Charitable Projects

Kopan Monastery has a number of affiliated centers, sangha communities, and charitable projects that it takes care of on behalf of the FPMT and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

All of these projects were initiated with the express purpose of serving living beings in a special way, according to their needs. All living beings - be they human or animal – are in need of care, loving kindness, and most of all in need of Dharma. 

We invite you to share our concern for the welfare of others by giving financial support to these projects. You bring help to many different groups of beings in very practical ways – securing their survival and helping them to flourish in the Dharma, and in the case of the animal sanctuary, preventing their the untimely death, by improving their living conditions,  providing education, and giving them access to social services and most importantly supporting them in their practice of Dharma.

Of special area of concern are the remote monastic communities. They are vital in keeping the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha alive and vibrant in these dark times. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has repeatedly stressed how important it is to support these places of Dharma practice, as a means to secure the survival of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition for future generations. Therefore Kopan Monastery makes great efforts to support their activities.

Intro Article Blocks



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Nestled in the mountains of lower Solu Khumbu is a branch of Kopan Monastery, Thubten Shedrup Ling. The area is beautiful, green valleys surrounded by the white peaks of the Himalayan range. Close to the trekking trail to the Everest base camp, it is still quite isolated, rarely visited by few foreigners. It is a very poor region of Nepal. With few jobs available, most people are living from portering during the trekking season, trading or surviving on subsistence farming.

The monastery was initially was founded to provide a spiritual center for the refugees who came from Tibet after 1959. In the 2004 the Tibetan Government in Exile requested Kopan Monastery to take over the care and management of the monastery, and its resident monks.

Read more here on Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery.

The monastery buildings were in very poor conditions; the rooms were build of mud bricks and very damp. There was no source of water nearby, no electricity, - in short, live was very difficult. Since then the accommodation for the monks  has been pulled down and rebuilt to a higher standard, with more rooms. The dining room and kitchen are still in a poor state, with a leaking roof in winter, and vermin housing in between the cracked brick. These building need to be repaired on a regular basis, as the mud bricks tend to dissolve in the monsoon rains.  A  proper office and library would be of great advantage.

The kitchen at the monastery

However, the monastery is thriving, new monks are joining all the time - they are accepted once a year at the beginning of the school year. The young monks go to the refugee camp school to learn TibetanNepali and Emnglish, while the monastic subjects are taught at the monastery. Already some of the monks from Thubten Shedrup Ling have gone on to Sera Monastic University to continue their studies. 

How Thubten Shedrup Ling supports itself

Thubten Shedrup Ling has very little opportunity to generate income, while having ongoing  expenses to care for the monks community. Local Buddhist families might request pujas and prayers to be performed by the monks and offer small sums to the monastery for this, or make donations to the monastery on special days. Occasional travelers, on their way to Mount Everest, might stay at the monastery for a night or two, providing some extra income. None of this is enough to support the monastic community. For its survival it relies on donations and support from benefactors.

Paying the bills for everyday expenses such as food, electricity, salary of the monks teachers is a difficult task every month. Water needs to be installed inside some of the buildings urgently.

Getting water

The meals are simple - some rice, dhal, some vegetables, occasionally momos. The cost of food is rising all the time. Some food can be bought in the local market, other necessities have to be brought in from Kathmandu, a long bus ride away, making it quite expensive. 

Help make the daily life of the monks at Thubten Shedrup Ling a bit more secure.  


Donate here and help Thubten Shedrup Ling

You can sponsors

  • Daily food – simple meals of rice, dhal, few vegetables.

  •  Medical Care – medicines, medical treatments.

  •  Education – wages for the teachers, education material such as school books.

  • General donation for maintenance and improvements.

Make your donation Here

Intro Article Blocks

Tsum Communities

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Rachen Nunnery and Mu Gompa

High in the Himalayan ranges, near the majestic Ganesh Mountain, is a hidden valley called Tsum.

Tsum is a very old Buddhist region, close to Tibet, with a long history of Dharma practice, and blessed by meditators, such as Padmasambhava, Milarepa and many others. It is highly conducive place for practice and a special place to attain liberation in this lifetime. Its many small villages are clustered along the river raging down the steep valley. Amongst the settlements are Rachen Nunnery and Mu Gompa.

Young nuns in English class

Rachen Nunnery and Mu Gompa were established in 1936 by Drupa Rinpoche, a Bhutanese lama who meditated in the caves dotted along the rim of the valley. His incarnation, the present Drupa Rinpoche requested Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 2005 to take care of the two sangha communities. At that time, the monks and nuns were living in extremely dire circumstances, sleeping on the bare floor, and having very little to eat.  Accepting the request, Lama Zopa Rinpoche asked Kopan Monastery to take over the administration of the two communities.

