NEW KITCHEN APPEAL

At the heart of every Monastery—as in every home—is the kitchen. Monks take turns on kitchen duty to prepare the tea for morning and afternoon prayers, cook the breakfast bread or prepare the tsampa (roasted barley flour), to produce lunch and supper for 400 monks out of the cheapest ingredients, while making sure that it is still nutritious and filling. The kitchen also caters for guests and copes with extra visitors during the great festival period of Losar (New Year).

While the infrastructure of the Monastery has been improving over the years, the kitchen, in spite of now catering for a greatly increased number, has not been improved or modernised for many years. The Administrators are also working very hard to maintain the quality of the food they are able to offer the monks from day to day.

This Appeal is to raise funds to build a new kitchen to supply the whole Monastery for many years to come.

THE PRESENT SITUATION

Morning tea and bread is prepared in the main kitchen and must then be carried to the far side of the Monastery, past the old temple and hostels, past the new Choera and across the veranda into the main Dukhang during morning and evening prayers. Especially in the rainy season this is very difficult.

Lunch and supper is collected in bowls and buckets by the younger monks in each house and carried back to eat with their teachers and the more senior monks. Since the construction of the new Dukhang the main hostel rooms are now even further away from the existing kitchen, so it is a long run back home carrying the hot food.

The existing kitchen has had to expand in size to cater for the ever-increasing numbers of monks, but it has not been possible to plan this expansion carefully due to lack of funds. It is difficult to control the mouse and rat population; the very old water tanks are now leaking badly which not only wastes a precious resource, but also makes the floor unsafe as it becomes very slippery. Preparation and storage areas are not under cover, which leads to inevitable contamination by flies and other insects, and the whole area, due to its nature, is almost impossible to keep clean and hygienic.

THE PROPOSAL

To build a purpose-built, single-storey kitchen capable of serving the catering needs for the whole monastery, in the centre of the Monastery’s campus. There is space to store wood for the main oven, for the gas cylinders as well as rooms for storage, preparation and cleaning of utensils. The area proposed for the new kitchen is a piece of land which is currently unused. It will result in a facility which has good access both to the new Dukhang, the old Temple and the Choera and the new Library, and is equidistant between the existing old and new hostel accommodation. Guests could be served meals either in the Choera or the Dukhang, but the kitchen would be far enough away from both to pose no problem of smells from cooking or smoke from the fire.   A water supply is nearby from the Monastery’s water tanks, and the site is with easy reach of the vegetable gardens behind the new Library.  Vehicular access to the kitchen would be simple using the main road. A purpose-built kitchen would allow the least possible disruption to the daily life of the monastery. It opens up the possibility of converting the existing kitchen buildings quickly and easily into much-needed additional hostel accommodation.

COST:  

To prepare the ground for building including removing soil as necessary and construct access from the main road through the monastery:  Est. £ 3,125

To build a single-storey kitchen building with concrete floor/walls, water supply, electricity supply, gas and reconstruct wood-burning oven:  Est.  £ 62,500

Furniture and benches, cooking equipment and utensils: Est. £ 6,250 Covered wood-storage area behind the kitchen building: Est. £ 625 Architect’s plans and building supervision:   Est. £ 2,500

Contingency at 5% of total cost:   Est. £ 3,750

TOTAL AMOUNT NEEDED:       £ 78,750

To make a donation towards the New Kitchen, please click HERE and use the reference 'KITCHEN'.

Thank you so much for your help.