Lingshed Area Children's Hostel, Leh
Lingshed village is in one of the most remote areas of northern India. People live very simply as subsistence farmers with scant access to basic services such as education and health care. Over the past decade the community has determined to improve their quality of life and saw the education of young people as a way to understand and gain some of the benefits of the modern world. To do this their children needed to attend good quality schools through to secondary level, only available in Leh. The problem however is that to reach Leh, the children have to trek for over a week, crossing several high mountain passes. In winter the journey is particularly hazardous as they have to trek along the frozen Zanskar River with temperatures as low as -30 degrees celsius. The answer was to build a hostel near Leh to provide basic accommodation and care for the children to attend school, whilst supporting traditional Buddhist practice and cultural traditions. This was achieved through the support of the people of Lingshed village, the Lingshed Monastery, the drive of Sonam Dorje, a Lingshed official who has successfully raised funds from a variety of sources for the set up and development of the hostel. The Juniper Trust donated £20,000 to enable the completion of a new toilet and washroom block.