Gaden Relief Projects

Helping Tibetans and Mongolians
preserve their unique cultures.



Zangskar Nuns Association Meeting
August 3, 2007

The Zangskar Nuns Association (ZNA) was founded to corrdinate and manage funding support from donor organizations such as Gaden Relief Projects. The ZNA constitution, which was read at this meeting, may be found here: Zangskar Nuns Association Constitution. -Ed.

Location: Sani Kachod Ling

Purpose: This meeting was called in order to explain the function of the Zangskar Nuns Association (ZNA) to the delegates elected from each of the ten nunneries in Zangskar as well as to impress upon them the importance of keeping detailed accounts of the donations that they receive from Kim Gutschow on behalf Gaden Relief.

Attendees: All nunneries were notified of the meeting well in advance by letter or in person. It is unknown whether Chumig Gyartse Namtak Choling received notice as a result of their distant location. Meeting invitations were regretfully not sent to the Secretary and Treasurer of ZNA.

The following delegates were present at the meeting:

  1. Thuje Drolma, Karsha Khachod Grubling
  2. Tsering Yangskyid, Pishu Namgyal Choling
  3. <substitute delegate>, Zangla Byangchub Choling
  4. Tundup Drolma, Rizhing Dorje Dzong
  5. Ngawang Drolma, Tungri Phuntsogling
  6. Kunzang Drolma, Sani Kachodling
  7. Dechen Palmo, Skyagam Phagmoling

Other attendees included:

  1. Skalzang Lhamo, ZNA President
  2. Jennifer O’Boyle, volunteer
  3. Lauren Galvin, volunteer
  4. Interpreter
  5. A few additional nuns from various nunneries

The following delegates did not attend the meeting:

  1. Lobsang Palmo, Bya Dolma Choling – all nuns from Bya were in Leh at this time for a teaching
  2. Lobzang Chosdzom, Chumig Gyartse Namtak Choling – this nun lives in Leh and received a summary explanation of the meeting in advance
  3. Dorje Drolkar, Manda Padma Choling – this nun attempted to attend the meeting, but was unable to find transportation
  4. Tandzin Palmo, Zangla Byangchub Choling – this nun was in Leh during the meeting and another nun from Zangla attended the meeting

Meeting Outline:

11 A.M. – Delegates from Pishu, Zangla, Skyagam, Tungri and Sani assemble to begin the meeting along with Jennifer and Lauren.

Accounting and Receipts
Lauren explains that the nunneries must produce receipts for Gaden Relief donations that they received in 2006 and give them to Jennifer before she returns to the U.S. Lauren strongly emphasizes the need for the nunneries to keep detailed accounts and receipts in the future in order to not risk the loss of funding.

Gaden Relief
Lauren describes the Canadian NGO, Gaden Relief, which donates money to the Zangskar nunneries. She reviews the list of funding priorities for the donations and summarizes the amount of funding provided in the past.

New Donor Laws
Lauren gives a general explanation of the changes in Canadian and American laws for donations sent to foreign countries – money can only be donated to registered NGOs and receipts must be retained to document how the money was spent. She also explains that this is why Kim Gutschow has attempted to establish the ZNA as a registered NGO in India so that she can continue to provide money to the nunneries from Gaden Relief. ZNA may also serve as a means for the nunneries to obtain money from other sources, such as the government or foreign sponsors.

At the prompting of Jennifer and Lauren, the nuns have a brief discussion about which nunneries have teachers and how they are able to acquire teachers.

Distribution of Funds
Jennifer and Lauren suggest to the nuns a few different options for distributing Gaden Relief donations in the future. This discussion was prompted by an earlier discussion at Bya Dolma Choling. The nuns at Bya felt that it was unfair for all nunneries to receive equal shares of the funding when some nunneries such as Bya are in need of many basic things and other nunneries are well-established and do not require as much support.

Lauren explains that Gaden Relief donations could be either divided up equally amongst the nunneries based only on the number of nuns in residence as is the current practice or the other option could be that only stipends are distributed to the nunneries based on the number of nuns and the remaining money will go in a general fund with ZNA. Nunneries could then apply for this money for specific needs so that in each year different nunneries would receive a different amount of funding. The nuns in attendance agreed that the later was an acceptable way to distribute the money.

1 P.M. – Delegates from Karsha and Dorje Dzong, Skalzang Lhamo, and the interpreter arrive.

Lauren provides a review of the topics covered in the morning.

ZNA Constitution
The interpreter reads the ZNA Constitution and the list of donations distributed by Kim Gutschow in 2006. Emphasis and discussions revolve around opening a bank account, establishing a ZNA office, acceptable uses for the donated money, and the role of the delegates and Executive Committee.


Each delegate is given 40 copies of the Gaden Relief brochure to distribute to visitors and two envelopes addressed to Kim Gutschow for future correspondence.

At a later date, copies of the ZNA Constitution are made and distributed to the delegates.

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