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The Pureland Project’s purpose is to support and encourage sustainable living rooted in human-nature connection. We provide sustainability and wellness education and resources to Tibetan nomadic people while sharing their wisdom of sustainable practices in the United States.

The Pureland Project promotes physical and spiritual well-being through recognizing human interdependent relationship with nature. We leverage best practices to support Tibetan nomads in Tibet and spread their wisdom to the Western world. Our aspiration is to support sustainable living practices in Tibet & the Americas utilizing the ancient Buddhist principles of Pureland Meditation.


Garchen Rinpoche

Who We Are:

The seed for The Pureland Project was planted in 2005 when Meg Ferrigno moved to Tibet to serve Garchen Rinpoche’s school projects. In speaking with the fellow teachers and villagers they formed the ideas for the project. In 2011 The Pureland Project was granted 501c3 status and in 2012 Ahimsa House opened its doors in Philadelphia.​


H.E. Garchen Rinpoche is a highly realized Tibetan Buddhist master from Nangchen, Tibet. After spending 20 in prison during the cultural revolution, he was brought to America to establish a center in Arizona. In 1998 upon his return to his homeland, Rinpoche built four  schools at the request of the villagers. Rinpoche has dedicated his life for the benefit of all beings.Rinpoche encourages his students to donate to his Tibetan homeland through the pureland project.

Board of Directors:

Emily Bigelow, Treasurer
Vina Chee, Secretary

Abo Lama, Member

Khenpo Samdrup, Member

Victoria Imperioli, Member

Michael Imperioli, Member

Geoff Barstow, PhD., Member

Kellie Berns, Member


Tibetan Teachers & Staff:

The Pureland Project’s purpose is to support and encourage sustainable living rooted in human-nature connection. We provide sustainability and wellness education and resources to Tibetan nomadic people while sharing their wisdom of sustainable practices in the United States.

We believe that these village schools are the only hope for Tibetan nomadic culture to remain alive. Our students are able to study close to their families and the earth – absorbing the precious traditional knowledge while complying with governmental policy. We support our youth to become successful, creative, thriving nomads, or whatever they want to be. many of our graduates take vows upon completing school, becoming monks and nuns, others go on to become teachers and doctors.


Each school has two local cooks that make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the students and teachers. Some of the food comes from our very own greenhouses.


Gargon School Staff:


Gyalsum School Staff:


Tajuk School Staff:

Palden Trinley- Chinese Teacher 

YiPal- Tibetan Teacher

Lhundrup Palmo- Chinese Teacher

Dondrup Chogyal- Tibetan Teacher 

Konchock Gelek- Chinese Teacher

Tashi Pal- School Cook

Chozom- School Cook

Yar- Greenhouse Gardener

Thopden- School Headmaster

Oyo Kyime- Tibetan Teacher

Dawa Dondrup- Tibetan Teacher 

DroLha- School Cook

Rinchen Tsering- Tibetan Teacher

Samdrup Drolma- School Cook

Where We Work:

Tibet is not only a spiritually sacred land, it is also an area of great ecological importance. The Plateau is the source of most of Asia’s water, as well as host to numerous endangered species. Having built a culture that is in balance with nature, Tibetan nomadic communities have lived in an ecologically sustainable way for centuries.


As temperatures rise and glaciers melt, however, Tibetan nomads are left with fewer and fewer grasslands on which to graze their animals. Nomadic culture is now not only threatened by globalised consumer culture, it is also endangered by climate change.


The Pureland Project is a grassroots development project that began in 2005 when villagers in Kham, in eastern Tibet, expressed concern regarding the sustainability of the four elementary schools founded by Garchen Rinpoche in 1998. The schools had been growing and sponsorship had dwindled.  These nomadic families begged that the schools remain open so that their children can become literate and have a better chance to survive in the Chinese society which is quickly encroaching on their simple and beautiful way of life.

Gar Education


The schools empower the children with knowledge of 3 languages (Tibetan, Chinese and English) plus Math, Science, and P.E.  We offer 3 meals each day along with books, clothes, soap and toothbrushes.


Our intention is to support traditional nomadic lifestyles and to give value to indigenous knowledge systems, while offering the skills students need to pursue higher studies and follow their dreams.

Gargon School

GARGON has been a historically significant site ever since the 8th century when Yogini Yeshe Tsogyal sat a retreat in a cave above the village. The cave still holds tremendous energy and sits above the newly renovated upper monastery (YarGon) where Gar Mingyur Rinpoche resides with his 70 monks. The lower monastery (MarGon) was originally built in the 12th century and is now predominately a place of practice for lay practitioners (ngakpas), under the guidance of Garchen Rinpoche.

