temple and its statues.