Tsoknyi Gechak School

Still Smiling at Tsoknyi Gechak School


Children and adults at Tsoknyi Gechak School in Nepal have been coping with the aftermath of last year’s earthquake.

However, in spite of fuel shortages and power cuts they are still managing to keep a smile on their faces.

Volunteers from Humanitarian Support Asia (HSA) have been helping staff and girls at the school to deal with residual trauma from the 2015 earthquake using TRE (Trauma Releasing Exercises).

“These simple exercises have been extremely popular with everyone,” said school director Fionnuala Shenpen. “They have helped us to release any residual tension we were feeling since the earthquakes and provided us with a simple but effective stress-releasing technique for future use.”

Sae Kani and Guru Tama gave classes for the school and also for the Trasang (practicing) and Shedra (studying) nuns and the Lopons.

“We were informed before that some of them had very traumatic backgrounds and some were very affected by the earthquake, so we prepared ourselves to take extra care when receiving them,” said Sae Kani.

“They all listened very attentively and paid great attention to each exercise. There are some very senior nuns and they helped young ones to follow the class. It was lovely to see this expression of community.

“Once done, their faces were so shiny and their lips were so stretched to their ears that I thought they could not smile any bigger than that.”


Young nuns explore their experience of trauma.

As Nepal struggles to rebuild after the earthquake, its people face further hardship as a result of unrest on its southern border. This has disrupted supplies coming in by lorry from India, leading to a shortage of oil and consequent power cuts.

Tsoknyi Gechak School is now less at the mercy of supply cuts as a result of new solar panels, donated by Josh & Allison Elmore and the Arbolito Foundation and installed by Gham Power.

“I would like to thank them for their extremely generous gift,” said Fionnuala.

“As this fuel crisis continues I also want to express a deep appreciation and thanks to our lay staff, most of whom have had to leave home earlier and get back later and have faced very uncomfortable, crowded buses or long petrol queues, but have been at school every day working hard with a positive attitude. It’s a pleasure working with you all!”

Meanwhile the school has continued its fruitful training collaboration with the prestigious Rato Bangala Foundation, with Class 2 Teacher Ms. Shristi recently completing the RBF’s year-long primary teacher training programme. The school also hosted a free clinic from Ear Care Nepal.

Undaunted: TGS staff.


Rinpoche with pupils.

Rinpoche with pupils.