Luton? It's wonderful, says monk

Luton Today, April 2, 2007

Monk stays on as he raises cash to help children

Luton, UK -- A Buddhist monk walking across the country to raise cash for needy children in Ethiopia, said he was pleasantly surprised when he visited Luton.

Kelsang Pawo, 62, pictured, has found the town to be "wonderful" and has decided to stay for a few days, while he collects more cash for his charity The Gesar Foundation - a group devoted to helping children all over the world.

He has already raised more than £7,000 to go towards building a library for the children of Arbatu Ensesa school, and Lutonians have been helping add to the total.

On his first day in the town, local people donated more than £35.

A Luton probation officer offered Kelsang a bed during his stay in the town, and during his 13 months of travelling the country he has never been without shelter.

Originally from East London, Kelsang was ordained by the Dalai Lama nearly two decades ago.

The Gesar Foundation eventually aims to become the only charity which doesn't raise money but instead encourages people to help themselves and be kinder to children.

For more information about Kelsang and Gesar Foundation, visit