Karuna-Shechen 2016 Annual Report (EN)

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Cover: Literacy class in one of our education centers for women, Mindi Village, Jharkhand, India.

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FOREWORD by Matthieu Ricard



























MATTHIEU RICARD The year 2016 has been one of enriched and active support for the most disadvantaged people in India, Nepal, and Tibet. We have continued to focus on grassroots projects and to respond to the needs expressed by the people themselves without imposing any preconceived ideas. Throughout the year our medical teams worked with compassion to provide healthcare to tens of thousands of people. We also continued to improve education for children in remote villages by constructing schools, supplying materials, and providing assistance.

Unfortunately, this practice has dangerously escalated since the disaster. Finally, I had the opportunity to visit Tibet twice this year. One visit took place in the middle of winter, where it was -25° in the morning! I was reassured that the children of our schools, as well as the elderly we support, are doing well despite the harsh climate. We will indeed continue to vigorously serve the population of the Land of Snows in the coming years.

I was deeply impressed by the progress of the programs we started three years ago in the state of Jharkhand in India. The locals there face many difficulties as a result of the extensive exploitation of their rich mineral resources. Despite their poverty and the constant pressure from large companies, these people live with dignity in impeccably kept villages. We are offering women in this remote region literacy courses and free vocational training. Many of the women I saw were over fifty, and were so happy to be finally learning to read and write!

In conclusion, I would like to recognize the extraordinary work accomplished by our field teams, as well as the unwavering dedication of KarunaShechen’s branches that help coordinate and share our work and inspire our fellow citizens to support our efforts. The engagement and generosity of our loyal donors enriches our efforts and helps make all these activities possible.

In Nepal, we continued to help and support rural communities severely affected by the earthquakes of 2015. I was particularly pleased to see the results of our first aid training and disaster preparedness programs. It was also a great joy to see the village women return from two weeks of training in Kathmandu, eager to implement solar electrification in their rural communities.

All of us engaged in supporting Karuna-Shechen’s projects are convinced not only of the importance of altruism, but also of the need to cultivate in our own lives benevolence, integrity, resilience, dedication, humility, and joie de vivre. I thank everyone from the depth of my heart, on behalf of all those who benefit from our programs.

Our team is also dedicated to preventing human and organ trafficking, especially the trade of kidneys taken for a few hundred dollars from poor villagers.

Co-founder of Karuna-Shechen


Our name expresses our mission while paying homage to our roots: Karuna means “compassion” in Sanskrit, and Shechen is the name of a major monastery in Tibet.

who we are OUR WORK

Karuna-Shechen was founded in 2000 by Matthieu Ricard with the goal of helping under-served communities in India, Nepal, and Tibet break the cycle of poverty and reach their full potential. Our programs provide short-term support that fosters long-term change. We give vulnerable and disadvantaged populations access to health care, education, training, clean water, solar electricity, and other sustainable solutions and opportunities. Our beneficiaries receive the tools they need to build their resilience and create the future they wish for themselves, their children, and their community.

OUR MISSION We strive to reduce inequalities and work toward a fairer and more compassionate world. We trust that communities can be lifted out of poverty, that change is possible, and that the wellbeing of every individual, regardless of race, gender, class, or caste, is essential. Rooted in the ideal of “compassion in action,” we serve others with joy and determination by cultivating altruism in our hearts and actions.

OUR STRATEGY We believe that building on local strengths and knowledge is the most effective way to respond to the specific needs and aspirations of our beneficiaries. Therefore, our comprehensive development strategy is based on active community participation, women’s empowerment, and the preservation of local culture and natural resources. We develop projects that can be replicated and sustained without reliance on external and foreign help. To implement this strategy, we work with a network of grassroots organizations, partners, and local teams of experienced professionals.

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our team Field Operations and Nepal director, joined our team in 2012.


“Our projects empower villagers through training and encourage them to use their own know-how to create better living conditions and to share what they have learned with neighboring villages. This philosophy of building self-sufficiency is the basis of all our programs.”

