WHISE Purpose and Mission
WHISE stands for Wisdom Housing In Sustainable Environment. The WHISE (TWF) foundation was founded in 2018 with the aim of:
1) Raising funds to address urgently needed structural reinforcement and extensive repairs required to ensure the safety of the existing monastic buildings of Dagpo Shedrup Ling Monastery in Kaïs, North India. This location is not only very sensitive to seismic activity, but also to drainage problems, there is a risk of landslides and soil erosion.
2) Finding environmentally ecologically sustainable solutions for the necessary structural improvements and for the drainage problems of the site by collaborating with experts in the field of geology, architecture, engineering and sustainable housing.
3) Promoting and advancing the self-sufficiency of Dagpo Shedrup Ling Monastery and by extension surrounding local communities by relying upon local resources and labor as whenever possible.
4) Working to secure the continuity lof Dagpo Shedrup Ling over time to preserve its ancient and beneficent system of Buddhist monastic training, by working with our partner non-profit organizations Entraide Franco Tibetaine and the Dagpo Educational Fund.
Below video of recent flooding of the road on which the monastery is housed.
(Kais, July 2023). Good picture of the threatening situation
Will you help to raise sufficient funds:
a) have a project plan drawn up by a team of geological and civil engineers, architects and other specialists.
- The realization of sustainable, safe monastic buildings that can withstand earthquakes and landslides in the Kullu Valley, in particular tackling weak foundations.
- Tackling the environmental problem by realizing clean waste incineration, a proper sewerage system and good drainage of the site.
- The realization of a safe school building for primary education, housing the medical post.
- Good heating and cooling in all buildings.
b) have the project plan executed in a sustainable manner in phases under the constant guidance of our Spiritual Director and Patron, Rev. Dagpo Rinpoche.
The original Dagpo Shedrup Ling Buddhist monastery was founded in the mid-1400s and was located in southeastern Tibet. In 1959 there were about 700 monks who followed the tradition of study, reflection and meditation, safeguarding the precious systems of inner cultivation developed over the centuries within the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions of Buddhism.
The Communist Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced many thousands of Tibetans, including monks, to flee Tibet for India and elsewhere. After decades of great difficulty and thanks to the unwavering support and guidance of Venerable Dagpo Rinpoche, Dagpo Shedrup Ling Monastery was rebuilt in the Himalayan Kullu Valley in the North Indian village of Kaïs. The monastery also has a primary school for young monks and a medical post that serves both the local community and the monks.
Dagpo Monastery’s core values are based on the Buddhist ethic of non-violence and the wish to be of benefit to all beings. Therefore, the monastery is committed to advancing education, health care and other aid within the local community however possible. For example, during the Covid pandemic monks of Dagpo Shedrup Ling organized, prepared and distributed hundreds of food packages for members of the local communities.
The monks are held in high esteem by locals thanks to their providing desperately needed assistance with basic survival needs, to education for children, and affordable if rudimentary health care in this largely impoverished area of the Himalayas.
Further background information
Temperatures in the Kullu Valley can reach lows to 4 degrees Celsius (high 30 sF) in the winter months. This may not seem so cold to those living in colder northern countries, but without modern heating systems it is extremely cold.
The identification of the structural problems with the monastic building's foundations came due to requests on the part of concerned supporters to install heating systems for the sake of the monks enduring these cold Himalayan winters.
But it was discovered, thanks to a team of Delft students from the Technical University who visited the monastery, that heating systems could not be installed safely. Thus found large cracks in the walls of several monastic buildings. The buildings themselves were found to be unsafe due to increasing structural damage to the foundations of the buildings. To ensure the safety and sustainability of the buildings it is therefore vital to address the structural damage immediately.
How to proceed and how you can help?
Much needs to be done. The latest research shows that the foundations of the buildings rest on a soft top layer, causing the buildings to sag. These cracks will continue to grow. In an earthquake, the buildings can collapse within one minute! Improving the foundation of the buildings is of great necessity. Drainage of the site, the school and the in-house medical post also have the highest priority. The sewage system causes a lot of odor nuisance for the environment and must be adjusted.
In line with Dagpo Shedrup Ling traditions, we do not ask for donations directly. But donations are welcome. We also want people and organizations inspire to devise and organize campaigns to collect money for proper housing for the monastery. Inventing and carrying out actions for others gives pleasure and produces great contacts and experiences. This gives generosity an extra dimension!