Read more about the Tsum Monastic Communities here.

Rachen Nunnery is home to eighty young and old nuns, meditating, praying and studying. Here, the transformation has been amazing. In the beginning the water for daily cooking and washing had to be taken from the river. Now water is piped from a spring high up near a glacial lake, ensuring a water supply even in winter. Both communities previously had no electricity, so after dark everybody had to rely on a candle or butter lamp. They now have solar lights, solar shower and even low wattage electricity from a small hydroelectric plant nearby.  A small vegetable garden has been set up, under plastic covers, to protect it from the cold winds andnight frosts. 

 Living in Retreat.

There is a proper school in the nunnery with classes in English, simple math and shome scien, with a qualified geshe  teaching Tibetan and Buddhist philosophy. The older nuns, some of who were there when Geshe Lama Konchok was abbot, in the 1970s, are living in retreat in their own area.

 A resident Tibetan doctor is taking care of health problems, also for the local community. New warm and spacious rooms, a kitchen, dining room and classrooms have been constructed in the past few years. The nunnery provides food, medical care, and education for all. The medical section of the nunnery is very popular with the local population - in Tsum, health centers are still very few and most often hours of walking away.

Rachen Gompa  Kitchen

Mu Gompa at 4000 meters sits on top of a hill amidst towering peaks in spectacular surroundings. It is very isolated, with the next settlement several hours walk away. It is a wonderful place, deep silence all around, the perfect place for meditation. Around 20 monks live, study and practice here. The ounger ones go to classes with the resident geshe, particpate in pujas and ceremonies, and help with the daily chores.  The old monks, and there are several ones who have been there for 40 years or more, live in retreat, and guide the younger monks in their practice.

Mu gompa - coming back from shopping in Tibet

The wind whistles continuously through the eaves of the buildings.  Here, like in all of Tsum,  the winters are long and very hard. This is not an easy environment to live in, with hardly any heating, and regular food supply depending on the weather conditions. Much work is needed just to provide the neccessities fordaily survival. Food is scarce. Only potatoes, barley, millet and mustard seed (used to make cooking oil) grow at this high altitude, and in the short summer season a few green vegetables survive in protected places. When the summer rains fail, famine is a constant threat.

Most supplies have to be brought over a long distance: some come on yak caravans from Tibet, a two day horse ride away; some supplies come from the lower area of Gorkha, which is a five day walk with pack horses. High transport costs make everything very expensive - food, clothing, medicines, and building materials.

Much help is needed for these two communities. Kopan is continuing to initiate projects to improve the quality of life there. 



How you can help Tsum 

Make a donations towards these needs

  • Daily Needs - food, robes,warm clothing
  • Education – wages for teachers, books, pencils,.
  • Medical care -  health camps, medical supplies, wages for a full time nurse
  • General donation – improvments and maintenance, emergency health care

Make a donation here


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Yulo Koepa Nunnery

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 Yulo Koepa Nunnery began as the Tara Temple, a project of the Universal Education School in Sarnath, India. It was founded by a student of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Valentino Giacomo, as a special place of worship of the Mother Goddess Tara.

In early 2010 the Tara Temple together with the property and service buildings was offered to Khachoe Ghakyil Ling Nunnery and was renamed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche Yulo Koepa, Tara Pure Land. Twenty nuns from Khachoe Ghakyil Ling Nunnery in Nepal live and study there all year round under the care of the manager, Venerable Dekyi. 

Read more about Yulo Koepa - Tara Pure Land here.

The nunnery is located on the outskirts of the holy place of Sarnath,near Varanasi, where Shakyamuni Buddha gave his first teaching.  The buildings are situated amongst beautiful flowers, trees and a vegetable garden. The main purpose of the nunnery is the invocation and praise of Mother Tara, the female Buddha that has vowed to come to the quick aid of all who invoke her. The 21 praises of Mother Tara are continuously recited in the gompa of the nunnery every day, 24 hours a day. Additonally. every day extensive prayers are made for world peace and special prayers for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who tirelessly works for the benefit of all.  The school children of the Universal Education Project next door also participate in these 24 hour prayers.

The Tara Temple nuns

Groups of nuns from Khachoe Ghakil Ling nunnery take turns of one year stays at Yulo Koepa, then returning to Nepal while another group of nuns takes over.  While staying at the nunnery, the nuns continue their studies under the care of a resident geshe, so they don't miss out on their philosophical studies while in Sarnath.