India and Nepal:


2 field offices

38 volunteers and

in Bodhgaya and Kathmandu


125 local employees,

4 branches in France, Hong Kong,

including 64

medical staff

12 local partners

Switzerland, and the USA

2 affiliates in Canada and England 5 staff members 5


India Director, joined our team in 2012. “By working hand in hand with villagers, we seek to affirm their dignity and self-determination. Equally, this way of working helps us identify the hidden talents and natural ingenuity of the people we serve. With this strategy, we strive to create a better and more sustainable world, one village at a time.”

the year 2016 in Brief

ACTIVITIES BY SECTOR Education: School Construction and Repair, Government funded Community Schools, Early Childhood Development, Informal Community Schools, Computer Classes. Health: Medical and Mobile Clinics, Pelvic Organ Prolapse Awareness, Malnutrition Prevention, Women’s Health, First Aid Training,


2,103,000 USD operating budget 250,000 beneficiaries 142,000 medical patients served 4,732 school children helped 1,200 solar lighting systems installed

Support of Old Age Homes. Support To Communities: Access to Water, Rural Solar Electrification, Organic Kitchen Gardens, Clean Environment, Small Money BIG CHANGE initiative, Counter Human-Trafficking, Emergency Preparedness. Women Empowerment: Vocational Training, Electric Rickshaw Entrepreneur Opportunities, Solar Electrician Training, Literacy Classes.


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Monitor our school support and reconstruction programs in 12 earthquake-devastated districts.

Provide equipment and training for women to produce sanitary napkins in Bodhgaya.

Solar training for 24 female villagers in Nepal. Irrigation ponds built in 2 Indian villages.

Training for 32 teachers from 3 schools in the Baglung district of Nepal.






WHERE WE WORK Most of our beneficiaries live in poor and isolated areas, where

NEPAL Head Office:

they have limited and often zero access to healthcare, quality education, or economic opportunities.

Shechen Medical Clinic, Boudhanath, Kathmandu.

Districts of Operation: 1

1 2 3 2

4 5











19 12

17 20

8 15

16 21

9 10








Humla Dolpo Surkhet Bardiya Baglung Dhanusha Sunsari Morang Kathmandu Dhading Kavre Ramechhap

13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Gorkha Sindhupalchok Nuwakot Solukhumbu Dolakha Makwanpur Okhaldhunga Sindhuli Rasuwa

(9-21 Districts where we implement Specific Programs in Earthquake Affected Areas)


INDIA Head Office:


Shechen Medical Clinic, Bodhgaya, Gaya district, Bihar.


Sub-Office: Jhamshedpur City, East Singhbhum District, Jharkhand.

Districts of Operation:


State of Bihar 1 2 3 4

Gaya Jehanabad Nawada Aurangabad

State of Jharkhand



Our projects are located in the nomadic regions of eastern Tibet.


They are not included in this annual report.

ast Singhbhum E Seraikela-Kharsawan

Completion of our first school built in an earthquake-affected district.

Produce film to raise awareness of human trafficking in Nepalese villages.

Launch of our Mobile Veterinary Clinic in India.

Installation of solar home lighting systems in two Nepalese districts. Launch of new physiotherapy and acupuncture services in Jharkhand.






access to education

Education is the key to promoting equality and independence. In remote villages, where schools are either nonexistent, underfunded, or neglected, we provide access to quality education for children — from preschoolers to secondary school students. We build and open community schools, repair existing facilities, train and recruit additional teachers, and donate supplies, teaching materials, and furniture to existing government schools. Parental and community engagement are encouraged through regular meetings, and local culture and language are respected. As a result of these efforts, drop-out rates decreased, and girls, in particular, received the quality education that would otherwise not be available to them.


