Founded by Matthieu Ricard in 2000, Karuna-Shechen acts and advocates for a more altruistic world.

For over 20 years now, Karuna-Shechen has been working to break the cycle of extreme poverty and to reveal the full potential of the most destitute women, men and children in India, Nepal and Tibet. The families we help live in remote rural areas where they have little or no access to health services, quality schooling or economic opportunities. By supporting them in their empowerment and building their resilience, these communities are on their way to a better future.

The year 2020 was quite special as the needs expressed were more pressing due to the Covid-19 health crisis. More than 400,000 people benefited from our support. The year 2021 is full of hope! While India and Nepal seem to grow more and more resilient to the virus, Karuna is resuming most of its activities and is also initiating a brand new program in France, aimed at social workers.

Matthieu Ricard donates all of the revenues from his activities to the association – books, photographies, conferences etc. – thus covering all operating costs of Karuna. As a result, every donation is used in full to support vulnerable people.

I believe that all the people who accompany our projects are convinced of the importance of cultivating an altruistic state of mind in their hearts with humility, joy and determination. It is with this ideal of “compassion in action” that I founded Karuna-Shechen 20 years ago. – Matthieu Ricard, founder of the association

“Karuna” means compassion in Sanskrit: the vision of the association is thus anchored in an ideal of compassion in action.