Red Letter Day! The Orphanage Opening: message from the Chair

November 4th was indeed a red letter day. I was very proud, as Chair of Darjeeling Children’s Trust, to represent all those people who have supported the orphanage at the official opening ceremony of phase 1 of the orphanage redevelopment project. It was a day to celebrate the achievement of one part of a vision, that of providing safe and secure accommodation for the children of the Kripasaran Buddhist Mission.

Five years ago we sat with Pema Bhante and heard of that vision, his vision. Achieving it seemed like an impossible hill to climb – but we had perhaps under-estimated how much can be achieved by people working together. This desire to help the children has brought together a project team of individuals from Darjeeling, Delhi and the UK and supporters around the world with a common purpose, that of fulfilling the vision. DCT is a willing and supportive partner in this process.

I had huge pleasure on behalf of Darjeeling Children’s Trust in simultaneously cutting the first ribbon together with Pema Bhante and helping declare the new boys’ dormitories open. Trustees Major Pasang Wangdi and Hugh Heron together with Treasurer Robert Adams also cut ribbons to help declare various rooms open and the event was attended by Mr. Tiwan Dilock, elected Member of the Local Assembly, as guest of honour. He commended the quality of the buildings which have been achieved on a tight budget. Speeches were made and the new buildings were explored.

We are aware that there is work still to do. Only part of the vision has been achieved and we must now turn our attention to providing the same standard of accommodation for the girls who continue to live in dark and cramped buildings. They were generous in their excitement on behalf of the boys but are nonetheless looking forward with some excitement and anticipation to the time when they too will have light airy bedrooms with room to play and run around.

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