Karuna-Shechen 2021 Annual Report

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Annual Report


annual report 2021


Only the warmth of compassion united with wisdom can melt the ore in our minds, so as to liberate the gold of our fundamental nature.. Matthieu Ricard The quantum and the lotus


y r a m m u S

A message from Matthieu Ricard page 4


1 The association page 6

4 Our Actions in the Field page 12

7 Financial Summary page 36

What counted in 2021 page 8

5 Tibet page 28

8 Joy and Recognition page 37

3 Highlights page 10

6 Our Advocacy for Altruism page 30

9 Gratitude page 38

annual report 2021



annual report 2021

s d n e i r f Dear

It is with great enthusiasm and gratitude that I share with you our accomplishments from 2021 to help act and advocate for a better, more altruistic world. The year 2021 was a year of challenge, resilience, and hope, in which we supported more than 446,000 people. Challenges first, because the Covid-19 pandemic is still with us all and everywhere. Resilience, because despite all the hardships, our teams on the ground have been able to adapt and restart the majority of our activities. Hope, finally, because 2021 has allowed Karuna the opportunity to initiate new activities, both in Asia and in France, and take the time to review our intervention strategy. We could then integrate our values of altruism in action, and thus improve the impact and effectiveness of our programs. In winter, as the Covid emergency entered its third phase, we resumed most of our programs and adapted our projects, allowing many people to start 2021 with a fresh start. In the spring, the fourth edition of the “Action for Karuna” movement brought together hundreds of people and project leaders from all walks of life to develop initiatives such as sports, meditation, yoga and student projects to support our early childhood development program in Nepal. In the summer, the Nepalese teams were able to initiate activities in a new region for intervention: the Ruby Valley. With four staff members on site, this area now has a health post, nursery and school, providing better access to health care, food safety and education. In the fall, we organized a series of conferences, meetings and exhibitions in order to share more widely the cardinal value that inhabits all members of Karuna: altruism. We remain convinced that this quality can be inspired, cultivated and put into action. It is one of the most concrete solutions to our current and future challenges. Driven by the inspiring achievements of the past year, the determination and enthusiasm of our teams to continue their work is stronger than ever. The year 2022 starts with the election of the new President, Erick Rinner, who will work hand in hand with our Executive Director, Quentin Durand, on a vision for the next three years. I am very confident in the future of our collective work. This adventure is made possible by the commitment of each and every one of you, partners, benefactors, volunteers and employees. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you. Thank you for being part of the Karuna-Shechen family. With my warmest thoughts,

Co-founder and Honorary President


THe association

n e h c e h S Karuna

Co-founded by Matthieu Ricard and Rabjam Rinpoche, Karuna-Shechen has been acting and advocating for a more altruistic world for over twenty years.

our missions to act Karuna-Shechen works to break the cycle of extreme poverty and reveal the full potential of the poorest men, women and children in India, Nepal and Tibet. We help these people to be empowered and to strengthen their resilience, making them actors of their own development. to advocate Karuna-Shechen invites everyone to develop his or her altruistic potential, in order to move together towards a more just world. We offer events and content to inspire, train and engage.

our vision Altruism is not a luxury but a necessity. It is one of the most concrete solutions to the challenges of the 21st century. Altruism is indeed not only the noblest state of mind of human beings, but the only concept that reconciles the demands of the short, medium and long term, to move towards an economy of solidarity, the wellbeing of citizens and a much greater consideration for the fate of future generations, the environment and the eight million species with which we share the biosphere. Matthieu Ricard

work culture be the team Taking part in something bigger than yourself with dedication invite joy Seeking and recognizing joy in all and oneself listen with care Engaging in dialogue by listening attentively be caring Caring for others without neglecting your own needs Stay Effective Balancing efficiency, collective goals and caring for all those involved Embrace the unknown Welcoming new ideas with a beginner’s mind Express gratitude Remaining attentive to small details that might be overlooked Share with wise speech Daring to open up to others, with honesty, integrity and humility


annual report 2021

Plan 2025, a harmonized vision Karuna-Shechen has come a long way since its beginnings and continues to transform to reach its goals.

Since 2018, Karuna has become highly professionalized while preserving its family spirit. A family of compassion in action in the service of the most fragile, always with this openness of heart very dear to our founder, Matthieu Ricard. Erick Rinner, President of Karuna-Shechen An organization initially run by a group of friends and a few patrons, the organization has grown organically. Since 2018, it has become more professional and continues its transformation towards greater reliability, efficiency and solidarity, thanks to an international team committed with heart. In 2021, all organizational members collaborated to create a strategic vision for Karuna-Shechen that will guide the next few years. Particular attention was paid to the connection between our advocacy for a more altruistic world and our field activities. This «Plan 2025» addresses the identity of the association, its missions, its values, its internal culture, its governance, its objectives and the means to achieve them.

An international and committed team At Karuna-Shechen, everyone is invited to nurture the values we espouse, with a particular focus on cultivating altruism. Our organization is based on self-governance, ego erasure, connectedness and self-criticism, which are infused into our work tools and processes. Our work culture is built around three forms of intelligence: collective, to bring out the best in the group; emotional, to welcome and share our emotions and feelings; and organizational, to unite around a common project, beyond individualities. Numerous work tools contribute to cultivating these aspects: collective meditations, active listening, inner emotional weather, expression of gratitude, tension resolution, teambuilding moments...

