The Donors

The Chiwong Monastery Sangey Trust, graciously thanks the following organizations and individuals for their contributions to the Chiwong Monastery.

Christopher Giercke
For the past 25 years, Christopher Giercke, has been Chiwong Monastery’s greatest supporter, sponsor and closest friend. Mr. Giercke attends the Mani Rimdu festival every year with family, friends, and distinguished guests from around the world. He is our leading fundraiser, and most important advisor, tirelessly helping with the promotion and renovation of the monastery. Mr. Giercke sponsors the monks and nuns living at the monastery, organizes and regularly funds the helicopter transport of H.H. Trulshig Rinpoche to and from the monastery for Mani Rimdu, and has connected us with oranizations and donors worldwide. In 1986, Mr. Giercke produced the film LORD OF THE DANCE, a documentary about the Mani Rimdu festival. At present, he acts as advisor to the Chiwong Monastery Board of Trustees.

Dennis Ramsey
Dennis Ramsey has been a regular attendee to the Mani Rimdu Festival since 1989. As a friend and supporter of the Monastery, Dennis designed and installed Chiwong's solar electric lighting system in 1999. For the past 10 years the electrical system has served the monastery by providing 108 lights throughout the monastery complex. The system has performed very well, having no down time since its installation.  The system provides light for the monks and nuns to read and do household chores in the evenings. In addition, the electrification of Chiwong has allowed the residents to stop burning kerosene at night for lighting, and as a result there is an improvement in respiratory health, and in literacy. An added benefit is that the monastery's collection of texts and statuary is no longer covered in soot from burning kerosene or candles, and now there is no fire hazard. In addition, the monastery's residents spent over $1,000 per year for kerosene before the electrification. Now this money can be saved for other important uses. Since 1999, Dennis' solar electric system has saved Chiwong over $12,000 in direct costs.  Dennis continues to provide for the maintenance of the system, provides light bulbs, and attends the Mani Rimdu occasionally in support of the monastery. A documentary film SunHorse was made about Dennis' installation of the lighting system during three weeks in October 1999, and can be viewed on the web at Dennis has also installed a number of other solar electric lighting systems in local monasteries over the years, and his program's site, REDI, can be seen at Particularly interesting is the film A Nun's Life about the nuns of Thupten Choling, another very important near-by monastery.

Barbara Aplington
Ms. Barbara Aplington has been attending Mani Rimdu regularly since 2000, bringing others with her from the U.S. through Egofree Journeys ( She believes strongly in the preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist culture, and feels deeply connected to H.H. Trulshig Rinpoche and the Sherpa community of the Solu Khumbu. Through grassroots efforts, she raises funds annually to support the monastery and Mani Rimdu.

Annemiek Burger

CUNINA Belgium/Nepal
CUNINA , is a Belgium based INGO. Through CUNINA Nepal, they are providing scholarship's for 20 poor students to study at the Chiwong monastic school. CUNINA is also providing scholarship's for 60 poor students to at the Phaplu Community School and training for midwife nursing at the Phaplu Hospital.

District Development Committee, Solu Khumbu
In 2005, the District Development Committee, Solu Khumbu, with Mr. Ang Babu Lama as President, provided the financial support to construct living quarters for 10 monks inside the compound of the monastery. 

Francesca Von Habsburg
Mrs. Von Habsburg helped to fund the renovation of the refugee house, converting it into a school and hostel building.

Lee Hudson

Gigi Lau

Douglas Maclagan
Mr. Maclagan is the Operations Director of the Hongkong based INGO, Child Welfare System (CWS). In 2007, he visited the monastery and was inspired to fund the salaries of the teacher's at the Chiwong Monastic School.

Sharon Poon

Mingmar Gyalzen Sherpa
Dr. Mingmar Gyalzen Sherpa, director of the Phaplu Hospital, introduced the monastery and it's needs to Mr. Carlos Vejarno, leading to Mr. Vejarno to provide new stoves for the monastery.

Sherpa Education Development and Information Center (SEDIC)

SEDIC constructed 3 public toilets and bathrooms, for the monks and pilgrimage of Chiwong Monastery.

Carlos Vejarano
Mr. Vejarano is the sponsor of the re-painting of the visitor gallery walls, in the monastery courtyard, thus preserving this sacred art. He sponsored the renovation of the refugee house, and provided new stoves for the monks quarters, the kitchen of the chisa, and the laprang. Mr. Vejarano also provided new stoves for the monks and nuns huts at Thupten Choling Monastery. These stoves allow less wood to be burned for cooking, and helps us to preserve the surrounding forests.

Zein Williams

Gustav and Marina Wumboeck