Last year, a new kitchen was built to allow for a more hygienic food preparation, and a generator has been installed to make the electric supply more reliable. The meals are simple and healthy, mostly rice, dhal and some vegetables, while in the evening they have some soup, or bread and tea. A real treat is something like an omelet, or bread with peanut butter and jam. This usually is only offered when someone sponsors a puja.


Lack of proper accommodation is a big problem at the nunnery. Most of the nuns stay in one big dormitory under the roof of the main building. In this part of India it is very hot in the summer months and the nuns from Nepal are not used to this. This makes live in the nunnery very difficult and they suffer a lot. Due to the kind donation of a sponsor, the building of a new  an accommodation block with eight double rooms has been started. The first floor of the building will be completed within the next six months. However, there are not enough funds to complete the second floor.

Please help with this project.

Future plans for the nunnery envisage creating a more beautiful spacious area around the gompa, which involves demolishing the old building right in front of the temple. This building is old, with many problems such as a leaking roof. it will be replaced by another building sitting further in the back, where land is available.. As soon as the funds for this are available, the work will start. 

How does the nunnery finance itself

The nunnery receives occasional offerings from visitors, but it is primarily dependent on donations  of benefactors who are devoted to Tara, and wish to encourage this wonderful and rare activity.

At the moment, there are a few simple rooms where visitors to the nunnery can stay, specially during the busy season in winter. Once the new rooms are completed, there will be some extra income from guests staying at the nunnery. 

The daily pujas of the nuns are open for sponsorships through the 'Gift of Prayer' where sponsors can choose one of three pujas, which will be dedicated to them or the people of their choosing for one year. The proceeds from these puja sponsorships help with the food cost


  • Make a donation towards the building of the new rooms for the nuns - any amount
  • Sponsor the living cost of a nun - suggested donation 30 US$ for one month
  • Make a donation to the running cost of the nunnery  - any amount
  • Offer a meal to the nuns on a special day - suggested donation 20 US$ per meal for all
  • Request a  Gift of Prayer from Yulo Koepa - the proceeds will benefit the nunnery   


Make your donation here



Animal Liberation Sanctuary

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Every year around the world millions of animals die or suffer needlessly. In countries like Nepal, the care and management of animals is poor. Animal sacrifices are common. Many animals neither live pleasantly nor die peacefully.

In his concern for the welfare of all living beings, Lama Zopa Rinpoche initiated the purchase of land near Kopan Monastery to provide shelter and care for animals rescued from being killed, so that they may live out their natural lives in peace and attain a higher rebirth. The Sanctuary benefits rescued animals not only by freeing from impending death, but also by exposing them to the Buddha Dharma. They regularly hear mantras and are led around holy objects. This way they create merit and gain the opportunity to escape the lower realms. they are cared for by a manager and a veterinary assistant, with an experienced vet on call when needed.

The Animal Liberation Sanctuary is managed on a day-to-day basis by Kopan Monastery and is under the direct care of Enlightenment for  Animals, a project of the FPMT. Currently there are eight cows, two sheep, and 50 goats. Most of the animals at the Sanctuary have been rescued by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Moving to a new place

Until 2014 the animals were in temporary facilities at the monastery and nunnery. In January 2014 the animals were moved to the new land, which has more space and proper facilities for the needs of the animals. The purpose-built sanctuary where the animals reside is about five minutes walk from Kopan Monastery and includes over 50 goats and two sheep.

The sanctuary has  a main animal shelter, designed to provide a healthy environment throughout Nepal’s contrasting seasons, it has facilities to separate quieter animals from the main flock, and it is designed to reduce water use and waste. The sanctuary has a quarantine area, a treatment room and there is a live-in caretaker. Internal fencing allows parts of the land to be rested from animal browsing and there are areas kept for growing food and for emergencies.

On his last visit to the Sanctuary in May 2012, Lama Zopa Rinpoche suggested that a Kadampa stupa should be built in front of the main animal shelter so that the animals could circumambulate the stupa directly as they come and go from their shelter. Some years ago, on the instruction of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, four stone stupas were commissioned. These have now been placed around the Kadampa stupa.

Due to restrictions of the land – it is steeply terraced and therefore unsafe for cows - only the goats have moved to the new part of the Sanctuary. The eight cows will continue to stay in the Kopan part of the Sanctuary, with more room for each animal to live healthily and comfortably.

In the shelters themselves, small mp3 players are placed which play mantras when the animals are inside at night. Additionally, every morning a monk from Kopan recites prayers to the animals while they eat.

