Munsel Foundation has been a participant in the development of the Munsel School Project since January 2006. Beginning in 2011 the role of sponsorship has been gradually taken over by Dragon Seat Meditation Center but our foundation continues to keep an active connection with this worthwhile project.
The 2007-08 school year saw 15 children moved to Yushu (Jyekundo) town and begin living in a rented house near a public school. 2008-09 an additional 20 children came to live in a purchased home 5 minutes from the public school.
April 14, 2010 at 7:49AM a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the town. Yushu is on the Tibetan Plateau at about 12,000 feet in altitude. In less than a minute most buildings had collapsed. Five Munsel School children died that day. Due to the heroic efforts of the adult staff 25 children survived.
Most children returned to the villages for two months after the earthquake. All 25 children returned to Yushu and continue to attend school. They lived for over 2 years in refugee tents while the city was rebuilt.
Due to changes in governmental city planning our school home site was lost to a new city park. This required a big change in homing our children. At the start of the 2013 school year, the older children were spread throughout the city living with extended family members. The five children without a place were moved into a much small house with the house parents. Our kind and hard working house parents continued to oversee the other children being sure they were attending school and had necessary supplies.
At the 2013-2014 winter school break all the children gathered together, along with other kids, to have an intensive study period of studying the Tibetan and Chinese languages. Emphasis was placed on Tibetan writing skills.
Since then we have offered classes in Tibetan, Chinese and math at the villages, in Yushu, to students in a classroom setting, and to an extended family in their home compound.
Due to the earthquake all classes stopped for over 2 years. There is interest and plans are being made to begin again during the winter months. The 2013-2014 Munsel school intensive was a successful beginning of extra classes
Along with humanitarian aid to those in need, the elderly, disabled, homeless, orphaned, almost 1000 shallow water wells, which includes the well, pump and a concrete apron, have been dug. Approximate costs for wells in Vietnam are about $120 US . Between 4 and 10 families use each well. They are never for just one family. Each well is named after the donor who gave the money to dig it.
Yearly, 3-4 small one and two room schools are built in rural areas which are used during the day for children's education and at night for adult education and village meetings.
Also foot bridges which allow children to cross rivers to attend school and people to pass easily back and forth have been built since the start of the projects in 2002.