His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa together with about 500 nuns, monks and students walked for 6 weeks during May-July from Manali at the base of the Himalaya up to Hemis in Ladakh - a distance of some 400km including the ascent and descent of two 5,000m passes and trekking across other high altitude areas.
The ‘Pad Yatra’ pilgrimage raised funds for several humanitarian activities, including Druk White Lotus School.
Pad Yatra link.
His Holiness visited the school on 4th July, accompanied by His Excellency Khamtrul Rinpoche, VIPs from Asia and the United States, and a group of 30 media folks. The students performed traditional songs and dances for the visitors, and displayed their skills and achievements. Here you can see a short clip of the culture show the students gave..
Sunday 2nd August: fine summer weather, the garden of a great English pub located in beautiful countryside, excellent food and lots of good music … a recipe for enjoyment and for raising funds for Druk White Lotus School. The Duke of Cumberland pub is located in a small village not far from the south coast of England. Around 300 people enjoyed the skills and talents of a range of singers, bands, poets and performers at DukeFest 09. Funds were raised for the school through an auction, a raffle and games - and our thanks go to all at ‘the Duke’, the performers, and everybody who participated.
Around 100 international volunteers contributed during 2009 on the Shey campus. Some helped inside the school with educational aspects, while others worked to develop a recently-launched ‘Living Traditions’ heritage project. International volunteers and Ladakhis benefit one another.
A group of students and staff from St Christopher School, Letchworth (UK) visited Shey in April - the third such visit from ‘St Chris’ under the leadership of Edwin Gruber. The group spent time at the school helping Ladakhi students with ‘learning through fun’ before heading off for a challenging trek very early in the season. Here you can view a movie made by the St Chris students.
Two secondary school classrooms started manifesting on the campus during September. Of course a lot of work had already gone into building the foundations and pre-fabricating window frames, but the skill of the carpenters was a joy to see. The classrooms will be in use from November.
Students from Perse School, Cambridge (UK), interacted with the Design Team to design a tower for a new adventure playground. The students travelled from Cambridge to Shey in summer 2009 and built the tower themselves, much to the delight of Druk White Lotus students.
The Perse students then went off to explore the big montains - and here is their story.
The second ever camp officially ended on August 20th. The 12 days of fun, challenge and excitement left many of the 6th and 7th graders in anticipation of the next round. You can read all about it and see more images on facebook. We hope to start a true foundation for this outdoor leadership experience.
The excellence of Arup Associates’ design work on Druk White Lotus School was recognised on 4th December 2009 in Hong Kong through the presentation of a ‘Design for Asia Grand Award’. The award was accepted by His Eminence Khamtrul Rinpoche on behalf of the School and by Francesca Galeazzi on behalf of Arup Associates.
His Eminence said:
“It is both awe-inspiring and humbling to be here in Hong Kong tonight to accept so prestigious a design award on behalf of the Druk While Lotus School, and the people of Ladakh. It is really hard to believe that our tiny, remote and isolated Himalayan region has succeeded in winning such international recognition. We have so much to thank for the inspiration and creativity of the multi-national group of designers from Arup Associates, who contributed so much to create Druk White Lotus School. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.