The sanctuary was established to care for animals primarily rescued by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. There is currently no room for people to bring other animals. While people cannot bring new animals, the existing animals do need your help. The costs of caring for the animals is very high (food, shelter, veterinary care and staffing costs).

The late Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup explained that the merit of supporting liberated animals is the same as liberating an animal yourself, for without ongoing care and shelter the animals would not survive.

Animals cannot speak out for themselves – they depend on people to care , to help them.  Please give your support to rescue animals from a cruel and painful death and to provide a sanctuary where they can live and die with the proper care and love they deserve


How you can help us taking care of the animals

There are many ways you can help in taking care of these animals. By supporting the Animal Liberation Sanctuary, you are participating in and gaining the merits of the practice of animal liberation.

  • Become a sponsor of the living expenses for one goat – there is not enough space to grow food for the goats, and straw and grass is expensive.  
  • Sponsor the medical expenses of the Animal Liberation Sanctuary: a full time veterinary technician and an on-call veterinarian are helping to keep all the animals healthy.
  • Sponsor the wages of the live-in caretaker of the Sanctuary – a small house has been provided for the family so that there is always someone with the animals.
  • Sponsor one of the cows living expenses on the Kopan part of the Sanctuary.

If traveling to Kathmandu, contact us on what you could bring (e.g.., medical supplies) to help the animals.

Contact us for more information on how you can help bringing Dharma to the animals.    

Donate here

Visit the website of Enlightenment for Animals      

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Maitreya Childrens' home


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The new Maitreya Childrens Home before completion

In the late 1970 the Snow Lion Foundation, a charity devoted to help the Tibetan refugees, set up a school and hostel for the children of  Tibetan refugees in the Solu Khumbu area of Nepal. At that time Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery was established as a spiritual center for the refugee community. Over the years many of the original Tibetans were relocated to various other countries, and as a consequence the number of Tibetan children dropped. The children of Sherpa families, the ethnic group living in that area, were accepted into the school once hostel as places became available.

Over the years it became clear to the manager of Thubten Shedrup Ling monastery that there were many Buddhist families in remote areas who would like to send their children to a school that supported their language and religious culture, but there were not enough places in that hostel. Sending them to Kathmandu was  no alternative as it was too expensive for the average family.

The old Hostel, before closing.

When the Snow Lion Foundation decided in 2011 to give up its hostel activity, the parents of the children in the hostel approached Thubten Shedrup ling Monastery to help them taking care of the children. As part of its community activity, the monastery decided to build a hostel to accommodate these children that didn't have a place to stay any longer, and the Maitreya Childrens' home was born. It is administered and financially supported by Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery. Most of these families live far away, some of them several days walk, There are no roads, no public transport, and unless their children can stay with relatives in the village, or in the hostel, the children cannot attend school. 

In the first year after opening the new hostel 35 students took up residence.  After completing Grade 5, seven of them moved on to Kathmandu to continue their studies there; six went to the local school in the next village (about 2 hours walk away). In 2014, the number of children accepted into the hostel rose to 40, showing the great need in that area for a place where the children can attend a Buddhist school while staying in a safe and a supportive Buddhist environment, at affordable cost. 

The daily program for the children includes prayers in the morning (they all come from Buddhist families), and classes on Buddhism in the afternoon after school. There is still plenty of time to play football in the school yard, and go for walks in the surrounding hills. 

The hostel accepts both boys and girls with several hostel mothers caring for them. At the moment the monastery kitchen is providing meals for both the monks and the hostel children; the dining room is shared with the monks, till a proper new dining room and kitchen can be built for the hostel.

The rooms are simple and functional, with bunks beds and small lockers provided. The heating is through enormous wood fired stoves, with wood provided by the local forestry office. The kitchen also used wood fired stoves for the cooking. Solar equipment is planned for the future for heating water. 

Some of the families of these children are very poor. They live in remote hill areas, doing subsistence farming and occasional work as cooks or porters during the trekking season. The monastery would like to offer scholarships to the children of those families who are too poor to afford the hostel fee.of 45 US$ per month. 


Donate here and give these children a better chance at education

You can sponsor the following:

  • Sponsor a  recurring payment for a Scholarship for child -  30 US$ per month
  • Make a one time donation for a child from a poor family to buy mattress, sheets and blankets   25 US$
  • Make an offering to the food fund of the hostel
  • Make a general donation towards the running cost of the hostel
  • Make a donation towards setting up Solar Hot Water for the hostel.

Make a donation here

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Kopan Monastery
Nepal Buddhist Mahayana Center Gompa

Kopan Monastery FPMT pending affiliation
Foundation for the preservation of the Mahayana Tradition