Tara Bodong’s fundraising activities started spontaneously in June 2010 with a charity stall at the annual Summer Fair organised by the IPS Violenschool (International Primary School) in Hilversum, during one of Siri Weirum‘s visits to the Netherlands.


Siri had just arrived  in Hilversum from her home in Dharamsala to visit her family and to spend the summer in Europe. She brought photos from one of  her recent trips with Pema Dorjee to Lumla which is located in the  Himalayan region of Arunachal Pradesh, North-East India. Trekking into the mountains they had visited  many of the small, inaccessible and remote villages there. They encountered people living in severe poverty, many of them suffering from chronic illnesses. While there is an urgent need for help in general, Siri was especially affected by the dire situation of the young girls they had met. In these communities, the girls are given the responsibility of caring for the family and have to work long hours cooking, cleaning and taking care of their siblings. They also become mothers very young. Since his first visits to the area, Pema Dorjee had already seen that an education would provide these girls with a chance to have a better life for themselves and their families. Siri supported the idea whole heartedly and started actively raising funds in her native country Norway.

After seeing Siri’s photos and hearing her touching stories, we in Hilversum, were inspired to help  and decided to support the building of the nunnery/ girls’ schoolby setting up a charity stall at the school summer fair selling Indian and Nepalese merchandise. We got a lot of interest and support from the school community and our small charity group started growing.

Since then we have operated charity stalls at the IPS Violenschool’s summer and Christmas fairs, including painting activities for the children. In June 2011 we co-organised a Charity Family Concert with proceeds being shared between the Japan Tsunami Relief and the nunnery/girls’ school project. In June we organised a walk-a-thon with students from the International School of Hilversum (ISH) and in November the same year we arranged a very successful Champagne Tasting and sold exclusive champagne with our own special Tara Bodong charity lable. Other activities included garage sales and a ladies’ shopping evening in an exclusive 2nd hand shop. The members of the Tara Bodong foundation are constantly busy planning exciting events and have a lot of fun coming up with new ideas.

The highlight of our fundraising agenda is the yearly visit of Geshe Pema Dorjee to Hilversum. During his stay we organise teachings and work-shops, private lectures for companies and universities and visits to international schools. All events are designed to raise money and awareness for the Lumla Nunnery/ school. We also work in close cooperation with Tara Bodong (Norway) who has already been focusing their fundraising on this project for a few years.

Until now we have mainly raised funds through events and private donations but we plan to broaden our scope and actively seek support from companies and institutions.

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