1 head office in Paris

8 employees, 5 interns and apprentices

6 international branches

France, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Switzerland, United States

204 members

worldwide including 65 volunteers

7 operation centers

154 local employees in India and Nepal


what counted in

2021 impac t

446,000 people helped


animals cared for

US $ 2,2M

dedicated to our missions

39,650 people cared for

9,760 children

213,500 villagers

supported in their schooling

cultivate a nutritive garden


annual report 2021



inspiring roundtables 2 emotional intelligence and mindfulness workshops 15 live meditations

8 conferences

80,000 views of our content on Youtube and Facebook

5 photo exhibitions 1 book by Matthieu Ricard

f u n d rai s i n g


people donated from over 70 countries


associations, companies and foundations committed to our cause

76 project leaders united for Action for Karuna, and 25 live workshops organized


15 nationalities in the Karuna team

32% of volunteers among Karuna members

61% men 39% women


highlights february


Altruism at work

Educational kit for schools

The advocacy team proposes a campaign to practice altruism at work. A round-table discussion with Matthieu Ricard and Frédéric Laloux, author of the book Reinventing Organizations attracted over 16,000 viewers online.

Our teams met with students and teachers from the George Braque secondary school in Rouen. We created an educational kit, composed of activities and tools to help young people aged 8 to 18 discover altruism.

A new training center in Jharkhand In 2020, we inaugurated a new clinic and operations center in Jharkhand. In addition to its health services, this building has an entire section dedicated to vocational training. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the first workshops could only start in 2021: sewing, IT and micro-entrepreneurship.

april Projects in Ruby Valley a brighter future Twelve Nepalese women have been trained by Karuna to become solar technicians and entrepreneurs. After electrifying over 600 homes with solar energy, they maintain the panels and run an electronics business. They are a role model for all women and future generations.

In order to support the isolated populations of Nepal, Karuna opened an operations office in the Ruby Valley, in the heart of the Himalayas. Karuna now supports its 11,000 inhabitants and their animals in the fields of human and veterinary health and sustainable agriculture.


annual report 2021

may Third Covid emergency plan

24-30 may Action For Karuna

After seven months of emergency and post-emergency actions in 2020, our teams deployed a new aid programme for nearly 80,000 people in India and Nepal, once again hit by the Covid epidemic: health kits, financial support for the creation of income-generating activities and food distributions.

The fourth edition of this altruistic initiative brings together 76 project leaders and thousands of participants: yoga, sport, meditation, vegan cooking, music... The surge of solidarity has made it possible to raise US$ 130,000 to finance an early childhood development programme in Nepal.

june Acting as close as possible to those we serve Karuna-Shechen is inaugurating two new offices in the cities of Madanpur and Fatehpur, in the state of Bihar in India. This initiative allows our teams to be closer and more available to the communities they support, and therefore to act more effectively and efficiently.

September Resilience Programme With a successful pilot phase at the beginning of the year, the programme is being launched in partnership with the Paris SamuSocial, the Salvation Army and the SOS Group. The cycle of eight workshops offers social workers tools to prevent the daily difficulties of their profession, particularly emotional burn-out.

26 june Altruistic Encounters First edition of this day of conferences and digital workshops to take care of ourselves and others. The event brings together 200 participants around Matthieu Ricard, Alexis Desouches, Ilios Kotsou, Jacques Lecomte and Rébecca Shankland.



Notebooks of a Wandering Monk Matthieu Ricard’s memoirs, Carnets d’un moine errant (French title), are published in France. More than 6,000 people meet him during a lecture tour in Bordeaux, Lyon, Geneva, Paris and Brussels.

field visit to nepal After two years of distance following the Covid-19 crisis, part of the French team can finally visit their colleagues in Nepal. On the agenda: study of possible new projects, meeting of the beneficiaries, discovery of the Ruby Valley and friendly moments full of joy.

december 14 december Living in harmony

Two new X-ray centers

Fifth round table of the year: Matthieu Ricard talks with Jane Goodall about the need to rethink our social contract between humans and the rest of life. Broadcast live on our social networks, the interview attracted over 4,000 viewers.

Our clinics in Jharkhand and Bihar in India are being equipped with X-ray machines to improve the quality of diagnosis and the care of our patients. Dozens of people benefit every month.

annual report 2021


annual report 2021



s n o i t our ac

in the field

Karuna-Shechen works to break the cycle of extreme poverty and develop the full potential of the poorest women, men and children in India, Nepal and Tibet. In 2021, we supported 446,000 people through a variety of interrelated programs that address the entirety of the communities we serve: health and hygiene, education, food security, economic development, and environmental preservation. We accompany these people, facilitate their empowerment, and reinforce their resilience by making them actors in their own development. This is how they move towards a better future. Karuna is also committed to partnering with other organizations that are in line with our missions and values, to supporting innovative projects and to co-constructing impactful programs.


annual report 2021

our ac tions in the field

Introduction After a year marked by the Covid-19 crisis and its consequences, our teams in India and Nepal have re-launched all our activities to fight against extreme poverty. Karuna-Shechen works to break the cycle of extreme poverty in India, Nepal and Tibet, in rural and remote areas that lack access to basic resources and economic opportunities. In each area of intervention, we deploy varied and complementary programs with a global approach to the fight against extreme poverty. Since our inception health, education and food security have been at the heart of our concerns. These essential activities are complemented by economic development and environmental preservation programs.

