Emma Slade / Ani Pema Deki
Emma Slade was a high-flying debt analyst for a large investment bank, when she was taken hostage in a hotel room on a business trip to Jakarta. She thought she was lucky to come out of it unscathed, but over the ensuing weeks and months, as the financial markets crashed, Emma became her own distressed asset as the trauma following the event took hold.
Realising that her view on life had profoundly changed, she embarked upon a journey, discovering the healing power of yoga and, in Bhutan, opening her eyes to a kinder, more peaceful way of living.
After becoming a Buddhist nun in 2012 (when she received her nun's name of 'Ani Pema Deki'), Emma travelled regularly to Bhutan and was asked in 2014 if she could help some young monks in one of the poorest areas in South-East Bhutan. Wanting to see for herself the situation that they are in and to ascertain exactly what help they required, she travelled to their small monastery in February 2015, forming the charity to help the local community there.
From fast-paced City life to the stillness of Bhutan’s Himalayan mountains, of Emma’s astonishing life is captured in a book, Set Free. All proceeds from the book go to the charity.
In 2017 she was awarded a Point of Light Award by the Prime Minister Theresa May for her services to Bhutan.