The Bön Children’s Home (BCH) was established in 1988 by Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche, to care for the Bon children that arrived in Dolanji.
Located in the village of Dolanji, in Himachal Pradesh in northern India, the BCH currently houses approximately 300 boys and girls from the ages of 5 to 18.
The children come from predominantly farm families in rural areas in northern India, Nepal, Tibet and Sikkim Bhutan, where schooling is either rudimentary or non-existent, and it is almost impossible for the children to receive an education in their native Tibetan Bon culture. These children are either orphans, or come from families that cannot provide for them.
The BCH has a staff of twelve who care for the children, providing food and clothing, housing, and basic medical care. The children are housed, fed, clothed and receive cultural education at BCH. The children attend Central School for Tibetans in Dolanji. This school provides education from grades 1 through 10, teaching both the Indian public school curriculum, as well as classes in Tibetan Bon culture.
The BCH is located near Menri Monastery, the seat of the Tibetan Bon religion, and so the children are able to receive instruction in their traditional religion as well. BCH operates under the approval of H.H. Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, Abbot of Menri Monastery.
Because the BCH is well known by the Tibetan Bon people throughout Northern India, Nepal, Tibet and Sikkim, many send their children to BCH in hopes that they will be able to be cared for, get an education, and have a better chance in life. Because there is little access to telecommunications in these areas, most of the children arrive unannounced and unexpected. For many, the journey is long and difficult, through areas not well served by roads or other transportation. New children arrive monthly, generally without notice, and with no means to return to their homes. The large and ever-increasing number of children coming to the BCH puts a tremendous strain on the resources available for their care, but the staff of BCH believes they cannot turn children away.
The BCH is not only helping children. It is saving an ancient culture that traces its roots back over 18,000 years ago. The Tibetan Bon culture is in danger of being lost, in part because so many Bon live as refugees outside of their native Tibet, and in part due to the shortage of schools and other organized programs to nurture this culture and tradition so it may be passed on to future generations.