Those we accompany In 2021, 446,000 people and 30,000 animals benefited from Karuna’s support. The areas we cover are home to a wide variety of populations with one common characteristic: they are all in isolated regions, far from the reach of other humanitarian organizations. Our beneficiaries are women and men of all ages, mostly Hindus, but also Muslims, animists, Buddhists and Christians.

Our intervention strategy



Development by the beneficiaries: The populations that we accompany are the best placed to decide on the improvement of their living conditions. With our support, they acquire control over their development, resource management and decision making. Holistic approach: Our intervention takes into account the interdependence of the causes of extreme poverty. Our varied and multidisciplinary programs work together in every geographic location. Local and sustainable approach: For the past 20 years in Asia, our field teams have been entirely composed of local professionals from our intervention regions. This gives them a deep knowledge of the territory and the populations they help. Our programs promote the preservation of local resources and know-how.


annual report 2021

A Word from the Program Director The role of the International Program Director is to align the association’s strategic vision with the programs deployed in the field.

He maintains the link with the teams in charge of projects, the members of the Board of Directors, and the staff at headquarters. He leads collective reflections on the implementation and future of programs, and provides for the needs of each « circle » of work.

Part of my job is to ensure that the various internal and external stakeholders at Karuna-Shechen cooperate in a coherent way to best support the populations we serve. Since the implementation of “Plan 2025”, the quality of work has improved significantly, transparency is ensured, and the values of altruism in action are deployed on the ground. Javed Miri, DirectOr OF Programs

New methods of intervention The «Plan 2025» vision, developed during brainstorming sessions involving all Karuna members, is profoundly changing our methods of intervention. The main objective of this vision is to ensure that our programs are consistent with our values. We have also chosen to target limited geographical areas, so as not to dilute our efforts. This approach enables us to intervene in depth on each of the problems encountered by the populations we help.

accompany, in each village a group of «motivators» is formed to animate the projects and to act as a link with the Karuna teams. Thanks to this group, all members of the community can understand the intentions and possibilities of the programs and become involved in the entire process of their implementation.

Our program strategy is based on the establishment of «communities of altruism in action». Thanks to the cooperation and trust established with those we

This organizational change has brought new staff with more professional profiles, and ensured greater parity in the teams.


annual report 2021

our ac tions in the field

Health & hygiene Saving lives and preserving health In India as in Nepal, the regions in which we act are confronted with limited material, financial and geographic access to health care. We ensure the development of adapted interventions to save lives, ameliorate suffering and preserve the health of the most vulnerable. Our clinics and health posts are open every day, without interruption, and offer diagnostic, general, specialized and alternative medical services. Our teams promote preventive medicine through education about nutrition, menstruation, safe birthing practices, breastfeeding and childhood illnesses. We also educate breeders about ways to improve the health of their animals.

OUR programs General Medicine Care for the whole family Specialty Medicine Responding to a variety of conditions Mobile clinics Bringing care to remote areas Diagnostics Using technology to find the cause of pathologies Women and children Raising awareness and addressing their specific needs Sanitation Raising awareness of hygiene and building toilets Veterinary care Treating and ameliorating the suffering of animals Emergency response Helping in crisis situations and building resilience


people treated


Our method of intervention Our health services are continuously adapted to meet the needs of those we serve. For example, we are creating new facilities, investing in new care and diagnostic equipment, and paying special attention to training medical staff.

women and girls educated about menstrual hygiene


health and first aid kits distributed in Nepal


families benefit from toilets


annual report 2021


Reducing Pain Through Physical Therapy Physical therapy treats certain illnesses, injuries, and deformities through physical methods (massage, heat treatments, exercises) rather than medication or surgery.

I have been working at Karuna-Shechen for almost four years and I feel privileged to be able to help those in need through physiotherapy. We relieve their ailments by offering a non-medicated alternative that is unaffordable elsewhere. I am passionate about my work because I work in a great environment and with motivated colleagues. What drives me is seeing patients regain their confidence and enjoyment of life after recovering from a serious illness. Tabish Hussein Physical Therapist, Bihar, India

2,855 patients treated


Alleviating animal suffering Mobile veterinary clinics address the lack of primary care for livestock among rural farmers. Healthy animals provide farmers with better food and working conditions.

Life as a herder is difficult in the mountainous areas. I sell sheep, their wool, and fertilizer from their dung... With this income I can help my children. In winter, the animals do not have enough grass to eat and they become weak. Thanks to Karuna, they get vitamins and anti-parasitic medication. I am very grateful because this is the first time I have received help. Animals are everything to us. Helping them is also helping us. Maruni Tamang herder, Ruby Valley, Nepal

26,419 animals cared for


annual report 2021

our ac tions in the field

Education Strengthening access to quality education for all Education is not only a means of improving living conditions, but also a tool for the overall development of the individual. It is a key factor in promoting equality and autonomy. In some Indian and Nepalese villages, schools are underfunded, neglected and sometimes non-existent. Our goal is to provide a learning opportunity for all: children, youth and adults. Our early childhood programs bring joy, encourage cooperation, and promote healthy development. We support elementary schools with infrastructure, materials, teacher training and community connections. We help young people become more responsible and the caring adults of tomorrow, and provide basic education to illiterate adults.