3,132 schoolchildren 1,600 preschoolers 35 village schools 86 teachers 54 youth computer graduates In India, 425 children from 8 underprivileged villages participated in our yoga

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classes. 8

NEW SCHOOLS In Nepal, we rebuilt two schools devastated by the 2015 earthquakes. We also started construction for 8 more schools that will be completed in 2017. In India, our three small informal babua village schools are now attended by nearly 300 local children.

access TO WATER We provided access to safe drinking water to five primary schools located above 3,000 meters in Upper Humla, Nepal. This new access improved sanitation and increased the attendance rate of the students.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION We doubled the scope of our Early Childhood Development project in India to reach 1,600 children between the ages of 3 to 6. All 41 village daycare centers were equipped with toys and school supplies. We also conducted workshops for daycare workers on child development, free play, and planned activities.

HOW WE HELP COMMUNITY SCHOOLS Panchakanya Primary School is one of 32 community schools that we assist in Nepal. It is a perfect example of how we help improve the quality of education across rural areas. It serves 46 students in a remote village in the Kavre district. In 2016 we provided the school with: • 2 teachers (Math and English) • Uniforms (tracksuits, shoes, bags), textbooks, and supplies • Sports and playground equipment • A computer


health care for all

Basic health care is out of reach — geographically and financially — for many people in the Himalayas. Our health services are essential for saving lives and improving the well-being of those in need. In 2016, we continued to provide free and vital medical care to the most vulnerable populations. We trained local first aid and health workers to prevent future medical tragedies in isolated communities. We also expanded our health education and awareness programs to reduce stigmas surrounding personal hygiene, disease prevention, nutrition, and reproductive health.


142,000 patients treated by our clinics

25,150 uterine prolapse program beneficiaries

15,050 malnutrition program beneficiaries

2,243 local first aiders trained

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OUR Clinics In 2016 three Shechen Clinics in India and Nepal offered comprehensive medical care to 142,000 people. Over half of our patients were served through mobile clinics that bring free consultations and medicine to the doorsteps of under-served rural villages, slums, and old age homes.

MEET OUR BENEFICIARIES Physiotherapy for Hari

Walking became a challenge for 60-year-old Hari after he was partially paralyzed from a stroke. Today, thanks to the new physiotherapy services at our Bodhgaya clinic, Hari has regained most of his mobility. Karuna-Shechen also began offering acupuncture services at our Jharkhand clinic, and organizing dental hygiene mobile camps for children. Punam: Fighting Tuberculosis

32-year-old Punam Biswokarma was one of over 360 patients who received treatment for tuberculosis at Shechen Clinics in 2016. For eight months she made daily visits to our Tuberculosis Center in Kathmandu, where we provide education, diagnosis, and treatment according to the World Health Organizationrecommended DOTS program.


WOMEN’S HEALTH • 102 schools and 73 communities visited to teach women’s health. • 65,150 subsidized, low-cost sanitary napkins distributed. • Over 400 village women and girls trained in first-aid courses on adolescent, maternity, and child health. • 25,150 women reached through our uterine prolapse awareness and screening programs.

empowering women

Women can play a leading role in reducing poverty and inequality and can help create a more compassionate world. Our needsbased projects empower them to reach their full potential and to become active agents of change in their community. We improve female villagers’ livelihood options by giving them access to formal and informal education, vocational training, and entrepreneurial opportunities. By working in sectors traditionally reserved for men, many of our trainees contribute to overcoming taboos. They become equal members of society and models for younger generations.


24 new solar electricians 2,014 literacy students 64 non-formal education centers

8 full-time e-rickshaw drivers

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Expanding Our Literacy Programs By the end of the year, 64 non-formal education centers were in operation in India. They offered basic literacy and numeracy classes to 2,014 women, up from 580 in 2015. In 2016, we also

remote areas of Nepal. Over 200 women took part, including Rajkumari Lama:

“Now I can read and write in Nepali. I feel like my eyes have been opened. I read every signboard and study with my daughter. It feels like a new world to me.”

Revenue-Generating Courses Electric Rickshaw Driving Solar Electricity Technician Business Skills Development Manufacturing Sanitary Napkins Making Bed Sheets and Pillows Painting Clay Pots

started offering similar courses in

Sewing and Embroidery Candle-Making

Bearers of Light In





trained Sanu Maiya Tamang and 23

Lilatvi Devi, 26, mother of 3, local

other female Nepali villagers to become

motivator and literacy teacher,

solar technicians.

