The Druk Padma Karpo School (formerly Druk White Lotus School) is funded by Drukpa Trust and constructed in the village of Shey in the ancient kingdom of Ladakh. The school was established with the aim of providing local children with a comprehensive education that encompasses both traditional Ladakhi culture and modern curriculum, with an award-winning sustainable design that has been adapted to deal with the unforgiving climate and geography of the local area. More information about the particular environmental challenges faced by Ladakh can be viewed in the PDF attachment to this post. 

Michael Kern is a supporter of Drukpa Trust. Donations to the Druk Padma Karpo School help to create educational opportunities for children in the Ladakh area. The school requires ongoing funding to assist in a number of key areas. 

Seismic Upgrade and Mudslide Repair 

The construction manager of the Druk Padma Karpo School noticed in early 2016 that several timber columns had problems. This resulted in the carrying out of several structural surveys, the results of which identified a need for work to repair hidden structural damage.  

Much of this damage was attributed to a mudslide which occurred in the region in 2010. Drukpa Trust therefore worked closely with the design team from Arup throughout the following winter to prepare a programme for seismic upgrade and mudslide repair, focusing on the key factors of resilience and life safety.  

Once these works are complete, the school building complex will be used as an emergency community aid hub should disaster strike in the form of an earthquake, taking in residents of Shey and the local area.  

The school is open for nine to ten months of the year, so the work has been planned in phased stages to be carried out over several winters when the school is closed. 

Gardening and Landscape 

The gardening and landscape programme for the school’s Dragon Garden has a number of features of benefit to the students, staff and environment. Sustainability is at the heart of the entire school design and the gardens are no exception. Features include a fruit orchard, drip irrigation systems, shade court, adventure playground, residential gardens, visitor centre, lotus pond, lookout platform, and sports facilities. In the infographic attachment, you can find more information about where your money goes if you donate to the Drukpa Trust. 

School Volunteers 

As an establishment funded through charitable donations, the Druk Padma Karpo School also relies on the work of qualified and experienced volunteers. The not-for-profit institution has regular volunteer opportunities between the months of May and September. These include requirements for French and English language tutors working part time in the evenings, and for full-time volunteers to assist with PE, art and music teaching.  

Eligible volunteers are asked to commit for time periods of between one and three months, which they can specify on their applications. Volunteers need to include their CV, the subject they are interested in teaching, some information explaining why they wish to volunteer, and which months they are available in order to receive a response. 

Work at the School 

The Druk Padma Karpo School has been transitioning towards child-centred, modern teaching methods from a more traditional approach. This, combined with growing student numbers, means that there are often paid employment opportunities. Applicants for paid employment must have knowledge of the educational system in India as well as experience and the appropriate qualifications. 

In the short video attachment, you can learn how to quickly and easily make a financial donation to the school.