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Phil Borges :: Women Empowered, Renchin

Renchin, 59
Dharamsala, India

In 1991, a group of sixty-six Tibetan nuns appeared on the streets of Dharamsala, India. Fleeing Chinese persecution, the refugees had nowhere to live, nothing to eat, and no support network. Renchin, a Tibetan refugee herself, helped the nuns find housing and establish a nunnery. Her efforts grew into the Tibetan Nuns Project, an organization that provides exiled nuns with shelter, health care, and, notably, advanced educational opportunities. Traditionally,Tibetan nuns have been taught how to pray, but not the meaning of their prayers.With no direct lineage to the teachings of Buddha, the nuns lacked the ancestry necessary for ordainment. Only monks could become ordained teachers and, through their teaching, support themselves. By giving the nuns the education necessary to become teachers, Renchin has opened the door to their economic independence.

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