OUR programs Early Childhood Development Educating with joy, cultivating values of cooperation and sharing School Support Rehabilitate, provide materials and educational tools Adult Literacy Learning reading, counting and other essential skills Teacher training Supporting teachers in teaching methods Building Futures Helping teens build a better future


children supported in their schooling

Our method of intervention Our programs integrate respect and preservation of local culture and languages. Our approach emphasizes the creation of caring learning environments and the involvement of parents and the community to ensure the sustainability of the projects. We pay particular attention to the needs of girls and to gender parity in each class.


children in kindergarten


adults taught to read and write


teachers trained


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«For a Better Life» Program In Nepal, some adolescents in rural areas face social pressure, low self-confidence and lack of access to professional opportunities. This program aims to strengthen their autonomy, their knowledge and their self-esteem, which may enable them to live a better life.

At first, the teenagers were shy and insecure, but now I see a clear change. The program covers important topics such as sexual abuse, consent, physiological, psychological and emotional changes related to puberty. The students never miss a class and are always enthusiastic! I am so happy when I hear them talk about what they have learned to their friends and parents. Anisha Tamang facilitator, Kavrepalanchowk, Nepal

148 students participated


Fostering Early Childhood Development This program is being implemented in 180 kindergarten classrooms, each of which serves approximately 30 children aged 3 to 6. Through playful and creativelearning, they develop their physical, emotional, cognitive and social skills. When three-year-old Chandini first came to one of our preschools, it was difficult for her to learn and play in the new environment. Today, at the age of five, she comes daily with great pleasure to play, learn and be with her friends. Those around her have seen considerable changes in her development: creativity, confidence, language... Her mother regularly attends parent meetings and awareness workshops.

5,598 children in 180 kindergartens


annual report 2021

our ac tions in the field

Food security Fighting malnutrition while respecting the environment Malnutrition encompasses both undernutrition and overnutrition, two phenomena that coexist in India and Nepal, countries that are currently experiencing a two-speed growth. Under-nutrition, due to a lack of healthy nutrients and clean water, can significantly affect a child’s growth. Over-nutrition - too much food - can lead to diseases such as obesity, diabetes or heart problems. KarunaShechen is committed to fighting malnutrition by promoting access to quality water and environmentally friendly food through the creation of organic vegetable gardens, drip irrigation systems, wells, ponds, and food awareness activities.

OUR programs Organic vegetable gardens Enabling quality food based on traditional and responsible agriculture Drip irrigation Irrigate crops all year round while respecting resources Water management Facilitating access to water through the creation of ponds and wells Emergency response Helping in crisis situations and building resilience

Our method of intervention Improving food security implies a global approach to the management of resources such as water and land. We intervene on two complementary levels: solutions adapted to the needs of individual families and collective initiatives on the scale of an entire village.


villagers are growing a vegetable garden


people receiving emergency food aid


villagers benefit from improved access to water


annual report 2021


Village Water Management The populations we support are increasingly suffering from severe water shortages during the dry seasons, which are getting longer and hotter every year. This program promotes sustainable water resource management through village-wide initiatives. We encourage participation, cooperation and volunteerism to co-finance collective infrastructures: wells, retention ponds and drainage channels.

We all knew that digging a pond in our village was the answer to our water shortage, but it required a huge investment, impossible for our community. When Karuna asked us what our problems were and how we could solve them together, the project became a reality. I am thrilled that I no longer have to continually worry about irrigating our fields. Reshmi Sundarkumhari village, Bihar, India.

5 ponds

dug and 1 well rehabilitated


Family, nourishing and organic agriculture In order to ensure the health and food security of rural populations, while preserving the environment, Karuna-Shechen supports the development of organic and local agriculture. Our nurseries provide indigenous seeds and plants adapted to local climates. Families are trained in traditional techniques, and are not dependent on external chemical and expensive interventions.

I received several vegetable plants for my garden: they are growing very well! Thanks to the training, I know how to prepare natural fertilizer, when and how to apply it, how to prepare and maintain the soil. We are not hungry anymore thanks to our home garden. M. Tamang farmer, Ruby Valley, Nepal

2,715 farmers trained


annual report 2021

our ac tions in the field

Economic Development Empowerment to be actors of change People in rural and mountainous regions of India and Nepal lack job opportunities, training, and support. This situation has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis, which has pushed millions below the poverty line. Economic development programs are more critical than ever. Our centers provide training to strengthen and develop skills in handicrafts, agriculture, information technology, entrepreneurship and innovative technologies. We also provide financial support for the creation of micro-enterprises.

OUR programs Agriculture Training in responsible agriculture Handicrafts Securing an income through creative arts Information Technology Providing access to technical and practical knowledge Sustainable technologies Training for tomorrow’s jobs Micro-entrepreneurship Providing financial support for business creation


Our method of intervention The empowerment programs affect women in particular. By taking a more equal place in society, they have a positive impact on the education and health of their families and have better self-esteem and confidence. Most importantly, they break down gender barriers, overturn taboos and become sources of inspiration for other women and future generations.

financial grants for the creation of a micro-business


young people in computer classes


women trained in crafts


women trained in solar energy and entrepreneurship


annual report 2021


Solar Electrification Eighteen women volunteers were selected and trained as solar technicians in Kathmandu. Since their return to their respective villages, they have been installing and regularly maintaining solar electricity systems. Gone are the polluting, dangerous and unhealthy kerosene lamps. A brighter future is taking shape for the villagers who can now study, work and meet after dark.