There are about 700 semi-nomadic community members. This is the first generation of youth to attend formal schooling and has been especially difficult for the families of young girls who depend upon their daughters labor in order to survive. Yet Rinpoche has made it clear that going to school will have beneficial effects, so today around 95% of youth attend the village school, about 70% of the graduating students continue on to middle school. The others will continue their studies in the monastery as a monk or at home as a nomad. This August 55 children enrolled for the 1-6 education provided by 4 private teachers and 2 government teachers. Each day, 3 school meals are provided to all students, many of whom would otherwise be severely malnourished. Due to the severity of poverty in the region there are high rates of stunting, anemia, maternal and infant mortality. Vegetables from the school greenhouse program are served to the students. Properly nourished, the children now test competitively against public school students in all subjects, especially Tibetan.

Gyalsum School

GYALSUM is a school for 4 different villages. with a total of approximately 700 people, the school has enrolled 99 1-3rd graders. Unfortunately this year the governement took the 4th grade to the Kyichu district center, Waka (approx. 1hr. by motorbike). The government has told us for year that they would like to close the private schools, yet since our students preform well and our teachers are doing a decent job, they have no reason to shut our doors. But slowly the children are being taken and educated in Chinese medium governemnt schools which don't allow the children to access any traditional knowledge. It is imperative that we raise funds for Gyalsum, so that it may stay open. A fence and a toilet are needed immediately. Although Tibet Aid sponsored the building of a teachers dormitory and a teachers lounge just in 2008, as the school grows the need for more classrooms and dormitories becomes necessary.

Sponsor School Lunches


Gar Education

Medicine Internship & Clinic

Traditional Tibetan Medicine Internship & Clinic

The women and infants of these communities are dying during childbirth at shockingly high rates. W.H.O. estimated 1 in 33 births results in the mother's death, compared with 1 in 2,800 in developed countries. Approximately 1 in every 6 to 10 newborns does not survive.


Our clinic offers the compassionate care of a Traditional Tibetan doctor who is training 4 local women to become doctors. 2 of these women have already attended medical school in China and all 4 have attended classes with American midwives who teach the doctors & interns how to attend to womens medical needs.


Sponsor a medical Intern

$76 per month

Past Projects

Past Projects

  • Wayulshingrung School

  • Greenhouse Building

  • Well Digging

  • Toilet Building 

  • Fence Building

  • Library Building

  • Tsamkhang Nunnery Support

  • School & Cafeteria building

  • Clinic building

  • Community center building

  • Winter Language intensives


Elder Project

Elder Project

Elders are a cornerstone in society, they bear the wisdom of experience. Tibetan elders have seen a very important time period pass in their cultural history, it is important that these people are given the care and respect to live long and dignified lives. By adopting an elder you will be allowing them funds to buy food, clothing and medicine which they need.


$15/ month is $180 per year to make sure an elder has enough to eat!

Feed an Elder for a Year


The Ahimsa House is a safe space for people to come from all walks of life to feel held, embraced, nourished, accepted, heard, and loved.  The center promotes and offers practices of peace, sustainability and healing to all people. 

Ahimsa House



The space provides free meditation, yoga, healing, gardening and non-violent communication workshops for adults and children. The aim of the center is to bring the practice of nonviolence into the United States. Tibetans have listened to nature’s lessons for centuries, we hope to bring the joy of simplicity into the communities here in America.


Please come visit us at 5007 Cedar Ave. Philadelphia. Our schedule is available on the website!


These images represent just some of the wonderful people and places that have been integral to the growth and continuation of The Pureland Project.



Kham is considered the wild west of Tibet, inhabited mostly by nomads, the rugged mountains are not hospitable to any other way of life. Tours to the region are quite rare, yet as roads are built, the area is seeing rapid change. This is your chance to connect with some of the most resilient people on the earth. Trips are led by Meg Ferrigno (Pema Lhamo), student of Ayang and Garchen Rinpoche, who lived in Nangchen from 2004-2008. She has been leading trips to the area for over a decade. She leads the trips not only to share the precious wisdom of Tibet and expose people to its sacred spirit, but also to show the Tibetans how valued and respected their culture is by the outside world. Meg voluntarily leads the tours to raise funds for the Tibetan host communities. Jamyang, a Tibetan writer and musician often co-leads the trips. 

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