Tibetan Nuns Project

Education, Health and Well-Being, Law and Justice

Geography: India

Founded: 1987


815 Seattle Boulevard South
Seattle, WA 98134

About the Tibetan Nuns Project

The Tibetan Nuns Project was founded over two decades ago to provide education and humanitarian aid to refugee nuns from Tibet and Himalayan regions of India. The Project provides facilities and programs to educate, empower, and improve the status of ordained Tibetan women.

The Tibetan Nuns Project was established under the auspices of the Tibetan Women’s Association and the Department of Religion and Culture of H. H. the Dalai Lama and is dedicated to educating and supporting nuns in India from all Tibetan Buddhist lineages.

In addition to supporting and educating over 700 Tibetan nuns, the Tibetan Nuns Project develops programs and projects that serve as models for the monastic community. In over 20 years the Project has built two new nunneries (Dolma Ling and Shugsep Nunneries) and organized educational and training opportunities for the nuns.


In the mid 1980s, with the strong encouragement of H.H. the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Women’s Association began to work on behalf of nuns of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Initial efforts focused on small projects within the two existing nunneries in the Dharamsala area, and the women also worked to start a new nunnery in South India.

In early 1991, a group of 66 refugee nuns appeared overnight on the streets of Dharamsala, India. They had been on a two-year pilgrimage from eastern Tibet that had ended in a journey over the Himalayas. Ill and exhausted, they had nowhere to go. The Tibetan Women’s Association organized emergency assistance to meet their basic needs, and set in motion the Tibetan Nuns Project to work exclusively on behalf of the nuns. The Project immediately began to find long-term solutions to the problems of securing housing, medical care and most importantly, education for refugee nuns. The Project created a sponsorship program, reaching out to individuals around the world.