February 5 2019

Stories of Love and Compassion

Karuna-Shechen began when Matthieu Ricard was inspired to undertake compassionate action for people in the Himalayan region.

Now in our 19th year, we help over 250,000 people annually in remote villages of northern India, Nepal, and eastern Tibet. The love and compassion that guides our work can be seen in the many projects we undertake, from education to healthcare to community development.

Young Satyia Loves Attending School

In some of the most remote and under-served districts in India, many children ages 3-6 spend their days lingering in government-run nurseries, where they do not receive the stimulation their young minds need. We are changing that!

Our Early Child Care and Development Program provides toys, training, and support so that children in the critical development stage receive engaging cognitive education.

“Our preschool has been completely transformed since Karuna-Shechen stepped in,” explains Krishnadevi, a preschool assistant in the remote village of Gopalkhera. “Children have fun, and they learn so much better through play.”

Holding onto her teddy bear, five-year-old Satyia says, “I love coming here. I do not have toys at home. Here there are plenty.” Her favorite? Winnie the Pooh!

Hospice Nurses Show Love and Compassion

A warm smile, a loving hand to comfort, a keen eye for what is needed – these are the characteristics of our Shechen Hospice nurses.

The concept of palliative care is relatively new to Nepal and our hospice, located in a wing of the Shechen Clinic, was one of the first in the country. We provide end of life and acute care to patients regardless of ethnic group or gender, and at no charge for those in need.

“Compassion, comfort, and love is the hallmark of our work,” explains Sanjeev Pradhan, our Nepal Director. Residents are treated like family, and it is truly inspiring to see their response to the joyful love and care they receive.

Mahadev Loves Growing Fruits and Vegetables for his Family

Mahadev’s family of seven used to survive on just rice and lentils. “There were no vegetables at home because it was too expensive to purchase them at the market.”

Karuna-Shechen’s Kitchen Garden program was developed to address the high incidence of malnutrition and the extreme poverty of small farmers in some of India’s most under-served regions. We provide seeds, plants, and gardening know-how to families in need – and help them grow nutritious food for their families.

“Now because of the kitchen garden we have fresh fruits and vegetables in our own backyard!” Mahadev says. “We definitely feel healthier than before.”

Curing a Woman who Loves Helping Others

Punam is one of hundreds receiving treatment for tuberculosis at the Shechen Clinic in Nepal. She first contracted TB when she was 10 years old, helping her mother care for sick travelers who stopped by her house on their way to the hospital.

“I loved helping people,” she says. But now on her third case of TB, Punam is barely able to help herself. The mother of three has lived in extreme poverty her whole adult life and is unable to afford health care. She is also too weak to walk long distances, a common hurdle that keeps many of the country’s poor from seeking treatment.

The Shechen clinic fills a gap in health services by offering accessible care to villagers who come down from the mountains and surrounding areas to receive treatment. Here, Punam is receiving the care she needs to cure her disease so she can focus her energies on her family – and on strengthening her life.

Please join us and help spread more love and compassion to people in need in the Himalayas. THANK YOU!

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