For centuries, the monasteries have provided a home and an education to thousands of Bhutan's poorest children. More than 4,000 children live and study in monasteries across the country, usually sent by parents who can't afford to feed their large families or pay for the uniforms and textbooks required by government schools. Officially, the monasteries take children of seven and older. In reality, many take children as young as five when they have nowhere else to go.
We went to Mani Dhoendrup Lobdra with some supplies, such as food and sports goods. This school got started in 2003, and its name was derived from the Mani (prayer) Doendrup (wish fulfilling). Every morning, students get up early at 5AM to take Puja, acts are generally performed daily to express "honor, worship and devotional attention".
In the school, we held an exciting football game with these lovely students after lunch. We were divided into two groups, with eleven players on each side. When the game got started, both of us played actively. The ball was quickly passed from one to another, and those who stayed on the sidelines were so excited to cheer for the players.
Although this game was not as wonderful and formal as the professional ones, it was an unforgettable game for these students. David, Assistant Sales Manager, is a volunteer of this visit, and he said that playing with these students was one of the most pleasant moments in this Bhutan trip. "Most of the time, these children are very quiet since they embrace Buddhism. However, playing football enables them to release their nature," David said.
We believe, with everyone's efforts, these students will create more happiness in Bhutan.