August 31 2020

Discovering, sharing and cooperating to change society

Karuna-Shechen is committed, since 2000, to provide access to quality education to the greatest number of people. We believe in a more altruistic world and education is a tool of choice to encourage the younger generations to be more peaceful, ethical and devoted to the needs of others.

Beyond programs, for a more altruistic world

Educational programmes today are more often focused on instruction alone and less on the development and happiness of a child. “Education is not just about imparting knowledge and skills to achieve limited goals. It is also about opening children’s eyes to the rights and needs of others.”. Matthieu Ricard, Altruism.

Emotional intelligence, compassion for oneself and others, awareness of interdependence, empathy and non-discrimination are essential qualities for a human being to become more altruistic, especially if those qualities are shared during his or her education. Matthieu Ricard tells us in this regard: “The use we make of our intelligence depends in fact entirely on the human values that inspire our existence”. An adult who has received a more individualistic and competitive education will less likely feel the need for others in his life nor will he encourage social progress for a fairer world.

By supporting young people in their development as better human beings, Karuna-Shechen encourages new generations to be the driving force of a better society.

Sharing altruism from an early age

Through our programs, we accompany the child throughout his or her development, from early childhood to adolescence. 

Since 2014, Karuna-Shechen has been working to better early childhood development. We intervene in kindergartens that take care of 6,000 children between the ages of 3 and 6. Prior to our intervention, these classes had no materials, learning methods were unsuitable for young children and classes were overcrowded. The children are emotionally insecure and show significant delays in their development, especially in pro-social behaviours. Our goal is to train educators in positive pedagogy and the use of play to promote the healthy development of children on the motor, language, cognitive, emotional and social levels.

Daulaut Kumari, an educator from the village of Baglati, shares her enthusiasm: “I am very happy with Karuna-Shechen’s help. Until now, we had no equipment. Now I will be able to spend more time playing with the children. I’m sure they will enjoy these new activities! “

Very quickly, the children regain their natural playfulness and cooperate more. They develop their empathy and imagination through reading and drawing, and enjoy outdoor games.The 200 kindergartens that we support are now lively places, full of smiles.

Co-constructing a more altruistic society with adolescents

The values of altruism instilled in the toddlers are fundamental elements of their education, and we continue to spread them through extra-curricular courses that we give to teenagers in 6 schools in Nepal. This is the “Better Living Option” program.

With the mass development of social networks and a world that moves at an unprecedented pace, young people can sometimes feel a certain uneasiness and difficulty in finding their place in society. To respond to this difficult reality, we organize extra-curricular classes which are an opportunity to address social topics that are not part of the classic school curriculum:managing one’s image of others and oneself, sexual health education, children’s rights, harassment, domestic violence, relationship with parents and many other topics. Students find a place where they can express their concerns, their insecurities, their dreams for the future and grow as human beings.

Learning means having the power to understand and act for oneself, one’s neighbour, the entire planet. Through our actions for education, we wish to give more than just school programs. By encouraging young people to be more aware of the world around them, we hope for a brighter future for all.

Education cannot be neutral, because children will certainly acquire certain values on their own. So why not help them to adopt pro-social behaviour […]? If we inspire them to develop altruistic love and to engage in cooperation, we are more likely to foster a more compassionate, open and tolerant society ~ Matthieu Ricard, Blog article Education as a Tool for Good