The School in the Sky (Ecole dans le Ciel) refers to the project of setting
up a school in Ladakh that is destined to be the first link in a chain
of schools throughout the Himalayas.
School in the Sky seeks to provide Ladakhi children with an bilateral
educational goal: preparing them for the modern world (Hindi, English,
science and technical studies) while preserving their cultural identity.
Secure in their respective traditions yet open to modern society, they
will be well-equipped to help their peers and the development of their
project is supported by the earnest wishes of the Gyalwa Karmapa and Kunzik
Shamar Rinpoché, great masters of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
It is also backed by the Buddhist center Dhagpo Kagyu Ling and its spiritual
director, Lama Jigmé Rinpoché, in France.
The inhabitants of the Himalayan regions are fascinated by western
society; although they dream of being able to copy the seductive model
of rapid development, they are progressively losing their roots as they
abandon the lifestyle that has traditionally allowed them to adapt to
job is to provide the tools leading to a more objective consideration
of modern technology, and to show that the West is not necessarily an
appropriate model of development. We intend to carry this out through
education, thereby allowing children to be well-rooted in their traditional
heritage. The dimension of tolerance is very important: colonization is
not our goal. We must continually question our understanding and our speech
while working towards creating an appropriate teaching system that will
highlight the importance of protecting the existing culture.
humanistic and spiritual vocation
One of the project's main thrusts is to ensure that the children's education
be inspired by the values of tolerance, openness and compassion proper
is not simply a religion. The whole cultural and conceptual universe of
these children is colored by Buddhism through the ethics of personal responsibility
and wisdom based on knowledge of the mind and its workings. Therefore,
we are not describing religious education as per the western ideal, but
rather an apprenticeship that respects the very bases of original Ladakhi
The German architect responsible for construction acquired useful experience
while working in Nepal for two years. His participation gives weight to
this project centered around respecting the environment as much as possible
by using natural sources of energy (passive and active solar power) and
appropriate building materials. He also collaborates with the Office of
Ecological Research in Ladakh.
School in the Sky Association
Presentation: The School in the Sky is a not-for-profit organization created
in October, 1996, after a group of French travelers visited Ladakh. All
of its members are volunteers. There are currently seven active members:
Lama Puntso, Lionel Barbot, Cédric Cerpeau, Christine Gouffie,
Virginie Larebat, Angélique Pieri and Tsulnam.
Ladakhi school is called the Rigjung Public School (R.P.S.); its director
is Lama Chönyi.
association works on three levels:
the funding necessary to build the school
that funds are transferred in the best possible conditions of transparency
and security, and guaranteeing the control of financial management of
the project on site.
certain that the project develops in a cohesive and efficient manner.
Ladakh: The Karmapa Welfare Society of Ladakh
The KWSL is a charitable trust (legally recognized humanitarian organization)
whose main task is managing the project on site. The association's president
is Lama Chönyi Dorjé, the Ladakhi monk who began the project.
controls the School Management Committee, which oversees the school's
management and the evolution of the project on a daily basis. The Management
Committee has no legal status. It reports to the KWSL which it belongs
to and to which it is answerable.
legal and moral agreement that binds the French School in the Sky and
the Ladakhi KWSL, guarantees both the school's continuation within the
essential moral and spiritual values crucial to its development and the
security of its management.
The Kailash Asoociation, partner of the School in the Sky, is based in
Germany. Willy Kruger, the director, oversees the architectural side of
will soon be able to spend time on site during the summer, helping with
the concretization and extension of the project (managers, technicians,
teachers, doctors, nurses...).
l'Ecole Dans le Ciel - Landrevie F-24290 Saint Léon sur Vézère
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
- web : http://edc.dhagpo-kagyu.org
tel: 33-5-53504966 - fax: 33-5-53508054