Kusha village, India

“I loved the training,” Sanu recounts.

In India, we train and hire female

“The most challenging part was to

villagers as local motivators. They act

learn about the different wires and

as an essential link between us and

tools. But the most wonderful part of

their community, informing villagers

this training was how all the women

about our clinics and projects. Some

bonded. Exchanging stories about our

also teach. Through this initiative, we

difficult lives also gave us strength

empower women to earn extra income

and motivated us to make long-lasting

and to become active agents of change


in their community.


Nepal: building a better tomorrow

In Nepal, we are helping 58 rural communities affected by the 2015 earthquakes move beyond devastation and build a better tomorrow. In collaboration with six local grassroots organizations, we provide villagers with tools for their own sustainability and resilience. Our support repairs schools and infrastructure while also investing in long-term improvements and training that enhance quality of life and overall well-being.

OUR KEY ACHIEVEMENTS IN EARTHQUAKE AFFECTED VILLAGES education 10 schools built or under construction. 12 schools supported. 780 schoolchildren and 24 teachers benefited. 236 adult literacy students. “When I’m older I want to become a nurse. I want to help others and learn how to save lives. This is why I’m so happy Karuna-Shechen rebuilt our school. Education will help me and my community have a better future.” Laxmi Kumal, 14-year-old student

HEALTH 2,243 villagers trained as medical first aiders. Emergency drills organized in villages. An old-age home under construction. “In the small village of Hoske, 12 people died and many more were injured during the earthquake. Many tragedies could have been averted if the villagers had had necessary knowledge to save lives. Training local first aiders is crucial.” Gopal Krishana Siwakoti, Director of INHURED International

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24 female solar technicians trained. 1,200 solar home lighting systems installed. 12 solar repair-and-maintenance shops opened in villages.

507 farmers trained in small-scale organic agriculture. 1 manual and 1 video documentary produced to train more villagers.

“After school, I’m usually too busy with

“Because sustainable food production

housework and daily chores to study.

is so important, I help train and support

Now, thanks to solar power, I can do my

villagers to grow organic vegetable

homework in the evening. We are also

gardens. In my village, Karuna-Shechen

able to listen to the radio, charge cell

provided training on the use of traditional

phones and organize activities within the

techniques and distributed a handbook for


community after dark.”

villagers to follow. Now, they are able to

12 meetings and trainings conducted. Participation of key stakeholders: Chief District Officer, local officials, and representatives from the Nepal Army, the police, and the Red Cross Society.

Villager, 15 years old

produce abundant gardens and use organic pesticides they prepare themselves from local ingredients.”


Saraswati Thapa, local food security

11 trainings and 12 street dramas to raise awareness of this widespread problem. Surveillance groups set up in 12 districts. 1,500 villagers benefitted from these initiatives.


“Most local inhabitants are uneducated,

All these partners are grassroots local organizations that have a comprehensive

and girls and women can easily believe in

understanding of the communities we support. Together, we reviewed our progress, shared

false promises and get trapped. Human

ideas, and developed plans for the next few years.

HOW WE WORK In 2016, representatives from the six implementing partners of our Special Programs in Earthquake Affected Areas (SPEAA) attended our regular monthly meetings in Kathmandu.

trafficking had greatly increased in rural areas after the earthquakes. Thanks to these anti-trafficking programs, the number of cases is going down.” Som Bahadur Syangtan, local liaison officer

Our partners: Lead (Agriculture), INHURED International (Counter-trafficking and Disaster Prepardness), STUPA Development and Associates (School construction), LOOKS Nepal (School Support), Ujyalo Ghar (Solar Electrification), NADEM Center (First Aid and CPR Training).