If I had not participated in this program, I would not have been able to be economically independent and participate positively in society. Now I am also an example for other girls to follow. Sarita Karki solar technician, Sindhuli, Nepal

600 households

equipped with solar lighting system


financial support This program aims to provide a solution to the economic hardship caused by the Covid-19 crisis. Micro-loans are granted to women and men, often former farmers, to start their own income generating activity.

Having seen my father struggle to manage our family of seven on his meager income, I always had a dream to support him by opening a bicycle repair shop. I lacked the money for the initial investment so I couldn’t make it happen. Last year, I received a grant of 100 euros to start my business. This gave me hope and confidence for the future. Prahlad Rajabanshi Meskour village, Bihar, India

179 grants

to provide financial support for the creation of a micro-enterprise


annual report 2021

our ac tions in the field

Environment Promoting practices respectful of nature and life The effects of climate change are already at work in our regions of intervention severe droughts and torrential rains follow one another, strongly impacting the poorest populations, who have no means to adapt. Each year, droughts reduce water reserves a little more, reducing agricultural yields throughout the year. The heavy monsoon rains that follow, combined with increasing deforestation and urbanization, cause landslides. Our programs support populations to adapt and reduce these harmful effects over time, through solutions at the family or village level: green electricity, waste management, reforestation, awareness and collective ecological actions.

Our method of intervention Adaptation and cooperation are at the heart of our programmatic strategies. We involve the beneficiary populations in the entire project construction process, promoting empowerment and responsibility. We are committed to involving the younger generations, raising their awareness and giving them the keys to become responsible citizens.

OUR programs Ecological approaches Raising awareness and promoting responsible practices Solar Electrification Offering sustainable, responsible and healthy energy Tree planting Fight against global warming and preserve biodiversity


trees planted


people made aware of eco-responsible methods and behaviors


villagers benefit from solar electricity


annual report 2021


Tree planting and biodiversity promotion To rebalance the ecosystems, Karuna-Shechen participates in reforestation by planting thousands of trees each year. This approach allows us to vegetate spaces, promote indigenous species, create areas of shade and humidity, and harvesting the fruit provides nutrition for the participating villagers.

As teachers, we are responsible for future generations and must instill in them the attitudes that make the world a better place. I sought Karuna-Shechen’s help and we were able to plant fifteen trees in and around the school, not only to beautify the surroundings, but also to get the children interested in protecting the environment. Vinay Kumar Sinha Headmaster, Gafakalan, Bodhgaya, India

35,515 trees planted


Awareness and actions Not all inhabitants of rural villages perceive the link between global warming and environmental degradation. This program in schools aims to promote environmentally responsible attitudes among young people. Beyond theory, they are invited to act, with international environmental preservation practices as a model.

I have learned a lot from this program, especially in actions related to waste management. We organized a citizen’s walk in the area and picked up the waste that was on the road and around the houses. It was a very effective way to conduct a campaign to preserve nature and raise awareness among other residents.. Roshan Khadka participant, Dudhkunda Village, Solukhumbu, Nepal

160 young people

made aware of eco-responsible attitudes


annual report 2021

our ac tions in the field

Partner projects Supporting innovative programs of inspiring organisations Since 2020, Karuna-Shechen has been committed to supporting and co-constructing innovative and collaborative projects that are aligned with our missions and values.


Caring for those who care In 2021, Karuna initiated its very first project in France in collaboration with the association Mindfulness Solidaire for caregivers of the Paris SamuSocial. The program supports caregivers who face daily difficulties or who show symptoms of empathic distress, defined by scientists and social workers as chronic stress that can lead to withdrawal, insensitivity or even burn-out. The Resilience program offers a series of workshops over eight weeks, in groups of ten people, in order to build a calming and soothing relationship with the participants. It aims to improve daily well-being in the professional sphere and to develop creativity in interactions with others. These sessions are based on tools such as talking circles and mindfulness meditation. Participants develop their quality of presence, management of difficult emotions, active listening, caring and mental calm. After a successful test phase, the Resilience program opened to other organizations: Salvation Army, Emergence 93, Groupe SOS and Secours Populaire.

It is very rare to be able to benefit from time and space to step back from our daily lives, encouraging introspection, exchange, and the development of awareness of oneself and of others, all in an extremely benevolent setting. a participant, employee of the SamuSocial de Paris

90 participants accompanied


annual report 2021


Improvement of living conditions in the slums of Calcutta Calcutta Rescue teams aim to improve the health and general well-being of the most neglected populations. Since the beginning of the project, there have been many achievements, such as the construction of sanitary facilities, the renovation of schools and the monthly distribution of food parcels. Street Medicine program focuses on the medical and nutritional needs of the inhabitants by providing and staffing mobile clinics that regularly visit the slums.

