The Ninth Buddhist Nuns Empowerment Program:

Tibetan Women’s Association is very proud to share with you all the success of hosting the 9th Buddhist Nuns Empowerment Program for 30 nuns from Jangchub Choeling Nunnery, Mundgod in South India from 2nd-10th April, 2017.

The TWA coordination team reached Mundgod around the midnight of the 31st April and on the wake of 1st April, they headed towards the nunnery to observe the training venue and strategize the one week training for the nuns. With the help of RTWA Mundgod, and the nuns from Jangchub Choeling, we were able to get the training venue polished for an effective one week and got the participants registered for the training while few other nuns from the nunnery along with RTWA Mundgod distributed the training kits we had brought for the participants.

Day.1, 2 &3: Introductions/Orientation/Gender Sensitization
The first half day of BNEP2017 kick started with an introductory remark by the president of TWA, Mrs.Dolma Yangchen, covering the introduction of TWA and the roles and responsibility of our Association since its foundation. The introduction was then followed by a short speech by the Head of the Administration of Jangchub Choeling Nunnery, Ven. Lobsang Youdon la on the overall expectations from the workshop.

The session was then taken up by TWA’s Project Officer, Ms. Tenzin Choezin with the assistance of Ms.Tsering Choezom led the introductory session/Ground Rules/Group Division/Orientation Round and the pairing of secret friends.
From the next half of the first day till the third day of the training, Ms.Tenzin Choezin led the training on intensive Gender Sensitization program for the nuns. The training began with the question- “Is there Gender Equality in the Tibetan community?” and the answers as it follows made spaces for us as trainers and trainees to discuss the clear cut differences between sex and gender which further enabled us in making it easier for the participants to understand the Gender socialization and its cultural impact on Gender discrimination and inequality through its very grassroots perspective. The training was made very participatory in nature and was inclusively fun filled with activities and discussions all till the end of it. And the question of Gender Equality in our community and beyond still remained a topic of concern in our sessions that followed thereafter.

Day.4- Building Effective Communication Skills:
On the fourth day, Ms.Tsering Choezom (General Secretary, TWA) led the training on “Building Effective Communication Skills” for the nuns. And the training was less of a listening and more practices at the ground, therefore the nuns enjoyed it thoroughly and alongside they have had lessons to grab from these activities. We are quite affirmed to be saying that the nuns have had the simplest form of training as per our module. We tried facilitating the nuns on these very important topics so that they can be able to learn to slowly converse in a less conflicting communicational way in the near future.
Day.5: “Public Speaking skills”
On the fifth day, after the group requisition received from the nuns we initiated a slight change in the schedule and added one more day of training on Public Speaking skills which was initially not in the plan. Ms.Tenzin Choezin led the session for a day, dealing the basic skills to deliver speeches or talks in public.

Day.6&7- Conflict Resolution:
The day sixth and seventh was led by two of the renowned trainers of our Tibetan Community on Conflict Resolution. Mr.Karma Lekshey and Mrs.Yangkyi from Tibetan Centre for Conflict resolution which we believe is one of the most important topics for training in our community and the other community at large. Starting from minor conflicts between two individuals to a larger group, a lot of conflicts can be resolved with the individual’s choice to do so through the non-violent communication (nvc). Therefore, as per our observation the nuns have had a very intensive learning platform and vice versa.

Day.8: Practical Outbound Program
The nuns who are divided into four groups were told to pick up any subject to work on practically for their projects, and were given a minimum budget to use and put into effect the lessons they had learned and also given a platform to project their team work, leadership abilities and time management
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Day.9- Farewell:
And for the last day, we had the farewell session where the nuns were asked to give us Oral/written feedback about the training and the trainers, then followed by a small concluding remarks from the president, revelation of secret friends, distribution of certificates and for the last, a farewell dinner for all the working committee of the nunnery, participants, RTWA-Mundgod and the TWA team.
And as the saying goes, “All is well that ends well” We believe that this end will have new beginnings in the lives of the nuns and we are more inspired to further expand the leadership training to a broader audiences from different nunneries in the near future.