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Dhammajarinee Witthaya School (DWS) is the first and only free Thai boarding school administered by Buddhist nuns.


The school began in 1990 when Buddhist nuns working in an impoverished area in Ratchaburi saw the serious discrepancy in gender inequality beyond primary school. Orphaned or impoverished boys could become novice Buddhist monks and receive a safe home, food, and education in a Buddhist temple. Similarly disadvantaged girls had little or no opportunity to further their education. The nuns took this challenge into their own hands. They constructed dormitory and classroom buildings and began teaching 20 orphaned girls aged 12 to 15.

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DWS copy.jpeg


Since 1990, more than 4,000 girls living in extreme poverty, orphans, or those from broken homes have come to the Dhammajarinee Witthaya School. There are now over 1,000 students enrolled, from kindergarten to 12th grade. All students at Dhammajarinee receive, without charge, a safe and loving home, food, clothing, and medical care. DWS serves both Buddhist and non-Buddhist students.

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The standard academic education is complemented by occupational skills’ training in business, technology, organic gardening, food service, restaurant management, and more. Another special feature of Dhammajarinee Witthaya School is the focus on culturing traditional values, morality, and citizenship training. The students also learn meditation and yoga—helping them to deal with the stress of their past and forming a foundation of inner peace for their lives. This holistic education helps the students unfold their full potential, and leadership and fulfill their career ambitions. DWS arranges college scholarships for its graduates and more than 90% attend university.

DWS students consistently win regional and national awards in Storytelling, Memory, Mind Map, Arts, Music, Science, Business, and traditional Buddhist recitation. Dhammajarinee has also received the prestigious Royal School Recognition after a rigorous examination of every aspect of the school, including administration, faculty, students, education, and finances. The school's reputation has spread. To accommodate more students, DWS has been steadily expanding its infrastructure and facilities.

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