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May 23
Mandala Projects
From Quake Recovery to Shedra Construction
Monks from Surmang distributing roasted barley flour for tsampa in the streets of Jyekundo.

Monks from Surmang distributing roasted barley flour for tsampa in the streets of Jyekundo.

This is the latest update from the Konchok Foundation on earthquake relief efforts by Surmang monks. It suggests the urgency of returning to shedra construction in order to accommodate the educational needs of area families displaced by the earthquake.

By Lyndon Comstock

Large scale clearing of rubble, and razing of those structures still standing, is underway in all parts of Jyekundo. The majority of the population of the city continues to live in tents in the streets, even while this work takes place around them.

Ongoing distribution of food relief has been a priority for those who are assisting the residents, including monks from Surmang, who continue to distribute tsampa and other vital supplies. The Konchok Foundation has also made a grant to support the earthquake relief work of the Gesar Fund, which is focusing on rural areas in the earthquake zone.

It appears that the government has dropped its earlier plan to erect large numbers of temporary structures in refugee camps. The government has meanwhile been urging everyone to leave the city during the rebuilding process; it is unclear where people will go, especially those residents who don’t have a home elsewhere.

Woman in Jyekundo receiving tsampa flour from Surmang monks.

Woman in Jyekundo receiving tsampa flour from Surmang monks.

The Surmang leadership expects that a number of displaced people from Jyekundo will end up in the Surmang region, especially those who already had summer residences in Surmang. However, they don’t have any estimate yet of how many people this will entail.

No announcements have been made yet as to detailed plans for the rebuilding of Jyekundo. It’s expected the construction of new infrastructure for the city will start this summer.

Surmang Shedra

The Surmang leadership will soon turn a substantial part of their attention back to the completion of the Surmang shedra. The key goal for the shedra this year—to have the classrooms become usable by the fall—is now more important than ever due to the influx of children from Jyekundo. Also, the season in which exterior finish work or painting can take place is short and is already starting to slip by.

Work will resume on the shedra in the coming week; the first task is flooring in the lhakang (shrine hall and classrooms building). Khenpo Tsering has now assembled a team of workers and will keep them fully occupied for as long as we can provide the money to pay them.

Surmang Educational Program

Starting in fall 2008, dozens of children began receiving schooling from the Surmang educational program, thanks to support from the Gesar Fund. This program will move into the shedra classrooms as soon as they are ready for use. It will also expand in enrollment, partially due to the earthquake refugee children, if sufficient funds are available.

How can I help?
Donations may be made to Konchok Foundation for earthquake relief.
Read more news and updates on the earthquake.

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