India: working with the villagers

Working within communities, we identify the greatest needs and create sustainable solutions in cooperation with our beneficiaries. Rather than providing the full funding, we require a labor and financial contribution from the beneficiaries to increase their sense of ownership and reduce long-term dependency. This directly benefits villagers’ daily lives while also teaching them about transparency and the responsibilities of ownership.

Water and Fresh Vegetables for families In 2016, we installed 209 domestic water tanks in 40 villages and distributed organic seeds and seedlings to nearly 11,270 households to promote and support sustainable vegetable gardens. In both cases, a small financial contribution was required from the beneficiaries. These projects have already improved the living conditions of thousands of villagers, including Shunaina Devi and her five children. Her new roof-top water tank captures and stores rainwater from the monsoons, and she uses it to cook, wash clothes, and tend her garden. Our kitchen garden program helps Shunaina and other villagers grow traditional vegetables such as onions, peppers, and beans. They can then share their surplus with the community, which stimulates cooperation and boosts social interaction. Plus, as Shunaina reports, eating these vegetables has an enormous impact on the health of her children.

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Working Together for The Common Good As part of our small money, BIG CHANGE (SMBC) initiative, in 2016 we called a meeting in the village of Golpalkhera to identify the most pressing needs of this small rural Bihar community. Women and men gathered together in one room, and after much discussion and debate, the need for a common well was identified as the number one priority. A project committee was immediately formed and a project bank account was opened. As with all our SMBC projects, in order to create a sense of responsibility towards the newly built infrastructures, the cost of the construction was divided between the villagers and Karuna-Shechen. We also provided guidance and expertise. In 2016 , we carried out similar SMBC projects in 25 villages: we constructed and renovated wells, irrigation systems, and toilets, thereby improving the living conditions of 4,700 people.


Our SMBC initiative is such a success that we are now expanding it to include the neighboring state of Jharkhand, where we organized our first meeting with villagers in October.

Tibet in pictures Karuna-Shechen’s projects in eastern Tibet provide the local population with access to education, medical clinics, elder care, and cultural preservation. The overall situation in Tibet for NGOs continues to present numerous challenges, especially for the people in the field. In response to this sensitive situation, it is necessary for us to limit our reporting. For more information about our humanitarian activities in Tibet, please contact a branch of Karuna-Shechen directly.

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Improve Education: Continue





equip schools damaged in the Nepal earthquakes




to neglected schools in remote rural regions. We will also offer more teachers’ training courses and add more early childhood education centers.

what we will accomplish in 2017

2017 offers us new opportunities to provide better health and equality for many more people in Nepal, India, and Tibet. We have identified needs in the communities we serve, and we are committed to continuing to work together to make a lasting difference in the future. Every village we reach and each person we help is an investment, not only in their innate potential, but in the dream we all share for a healthier, happier world. Together, we can meet these opportunities in some of the most remote and deprived places in the Himalayas.

Invest in Women: Provide free literacy classes to many more women and extend the options and access to vocational training through outreach programs. Our women’s health and hygiene program in both India and Nepal will be expanded.

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Build Community Resilience: We will work with community members and field partners to provide access to the tools, training, and support that will address their specific needs.

Increase Health Services: Provide comprehensive medical care to even more vulnerable and isolated people, and increase physiotherapy, acupuncture, and dental services. We will also create new malnutrition prevention programs and extend our veterinary services to more villages.


financial information The total expenditure in 2016 for our programs in India and Nepal was 2,103,303 USD. Administrative and operational costs for work in Nepal and India represent 9% of our global budget. The following charts do not include expenditures for Tibet projects and are in US currency (USD).



Nepal Earthquake Special Projects

2,000,000 1,600,000 1,200,000 800,000 400,000 0

Budget by Sectors of Intervention

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Health 620,676 29.51%

Education 320,295 15.23%

Community Development 99,016 4.71%





Administrative & Operational expenses 184,036 8.75%

Nepal Earthquake Special Projects 879,280 41.8%


Disaster Preparedness 22,188 2.52% Counter Human Trafficking 85,553 9.73% Solar Electrification 107,519 12.23%


Agriculture & Food Security 40,875 4.65%

Health 128,002 14.56%

Education 405,593 46.13%

our donors On behalf of our beneficiaries and our entire team around the world and on the ground in Nepal, India, and Tibet, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your gifts in 2016.