I have been working for Calcutta Rescue for five years and I feel so happy when a patient is healed or when he thanks me for the services we provide. Thanks to our intervention, blood tests of diabetic patients have become regular, children are systematically vaccinated, slum dwellers wash their hands and have better hygiene habits, especially children. All these positive results prove that we can instill good habits in them, and from a young age. Romi Patra health supervisor at Calcutta Rescue

10,650 people

benefiting from the program


Economic opportunities for social entrepreneurs The Loden Foundation’s emergency and relief fund in Bhutan, co-funded by Karuna-Shechen, supported eight entrepreneurs from rural areas. These individual companies are very diverse, such as a specialist in air, soil and water analysis or a manufacturer of traditional musical instruments. The grants are intended to support a start-up or to revitalize an activity affected by economic difficulties due to the Covid-19 crisis. The grants awarded emphasize the promotion of local consumption and being respectful of the environment and the local culture. Kinley Pelden started her business Yiga Chocolates through the Loden Foundation program. She produces chocolates with unique local ingredients such as chili pepper and sea buckthorn. Her production is aligned with sustainable development. The fund has enabled it to establish an action plan to become the leading Bhutanese confectionery export company with its high-end chocolate.

8 social entrepreneurs supported


annual report 2021


tibet Since the beginning of Karuna-Shechen, we have been accompanying the nomadic populations and the most destitute in Eastern Tibet. The projects supported in this region offer access to schooling, medical services, care for the elderly, infrastructure and cultural preservation initiatives. The general situation in Tibet still presents many challenges for humanitarian organizations, especially for local teams. For this reason, we are voluntarily limiting our report on this region.

True compassion is for all beings, without distinction between friends and enemies.. Dilgo Khyensté Rinpotché

annual report 2021


annual report 2021



y c a c our advo for Altruism Karuna-Shechen is one of the many aspects of the altruism in action movement Karuna-Shechen brings together everyone - benefactors, committed companies, project leaders, volunteers - who are convinced that altruism is a key to moving towards a more just world. It is with this ideal in mind that Karuna has been acting and advocating for a more altruistic world for over twenty years. We invite everyone to develop their altruistic potential. Roundtables, workshops, meditations, solidarity initiatives... We offer events and content to inspire, train and engage.


annual report 2021

O u r a d v o c a c y f o r A lt r u i s m

Introduction Our time is confronted with many challenges to reconcile the search for well-being, the protection of the living, the imperatives of the economy, social justice and the consideration of future generations. Altruism remains one of the most concrete solutions to these challenges. Altruism allows us to change the way we look at the world and helps us to develop authentic relationships of sharing, support and care, which are considered the cornerstone of a fulfilling life... unlike selfishness which often destroys the bonds with those around us, both near and far. Depending on what resonates most with us, we can start by inspiring, training or committing ourselves, and let altruism gradually transform our lives.

Altruism has a tremendous power of propagation: we feel the desire to help people around us after witnessing an action that moved us. If this desire to help emerges, we can gather our differences to build a more altruistic world step by step.


be inspired

change your outlook


your altruistic potential

get involved

changed the world

change yourself


annual report 2021

O u r a d v o c a c y f o r A lt r u i s m

Be inspired change your look Karuna-Shechen invites us to be inspired, to change our view of the world, to become aware of the beauty of nature and of all the living beings that share the planet with us.

By cultivating positive emotions such as joy or wonder, we strengthen our motivation to act and we give meaning to our daily lives. Without this daily inspiration, we risk losing sight of our motivation, and in the long run, forget the meaning of our actions.

The Altruistic Encounters!

Let us marvel at the wilderness, a birth, a gesture of kindness, [...] a statue of Buddha or a face that reflects the unfathomable depths of wisdom and compassion. Matthieu Ricard

In June, the first edition of this day brought together 200 participants online for inspiration and training on the theme of

“Taking care of oneself and others” Following talks by Matthieu Ricard, Ilios Kotsou, Alexis Desouches, Rébecca Shankland and Jacques Lecomte, participants joined small group discussion and mindfulness workshops, led by volunteer facilitators from the associations Mindfulness Solidaire, Prezens and KarunaShechen.

Discover altruism in 3 minutes Minimento, a company that produces simple and inspiring animations, has produced a video that summarizes the concept of altruism. The video has already been viewed by over 20,000 people.

Get inspired and take action Marveling and committing to biodiversity Karuna’s teams supported the initiative of the Swiss association Your Circle of Life in July. On a path in the heart of the Pays d’Enhaut mountains, walkers were able to discover the theme of biodiversity, notably through a photo exhibition by Matthieu Ricard and invitations to take action for the protection of life.

In 2021, Karuna organized five roundtables and two virtual conferences to invite people to discover altruism. In February, Matthieu Ricard spoke with Frédéric Laloux on the theme of altruism at work. In October, he spoke with students about the responsibility of youth to act for a more altruistic world. In December, an exclusive exchange with Jane Goodall crowned the year, proposing a new link with the rest of the living world.


annual report 2021

O u r a d v o c a c y f o r A lt r u i s m

Train change yourself Karuna-Shechen invites us to train ourselves, to transform ourselves in order to better act and serve others. A regular practice of compassion allows us to progressively transform our lives and to become more altruistic. Contemplative sciences as well as neurosciences have proven that fundamental human qualities can be cultivated through training, just like any other capacity we are used to practicing. Without this training of the mind, we risk becoming exhausted in the face of the world’s misery or difficulties. In the long run, it is also the risk of falling into empathic distress.

The effects of meditation During the year, Karuna offered roundtable discussions to discover and practice meditation. A first exchange was held in March to talk about meditation in everyday life, bringing together Caroline Lesire, Laurence Bibas and Hermès Garanger. In September, Matthieu Ricard, Ilios Kotsou and Xavier De Ladoucette met to explore the impact of daily practice on our brain and its healthy aging.

