February 16 2020

ACTING WITH ALTRUISM FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

 

“If we evince more concern for others, we will all
act with the view of remedying injustice,
discrimination 
and poverty”
– Matthieu Ricard, Altruism 

 

Inequality and injustice, at the heart of current social issues, have to be eradicated in order for humankind to live in peace and prosperity. According to the United Nations : “Social justice is based on equal rights for all, and the possibility for everyone throughout the world to benefit, without discrimination, from economic and social progress”. Yet a far too great portion of the human population still does not benefit from it.

Karuna-Schechen has been working for 20 years to build a fairer world, promoting compassion and acting through education and empowerment projects in India, Nepal and Tibet. Social justice is inconceivable without solidarity between people. We deeply believe in the possibility of a better life, in which altruism and cooperation, not selfishness and conflict, prevail.

 

CREATING THE CONDITIONS FOR UNLOCKING EVERYONE’S POTENTIAL

 

“Equal opportunity is the right to not depend exclusively on good or bad luck”
– André Compte-Sponville

In order to unlock their potential and thrive, individuals must be able to meet their basic needs and have access to health and educational services, as well as a source of income. In many parts of the world, especially in rural India and Nepal where Karuna-Shechen operates, where education for all is not accessible and medical care is very limited, meeting basic needs is a real challenge.

The populations we help live in isolated villages, far from essential services and subject to seasonal and environmental constraints, which prevent them from benefiting from quality education and medicine.

 


To address this reality, Karuna-Schechen operates with a holistic approach, which recognizes that the challenges to overcome are interdependent and cannot be tackled separately. Our actions include working towards food self-sufficiency by setting up organic vegetable gardens and facilitating access to safe drinking water, providing people with basic health care services through our mobile clinics, ensuring quality education for all, creating opportunities for financial independence to those who have none, and improving working conditions. A population that eats better will be in better health, and young educated people will empower their community in return.

Our goal is to create, alongside the communities, the conditions for sustainable development by adjusting our actions to their needs and training their populations to become agents of progress.

 

SUPPORTING WOMEN’S EDUCATION AND EMPOWERMENT

 

“To build a fairer and more altruistic world, we must help all women fully develop their potential and abilities.” – Matthieu Ricard

In countries where we operate, one of our priorities in terms of social justice is the emancipation of women, as they are still victims of discrimination and isolation. In fact, with limited access to education and sometimes no professional opportunities, many women suffer from illiteracy and a lack of independence. Karuna-Shechen invests in education and training to create professional opportunities that enable girls and women to become independent, making them agents of change and role models for future generations.

Training Nepalese women to become solar power technicians is a prime example of such projects. The training gives them the keys to become entrepreneurs and open their repair and maintenance workshop, which specialize in solar panels but also provide mobile phones and small electrical devices. This new source of light makes an impact on several levels: people can work and gather in the evening, and children have more time to do their homework; it is an alternative to kerosene lamps, which are dangerous for health and the environment; for trained women, it is a source of new knowledge and income; and finally, it is an example of emancipation for other women and girls to follow.

Bimala Tamang, a 22 year old who lives in the Walthing village of the Kavrepalanchok district in Nepal, is one of the beneficiaries of our solar project. Thanks to the training and support she received to open her workshop, Bimala now earns enough so that her husband, Subash, can come back to live with her and help in the workshop, instead of looking for work abroad.

 

Help us build a fairer and more altruistic world, where everyone can freely aspire to be happy and independent.