ANI CHOYING DROLMA
A Journey That Changed My Life
IT START WITH
An Endless Passion for Music,
For Discovery, for People, for Life...
Ani Choying Drolma was born in Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal in 1971. Seeing lots of suffering and pain in life, in order to get rid of the tragic destiny of women in a male dominated society which she saw vividly in her own family and the community, the 13 years old Choying Drolma decided to leave home to join a Buddhist nunnery named Nagi Gompa on Shivapuri Mountain in the northern slope of the Kathmandu Valley.
The fate of her life, since then, was rewritten. Her education and spiritual training were supervised by the renowned meditation master, His Eminence Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. She was well-trained in Buddhist meditation, chants, rituals performances and ceremonies, and was quickly advanced to the position of chanting master in the nunnery. Overwhelmed by the guidance, caring and love from her spiritual teacher (Guru) His Eminence Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Ani Choying Drolma was not only able to change the perspective of life by seeing the suffering of her own parents and many others, she was also able to transform her anger and frustrations in life into understanding and compassion.
Ani Choying Drolma served and studied with His Eminence Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (Guru) until his parinirvana (passing away) in 1996. From the experience of her Guru’s altruistic lifestyle, his willingness to always give others without considering his own welfare, and his respect toward nuns in the same regard as monks, she developed a sincere desire to contribute whatever capacities she has to benefit sentient beings as much as possible and to promote the advancement of nuns. Ani Choying Drolma believes that creating more opportunities for girls to study and to develop their own capacities of skills and compassionate actions are the best ways she can dedicate herself to her teacher’s vision throughout her life. Her singing talent was first discovered by the famous American guitarist Steve Tibbetts, during his visit to Nepal. Even though she has never received any formal musical training, she loves to sing since childhood. Thanks to Steve Tibbett’s effort, Ani Choying Drolma’s first ever album “Cho” was launched in 1997 worldwide. When she sings, her voice sounds like an echo from the deepest part of a soul.
Since then, she has become a well-known name in the international world music scene. She toured in America and Europe and successfully presented Himalayan Buddhist mantra, ritual chanting and Nepali music to the world. Till to date, she has launched 16 albums nationally and internationally, and performed for hundreds of reputed music festivals and private exclusive concerts around the world. It is said that Ani Choying Drolma’s music is like a beam of light that cut through the darkness and is filled with compassion and purity. Her voice is also named as “the heavenly voice” with healing power.
Ani Choying Drolma is more than a world renowned singing nun. She is also a nationally and internationally awarded humanitarian. Since 2014, she has been appointed as the first UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador for Nepal for two terms. She described her singing ability as her magic wand that manifests numerous successful projects to promote education, health, children’s right and women empowerment.
She founded Nuns’ Welfare Foundation (NWF) in 1998 and in 2000 she started Arya Tara School (ATS) to fulfill her dream of providing educational opportunities for young girls in Nepal. Since then, almost 300 children are being benefited. In 2006, after the Arya Tara school was moved to its new permanent place in Pharping, Ani Choying Drolma saw the difficulties local people were
facing with drinking water and especially after seeing a pregnant woman carrying water all the way up hill, Ani Choying Drolma build drinking water facility with reservoir tank capacity of 150,000 liter for the people of Seti Devi Village, Pharping and distributed private taps to more then 250 houses.
In 2010, she started Aarogya Foundation to provide high-quality yet low-cost dialysis services, and has established the first HLA lab in Nepal which allows patients waiting for kidney transplants to get accurate test results for organ matching. Aarogya Foundation has also established Tacrolimus test service for the first time in Nepal. The Tacrolimus test is used to measure the amount of drug in blood, which plays a very important role in lowering the risk of organ rejection after the transplant. The introduction of this facility in Nepal has eliminated the need to outsource the test in neighboring countries. Today we are successfully running in four major cities with capacities to serve almost 100 patients daily with free dialysis services. Aarogya Foundation has achieved the goal in improving medical facilities in Nepal and has successfully persuaded the legalization of 3rd party organ donation by the government through lobbying.
In 2013, in order to provide assistance to single mothers who have difficulties in managing family and job at the same time, she established Aarya Tara Pre School (ATPS) to take care of the children of single mothers during their working hours. ATPS is operated by graduates nuns of Arya Tara school who are well-trained Montessori teachers, holding a diploma in Montessori and early childhood development care. Till date ATPS is taking care of 60 children belonging to single mothers. In 2016, White Lotus Organic Concern Nepal Pvt. Ltd was established with a group of Nepali women entrepreneurs to encourage women entrepreneurs and to promote organic food for the well-being of our body and environment. In 2015 after the devastating earthquake hit Nepal
badly, Ani Choying Drolma actively and effectively supervised her senior students (nuns) to travel to remote villages and schools with trucks full of food, medicine, tents, warm clothings, metal sheets (Jasta) and all other basic needs. Ani Choying’s Team were continuously traveling to different places for many months, reaching out and providing relief aids in remote places.