A vision can be right, noble, vast and profound, but if it is left on the pages of a beautiful theory, we will be unable to integrate it deep inside us and actualize it in all our thoughts, words and actions. Matthieu Ricard

Training our heart As part of Action for Karuna, a movement of altruistic initiatives, a dozen meditators offered online practices every day for a week. The program included parent-child workshops, sessions for young people, and practices to cultivate joy and self-compassion.

Meditate... to act better! In May, Alexis Desouches, Soizic Michelot and Franck Blot led a round-table discussion on the theme of «getting involved in daily life», followed in June by an online workshop attended by about fifty participants.

Preventing emotional burn-out In October, Karuna organized an online workshop for the general public, in order to make accessible the practical tools used in our emotional intelligence program «Resilience», which supports the social workers of the SamuSocial de Paris. Two speakers from the association Mindfulness Solidaire presented exercises and meditations to prevent burn-out.

Discovering meditation with Matthieu Ricard Karuna has published on its Youtube channel a series of five videos to discover meditation according to Matthieu Ricard. Chapter by chapter, the viewer explores multiple aspects of meditation: exercises to calm the mind, antidotes to manage emotions, punctuated by meditative practices. This cycle has already been viewed nearly 26,000 times!


annual report 2021

O u r a d v o c a c y f o r A lt r u i s m

Get involved change the world Karuna-Shechen proposes ways to take part in the change and to get involved in a concrete way on a daily basis in order to participate in making our world better. An altruistic vision becomes meaningful when it is implemented in a practical and efficient way in the service of others. Everyone can get involved, whether it be with those around them or with the environment. In our daily lives, we constantly encounter opportunities to act to build a more just world for ourselves, for others, for the planet. Without commitment, we risk falling into a dull non-action and sterile indignation.

Without wisdom, compassion is blind, without action, compassion is sterile. Matthieu Ricard, A Plea for Altruism

Mobilizing your company Sponsorship is a key element of corporate social responsibility. In 2021, more than 200 organizations have committed themselves to us. Based on shared values, partnerships can take several forms: financial or material donations, product sharing, team-building initiatives with employee fundraising or even skills sponsorship.

Engaging Your School Altruism can be practiced at any age! Following a visit to the George Braque middle school in Rouen in March to talk about altruism, the advocacy team has created an educational kit to communicate and transmit this value to the youngest. Go to our website to download it.

Create a solidarity fund Every year in May, we organize Action For Karuna, a week of solidarity to benefit a Karuna project. We invite everyone to put their energy and creativity into action by organizing an initiative: a yoga class, a personal challenge, a sports challenge, a fair, a team-building event in a company... The funds are collected in your kitty and you participate in spreading the message of altruism. In 2021, 76 projects were developed, supported by thousands of donors and participants.

Get informed, share, give Karuna-Shechen is present on social networks! You can follow our advocacy activities and field interventions through our Newsletter, on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Linkedin. Visit our website to discover all our actions and make a donation.



annual report 2021


l a i c n a n i f e Th summary In 2021, Karuna-shechen benefited from the generosity of thousands of supporters around the world.

Karuna-Shechen’s overall expenses in 2021 were US$ 2.8M, of which US$ 2.2M was spent on our advocacy and field missions. Communication and operating costs represent 22% of expenses.





Missions Missions in India in India 37 %37 %

Matthieu Matthieu Ricard's Ricard's activities activities andand copyright copyright 6%6% Matthieu Matthieu Ricard's Ricard's activities activities andGrants and copyright copyright Grants from from associations associations 6 % and 6foundations % foundations and 21 %21 % Grants Grants fromfrom associations associations andIndividual and foundations foundations Individual donors donors 21 % 21 % 59 %59 %

India India Missions Missions in Nepal in Nepal 37 %29 37 % 29 Missions Missions in Nepal in Nepal Partner Partner projects projects 29%%4 29%% 4 Partner Partner projects projects Transversal Transversal missions missions 4 %4 % 7% 7%

Individual Individual donors donors Corporate Corporate sponsorship sponsorship 59%%7 59%% 7

Transversal Transversal missions missions Advocacy Advocacy missions missions 7%2 7% 2

Corporate Corporate sponsorship sponsorship Local Local partners partners 7% 7% 4 %4 %

Advocacy Advocacy missions missions Communication Communication 2 % and 2fundraising % fundraising and costs costs 11 % 11 % Communication Communication Operating costs costs andOperating and fundraising fundraising costs costs 11 % 11 % 11 % 11 %

Local Local partners partners Contributions Contributions 4 % from 4 beneficiaries % beneficiaries from 2%2% Contributions Contributions fromfrom beneficiaries beneficiaries 2%2%

Operating Operating costs costs 11 % 11 % -








Health Health & Hygiene & Hygiene 40 %40 %

Health Health & Hygiene & Hygiene 19 %19 %

Health Health & Hygiene & Hygiene Education Education 40%%4 40%% 4

Health Health & Hygiene & Hygiene Education Education 19 % 19 % 29 %29 %

Education Education Food Food Security Security 4 %%39 4 %% 39

Education Education Food Food Security Security 29%%4 29%% 4

Food Food Security Security Economic Economic 39 %Development 39 % Development 1% 1% Economic Economic Development Development Environment Environment 1% 1%

Food Food Security Security Economic Economic 4 % Development 4% Development 17 %17 % Economic Economic Development Development Environment Environment 17 %18 17 % 18

