Tang Bezur Pema Choeling Nunnery or Ane Shedra, Tang Gewog, Bumthang

Pema Choeling Anim Shedra, founded by His Eminence, Gangteng Trulku Rinpoche, is located in the central part of Bhutan in a beautiful valley called Bumthang. The Shedra is a first of its kind institute dedicated to providing spiritual training and education for women in Bhutan. Currently, the Shedra has about one hundred (100) girls and women undergoing trainings and spiritual education at various stages and levels. At the college, the women and girls are encouraged to learn, study, meditate and practice the Buddhist philosophy in a very structured and organized manner. The curriculum includes topics such as the logic, philosophy, history, debate, Dzongkha (Bhutan's national language) and English language. In addition, students also learn embroidery, stitching, traditional arts and crafts, health care and hygiene. When they graduate from the centre, the women and girls would be able to become teachers, artists, artisans, health care assistants and thereby contribute hugely towards the promotion of well being of women and girls in the country. At Pema Choeling, students currently live in a temporary structure. Even the single class room is made from woven bamboo. Women and girls grow their own vegetables and rear livestock for the supply of butter and cheese. One can find them cheerfully doing their daily chores of cooking, cleaning, collecting firewood and maintenance works. In addition to cutting the costs, such activities help in promoting the sense of team work, leadership qualities in them; and above all it helps them to become independent and creative individuals in life. Yet, life is challenging at Pema Choeling. A typical day begins for women and girls at 5:00 am and it only ends when their activities for the day are completed. Then, their independent night study begins under a kerosene lamp, as the place is yet to be electrified. On top of all these, extreme cold winters make the matters worse still. Despite the above challenges, the centre has ambitious plans to build an academic wing, hostels, meditation hall, library with networked computers for research and learning, solar power, and a clinic to cater to first aid requirements at the centre. Currently, the first phase construction includes a hostel construction for 100 occupants, which started in 2005, which is expected to cost about Nu. 10 Million (approx. USD 230,000.00). Since Pema Choeling provides for all the basic needs of the students, the funds received is deposited into a common fund account through which the basic needs for food, accommodation, study materials, computers etc are met.