$50,000 and above Anonymous (Belgium, Hong Kong, Oman, Thailand, USA) American Himalayan Foundation (USA) Les Amis du Tibet et ONGD-FNEL (Luxembourg) The Capital Group (Hong Kong) Centre Missionaire Oblat (Canada) Raymond and Carmen Debanne (USA) Anne-Sophie Dubanton (Portugal) Hershey Family Foundation (USA) Huang Yu Zi and Huang Chen Mei Yu (Taiwan) Man Orga and Gaétan Flipo (France) Ng Jan Hang (Hong Kong) Hanna and Dieter Paulmann (Germany) Erick Rinner (United-Kingdom) Dominique Rogeau (Switzerland) Fondation Santé Education Recherche (SER) (Switzerland) Steven Watson (USA)

$20,000 to $49,999 Fonds Decitre (France) Ann Down (USA) C.G.R. (France) EDF Luminus (Belgium) Emergences (Belgium)

The George Family Foundation (USA) Journées d’Accords (France) Adrian Keller (Switzerland) Daniel Kindelberger (France) Fondation Léa Nature Jardin BiO (France) Gérard Tardy (United-Kingdom) Irène Turner (France)

$5,000 to $19,999 Allary Editions (France) Arcus Foundation (USA) Austin and Gabriela Hearst Foundation (USA) Francis Boespflug (France) Owsley Brown III (USA) Glenn Bucksbaum (USA) Anita Cassimon (Belgium) Fondation d’entreprise Chanel (France) Jean-Noël Cheveau (France) Crédit Agricole (Reunion) Delta Plus Foundation (Italy) Christine and Jean-Michel Denis (France) Charles Englehard Foundation (USA) Susan and Richard Davidson (USA) Claudie Despretz (France) Encarnacion and Maurice Faidhi (Monaco) Gere Foundation (USA)

Groupama (Reunion) Marie-Rose Helderlé (France) Thomas Gerber Neidhart (Switzerland) J. William Hernandez (USA) Fondation Insolites Bâtisseurs (France) Rajiv and Latika Jain (Vontobel Asset Mgmt.) (USA) Janssen Family (Belgium) Jonathan and Kathleen Altman Foundation (USA) L.I.F.E. Corporation (USA) Association Maison Culturel du Népal (France) Olivier Marian (Belgium) Michael J. and Alexandra Palko Foundation (USA) PLCC Sarl (France) Marc Poncin (France) Daniel Rapp - Sarl Dabo (France) Jonathan and Diana Rose (USA) Sata Foundation and the TKB Group (Japan) SalesForce USA (USA) SFR Réunion (Reunion) Surya World (France) The Path (USA) Barend Van Der Vorm (Canada) Jeffrey C. Walker (USA) Barry Weiss (USA) Rick and Rebecca White (USA)

Thank you to Christophe André for kindly donating his proceeds from the joint conferences and events with Matthieu Ricard. And a special thank you to all our recurring donors online!


“Our work is rooted in altruism. We strive to build a fairer, more humane world by reducing inequalities and offering our beneficiaries the opportunity to live healthy, more educated lives so that they may reach their full potential.� Matthieu Ricard, Karuna-Shechen founder

Support KARUNA-SHECHEN and give a better future to the people of the Himalayas

To learn more and donate, visit us online

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Branches KS Asia: asia@karuna-shechen.org KS Europe: europe@karuna-shechen.org KS Switzerland: switzerland@karuna-shechen.org KS USA: usa@karuna-shechen.org Affiliates KS Canada: canada@karuna-shechen.org Kangyour Rinpoche Foundation (United Kingdom): england@karuna-shechen.org Field Offices India: india@karuna-shechen.org Nepal: nepal@karuna-shechen.org

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