Environment Environment Operating Operating costs costs 1 %%14 1 %% 14

Environment Environment Operating Operating costs costs 18 % %12 18 % % 12

Operating Operating costs costs 14 %14 %

Operating Operating costs costs 12 %12 %










annual report 2021


e d u t grati

Joy and

Our hearts are filled with gratitude to all those who make our solidarity actions possible through their generosity and loyalty. US $ 50,000 AND MORE

Anonymous 8BP Fund hosted by Swiss Philanthropy Foundation (Switzerland) Birgitta Amoroso (Sweden) Emergences (Belgium) Maryse Goeminne-Bernabe (Belgium) The Continuity Fund (United States) Hershey Family Foundation (United States) Jonala Foundation (Germany) Anne-Sophie Pastel Dubanton (Portugal) Association SER - Santé Éducation Recherche (Switzerland) Tellus Viva Foundation (Switzerland)

US $ 20,000 TO US $ 49,999

Anonymous Allary Editions (France) The Annenberg Foundation (United States) Aliette and Jérôme Balladur, Ayovie (Austria) François Bovey (Switzerland) George Family Foundation (United States) The Hawk Rock Foundation (United States) Huang Yu Zi and Huang Chen Mei Yu (Singapore) Inspir’ Foundation (Switzerland) Latika & Rajiv Jain Foundation (United States) François-Xavier and Natasha de Mallmann (Singapore) Palais des Thés (France) Rencontres Perspectives SAS (France)

US $ 5,000 TO US $ 19,999

Anonymous Actual Group (France) American Endowment Funds - Benevity (United States) Frédéric Aumont (France) Marie Baudron (France) Beauty Street (France) Stéphane Brac de la Perrière (France) April and Glenn Bucksbaum (United States) Jean-Michel Cayla (France) CJD Lyon Métropole (France) Bruno Corre (France) Marie-Christine Couderc (France) Keith Cowan (United States) Delta Plus Foundation (Italy) The School of Being (Canada) Gaëtan and Vivian Flipo (France) Cristina Funes-Noppen (Belgium) Thomas and Mirjam Gerber Neidhart (Switzerland) Véronique de Germond (Switzerland) Guyane Agricole (France) Geneviève Hubert (France) Thérèse and Daniel Janssen (Belgium) Matthias Kilburg (Germany) Léa Nature (France) Jacques Maire (Switzerland) Éditions de La Martinière (France) Michael J. and Alexandra Palko Foundation (United States) Louis Pierre Porte (France) Planet’Fun - Cube France (France) Marc Poncin (France) Eric Ripert (United States) Cornelis B. Van Den Bosch (Norway) Brigitte Van Klaveren (Monaco)

Day in and day out, we put ourselves at the service of those most in need by aiming to cultivate kindness and integrity in all our interactions. Each encounter with our beneficiaries touches us and we are deeply inspired by their will and resilience. I would like to echo this inspiration and especially their deep appreciation as their daily lives are transformed and their futures improved. With humility and enthusiasm, we relay your support and together, with shared joy, we put altruism into action. On behalf of the communities and the entire Karuna-Shechen team, a heartfelt thank you for your trust and friendship. Catherine Lalive D’Epinay coordinator of the circle of philanthropists and Director of Karuna-Shechen Switzerland ■ A special thanks to our anonymous donors around the world, and to all our dear friends for their presence by our side: Laurence d’Aboville, Olivier Adam and Dominique Butet, Guillaume Allary, Anne and Aloha, Christine and her love for Tibet, Creacontacts, Daniel and Andréa, Fleur Gimond, Jacqueline, the Jane Goodall Institute, the GoodPlanet Foundation, Martine and Gyaltsen, Éditions La Martinière, Messales and Associés, Mindfulness Solidaire, Minimento, L214, Caroline Lesire, Ilios Kotsou and Emergences, Photoby, Rencontres Perspectives, SamuSocial de Paris, as well as Thierry and his passion for the harpsichord. ■T houghts from the heart for the benefactors who have left us: Claudie, Françoise, Gail, Gilles, and our friend with the giant heart Jean-Pierre.


gratitude Since 2000, Karuna-Shechen, founded on the vision of Compassion in Action, has completed hundreds of projects benefiting millions of people. This adventure is possible because of the interdependence that unites beneficiaries, benefactors, volunteers, friends and teams. Only together can we accomplish more and move towards a more altruistic world!

u o y k n a Th e r e h g n i e b r o f All

A special thank you to our friend Jean who has been Karuna’s president for the past three years as a volunteer, and whose continuous commitment, heart and determination have brought forth magnificent fruits within the association.

Annual report


At Karuna-Shechen, we believe that altruistic love and compassion are not only the best ways to ensure the good of others, but also to live a meaningful life. matthieu ricard

contact donation@karuna-shechen.org Copyright photos OLIVIER ADAM, MORGANE EFFROY, KARUNA-SHECHEN, MATTHIEU RICARD, JON SCHMIDT Cover photo caption Ruby Valley landscape graphic design &Esperluette (Fleur Gimond gRAPHISME) and Marianne colinet editing Eva, James, Leïla, Manon, Morgane, Paul, Sébastien, Wendy printing Imprimerie Du Pont de Claix, LABELED IMPRIM’VERT, ON RECYCLED HALF-MATE COATED PAPER Routing Créacontacts


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