In 2016 when Ani Choying Drolma realized so many children were affected and many schools were damaged by the earthquake, she felt the urge to do something for the children. Therefore, in 2016 she started the Stars of Hope Scholarship Program (SOH) to reach out to earthquake victims orphans or children experiencing extreme poverty. Since then we have have been providing full free boarding education sponsorship to 125 kids so farTo provide safe studying environment to the children,
In 2017, Gothandevi Primary school in Tipling, Dhading was rebuilt. This school is the only accessible school for around 6 villages nearby, which accommodates 120 students. In the same year, Ani Choying Drolma have rebuilt Shree Tarevir Primary School in Gokarneshwor Municipality together with Ghansi Nepal. The school accommodates 72 students.
All the projects initiated by Ani Choying Drolma are financially supported by the proceeds from her concerts, CD sales and donation from supporters. Her autobiography “Singing for Freedom” is first published in French, and later on has been translated into 14 different languages around the world. Sales and the royalties from the books have also contributed to all ongoing projects.
Year Projects & Details
1998 Founded Nuns’ Welfare Foundation (NWF) of Nepal to promote education and welfare of Buddhist nuns and women in general and raise awareness of gender inequality in society.
2000 Founded Arya Tara School (ATS) to provide quality education including academic curriculum, practical skills, Buddhist philosophy,
music, thangka painting, computer and languages for the young nuns all around Nepal. Almost 300 children have been benefited
and currently its home to 100 children, who are age between 5-22 plus.
2006 Completed building drinking water facility with reservoir tank capacity of 1500 ltr for the people of Seti Devi Village. The project
have distributed 250 private taps and 7 public taps in the local villages nearby.
2007 Established the first thangka painting school (in attachment with ATS) for nuns in Nepal to promote equal opportunity of learning for both gender in the monastic tradition in art education.
2009 Formed Shree Tara Band, the first Nepali female instrumental band with a motive to preserve Nepali folk instrumental music,
encouraging young female musician to unveil their talent and live their dream.
2010 Founded Aarogya Foundation to provide free kidney dialysis centre for people in need. Aiming at improving the medical facilities for kidney patients in Nepal. Currently it is successfully running in four major cities with capacities to serve 100 patients each day.
2011 Aarogya Foundation established the first HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) organ matching equipment in Nepal. It brought a big step forward for the country’s provision of proper kidney and organ transplant services.
2012 Founded Aarya Tara Pre-school (ATPS). This school is dedicated to help single mothers in Nepal who need care-taking service for their children while working for bread and butter. Today, more than 60 kids are educated and nourished by ATPS team who are certified as professional Montessori teachers and holding a diploma in Montessori and early childhood education. NWF also provides financial assistance to single mothers to improve their livelihood skills.
2014 Brought Nepal’s first Tacrolimus level measuring machine. The Tacrolimus test is used to measure the amount of drug in blood to
determine whether the concentration of the drug has reached a therapeutic level and is below the toxic level, which plays a very
important role in lowering the risk of organ rejection after the transplant. The introduction of this facility in Nepal has eliminated
the need to outsource the test in neighboring countries.
2015 The Bal Balika Camp was started in the Thali public field, by building temporary day care for children with the financial support of
Ani Choying Drolma after the earthquake of April 25, 2015 with a special focus on young infant, child victims and pregnant and
postpartum women. The Camp saw over 120 children coming for the day care with mostly young infants.
2015 Shortly after the earthquake, Ani Choying Drolma activity and aggressively guided her senior nuns to travel to remote villages and
schools with trucks full of food, medicine, tents, warm clothings, metal sheets (jasta) and all the basic need and the nuns were
continuously traveling to different places for many months. Through this aid Ani Choying’s Team has been able to reach out to
thousands of people in remote areas of Nepal and provide relief aids.
2016 Started the Star of Hope Scholarship Program to provide educational opportunity for children who are orphans or living in
extreme poverty.The main objective of this program is to give them a chance to grow to their full potential, so that they will learn to pay it forward to the community in future. The program sponsors full- boarding school expenses which cover basic living, tuition, stationary, uniform and transportation. Till today we are successfully providing scholarship for 125 children.
2016 Initiated the 1st Women Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Seminar in Nepal. The event brought together
producers, sellers and other stakeholders, as well as international participants from East Asia and Europe.
2016 Established White Lotus Organic Concern Nepal Pvt. Ltd with a group of Nepali women to encourage women entrepreneurs, and to
bridge the gap between the women producers spread in the mountains and Tarai who have little or no access to markets for
their products. Currently we are directly connected with thousands of farmers around Nepal and promote their products to reach a larger clientele.
2017 Completed rebuilding Gothandevi Primary school in Tipling, Dhading. The school was build with 6 classrooms, 1 library, 1 staff
room, 1 office and 4 toilets ( 2 child friendly toilet). This school accommodate more then 120 kids. Financial support for completion of construction of 48m suspension bridge in Baruwa sunchour-1, Sindupalchowk, project started by Raju Lama Foundation.
2017 Completed rebuilding Shree Tarevir Primary School in Gokarneshwor Municipality together with Ghansi Nepal.
Besides the humanitarian projects initiated by Ani Choying Drolma herself, she has also assisted many projects and individuals along the way financially and emotionally to encourage them to work for humanity and welfare of the community.