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Lokunphen Newsletter Spring-2010 ISSUE-6

  • First CAA graduate: This has been a landmark year for Lo Kunphen, with the first successful graduate from the Kangjinpa amchi course, Rinzin Wangmo, receiving her certificate for this new qualification of Community Amchi Assistant (CAA). She is the first person in Nepal to achieve this, as the course was only recently approved by the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT), and Lo Kunphen is currently the only school able to offer it. Rinzin is practising amchi medicine and hopes to continue her studies to the next level, the Durappa, or Certificate in Amchi Medicine, which will entail a further three years of study. She was also the first Lo Kunphen student to pass the national School Leavers Certificate (SLC), in 2008, and is now teaching junior students at the school, helping them to begin their journey along the path she has followed. An article about this and the work of Lo Kunphen in promoting and further developing the ancient tradition of amchi medicine was published in the national weekly newspaper, The Nepali Times.
  • More SLC passes: Following Rinzin's example, a further seven students have passed the SLC during this academic year. They are Pema Wangyal, Rinzin Wangmo, PemaYangdon, Pema Dolma, Yeshi Wangmo, Pema Dorje and Karchung Maa. Congratulations to all of them. They are now working hard for the final exam for the Kangjinpa/ CAA qualification. If they pass they would also like to begin the next level of study.
  •  Plans for next course: With a potential seven of Lo Kunphen students and some additional applicants from outside, Amchis Gyatso and Tenzin are hoping to start the new Durappa course this year, if donors can be found in time. The curriculum for the course has been approved by CTEVT and the students will be based in Pokhara, giving them the opportunity to build links with the University and local medical institutions. The course will combine traditional amchi skills and knowledge with some basic modern medical information, to get the best of both worlds.
  • New school in Pokhara: The new school building in Pokhara was ready in time for this year's winter school. It provides more space than the rented house they used before, with purpose built classrooms, a dining room and kitchen, two dormitories, bathrooms and an office and guest room.
  • Visitor from Germany: Joerg Mangold visited the school in January, spending several days with the students and teachers. He is the founder of an NGO in Germany called ARAGUA, which aims to help children in developing countries acquire an education. ARAGUA is providing sponsorship for around 20 of the younger students, covering the costs of their food, stationery and other essential items. Joerg is himself a medical person and spent time giving some instruction to the students.
  • Rotary Club partnership: After a long wait, Lo Kunphen’s application for a grant from Rotary International was approved. This is in partnership with the Bingley Airdale Rotary Club in UK and the Fishtail Rotary Club in Pokhara. The money will be used for tuition fees for 14 of the younger students and equipping the Lo Manthang clinic with additional furniture and medicines.

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We believe amchi medicine emphasises disorders as they
manifest in the relationship between body, mind and soul, especially on the mind aspect of disorders. For Sowa Rigpa practitioners and followers of Buddhism, ignorance is the root cause of all diseases.
Lo Kunphen aims to provide a culturally appropriate free education and professional opportunities to children from poor families in mountain communities, and in particular to maintain and develop the tradition of amchi (Tibetan) medicine. Donations are welcome.